App: Mask Doodle
What It Is: A mask-decorating app by Shoe the Goose.
Ahoy, mateys! I be writin’ a blog message fer ye ’bout apps to use on Speak Like a Scurvy Pirate Day! (Translation: Oh boy, who the heck convinced me to do this?!) Kookoo bananas Bill Binko ‘o LessonPix shanghai’d a few ‘o us bloggers to do pirate-themed posts to celebrate ’tis “holiday,” so here’s me best spin on it. (Thanks postlikeapirate.com for the goofy pirate talk translations.) This post is a bit different than my usual, but I’m hoping it’ll give y’all some fun ideas for Talk Like a Pirate Day on 9/19! If you’re one of those scoundrel SLPs that loves to get kids hyped up then send them on their way, this post (and holiday in general) is for you! I’m going to discuss three apps: one new (to me) pirate-themed one and two that I’ve already reviewed but am adding a “pirate twist” to. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions or other pirate-themed ideas!
To appease the masses, I’ve found an app for both Android and Apple users! Actually, I originally wrote this review after finding it on Google Play and didn’t realize until later that it was also available on iTunes! I was very excited that all of my readers could benefit from this one. Also, I had mentioned to a few of you that I found some Android apps similar to the Toca Boca ones on iDevices–Dr. Panda’s Hospital is definitely one of those. While this app is based on an animal hospital, the game’s set-up is quite similar to Toca Doctor. Here are my thoughts on it:
What It Is: An app for “playing vet” and healing hurt/sick animals by TribePlay.
I was so excited about the giveaway last week, I just realized I forgot to do another aphasia-themed review for National Aphasia Awareness Month! No worries–I will make up for it and you will have one for each week this month as promised. 🙂 Since I think cooking is an awesome language activity, I went on the hunt for a recipe app that was cheap, well-organized, and had plenty of visuals. Several met this criteria, but Epicurious was my personal favorite. Play around with a couple options to see what best fits your clients’ needs, but this one is definitely a great place to start.
What It Is: A cooking app with over 30,000 recipes by Epicurious.
Update (11/23/2012): Apparently this app has been taken off the iTunes store due to copyright issues.
What It Is: An interactive app version of the story of the same name by Watty Piper. This review is specifically of the app sold by XIMAD (there are several other version available on iTunes). Also, for Windows phone users, there apparently is a Windows version.
This app review is going to be a little “out of the box.” I’m hoping that even if you and your clients don’t go specifically to Starbucks, you can find some ideas here to generalize to other coffee shops or even places like grocery stores. (For those of you who
pretend you like prefer Tim Hortons or Dunkin’ Donuts, I’ve heard there are similar apps out there.) This review actually stems from a group project I participated in during a graduate class last semester, and I think it is worth sharing. We were supposed to come up with a way for an adult with a communication disorder to go into a coffee shop and order their favorite coffee without using verbal communication. We quickly realized that it would be easy (and “normal”) for someone to order by largely just using the Starbucks app. Since coffee shops have become a place for people to do everything from meetings to paperwork to socializing, being able to efficiently order using an app that the baristas are already familiar with could be a huge plus. So, here are my thoughts about the app and how it can be implemented in therapy.
What It Is: An app for ordering your coffee at Starbucks.
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).
In a field of mostly women, who thinks to teach boys with pragmatic difficulties how to choose a urinal? This review is a bit different than my usual, but the app is fun and can be a great ice-breaker for a pragmatics-based lesson or unit. And while it may seem to be a light-hearted topic, there can be serious consequences if children with autism or other disabilities don’t understand appropriate bathroom behavior. For example, I had a placement with an adolescent boy who was severely injured after he approached another boy at a urinal. (He, of course, was just trying to be friendly.) There are many other bathroom-related “hidden curriculum” considerations, but this can be a good place to start.
What It Is: An interactive game on choosing the appropriate urinal.