Appy almost new year from Speechie Apps! We’re getting ready to kick off 2015, but it would be a shame to ignore all the great apps we SLPs used in 2014. To celebrate, YappGuru.com is hosting an “Expert Linky Party” (click to see details) with a great group of app review bloggers from around the world. We’re all sharing our top 10 apps we’ve used and recommended in 2014. This is a brief compilation of the ones I personally have been using and showing the most at work and in presentations over the past year, in no particular order…
As you may know, I am a huge social media user. I am constantly all over Twitter and Facebook (and blogs, of course), and I dabble in Pinterest, Google+, Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram………..well, you get the point. Last year, if you had asked me the best way to find and critique good apps, I would have recommended you use a combination of all of these. “Facebook, Twitter, and blogs will be the most useful,” I would have said. “Join the SLPs Talk Apps group on Facebook, start following #SLPeeps on Twitter, and read blogs like Speech Techie and Speaking of Apps.”
While I still use all of these invaluable resources, it’s not incredibly time efficient. On Facebook, the same questions get asked over and over again, there is no organized way to make thorough or consistent recommendations, and although the posts are made by individuals, intentions are not always transparent. Twitter is very fast-paced, and it is hit-or-miss whether people with real knowledge will happen to see your tweet and give you the information you need. Blogs are far more organized and have credible reviews, but that means keeping up with each of them and constantly perusing old material to find the content that you want. Oh, and there are those fantastic app lists that hard-working SLP bloggers have put together, but they typically reflect introductory information, and you usually still need to do plenty more research to determine if the app is worth your purchase. Is anyone else stressed out yet?! Can’t we just have one place to search for apps that brings together all the features we want: organization, credible and verifiable reviews, consistency, community, efficient and various searching methods, and a uniform rating system? Well, perhaps we can… 🙂
Any of you #slpeeps involved in Twitter have probably seen this app touted as “the app that kids can’t play alone.” I was intrigued and, okay, a little skeptical. Thankfully, I downloaded it and was pleasantly surprised. 🙂
What It Is: Developer all4mychild‘s interesting spin on the game of 20 Questions.
What It Is: A collection of games with the overlying themes of bugs and buttons by Little Bit Studio.
What It Is: An app to help teach comparative adjectives by Grasshopper Apps.
Sometimes the best apps are the simple (and free!) ones that seem to have absolutely nothing to do with speech-language therapy. Here’s a fun one that has more uses than I originally thought.
What It Is: A touch-controlled stoplight by Cloudburst Games.
What It Is: An app for creating talking photo albums and stories (by AssistiveWare).
What It Is: A collection of interactive stories (and a memory game) by Ruta Ett based on a TV show. Each story is about a different vehicle (police car, seaplane, digger, etc.) and its jobs and daily activities.
There are several American Sign Language (ASL) apps on the market, but I have been largely dissatisfied with the ones I’ve tried so far. So, similar to the Artik Pix review I posted a couple of weeks ago, I want this post to be less of my singular viewpoint and more of your comparisons. Again, I’ll review one of the apps I have, and then you can chime in with how your app compares. Feel free to just give a brief overview or go into more detail–anything that you think will help us find a good ASL app (or weed out the bad ones).
What It Is: An English-to-ASL translator and dictionary by BKS Investment.
I would guess that most speech-language therapists who use phones or tablets in therapy will have already purchased an articulation flashcards app. This post, however, will hopefully help anyone just starting out with this technology to make an informed decision. Unlike my previous posts, where I have simply described my point of view on a single app, I want to engage others who use similar apps and allow them to compare and contrast. Since these articulation apps tend to be on the pricier side, reviewers typically only purchase one, and it is difficult to discern how various options “match up.” With this post, I’ll start by reviewing the articulation flashcard app that I use most frequently, but then I am calling on you (fellow #slpeeps!) to share with me how the artic flashcard app(s) you use measures up. This is a bit of an experiment in #slpeep interaction that was inspired by a recent Twitter conversation with Dr. Bronwyn Hemsley (@bronwynah). If you are an SLP using a similar app, participate and let us know why your app should (or shouldn’t) be downloaded by the next curious SLP!
What It Is: Articulation flashcard decks by RinnApps, arranged by phoneme.