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…
Toca Tea Party is one of my favorite Toca Boca apps, particularly because it involves a natural social component. I have found that the Toca Boca apps can usually be used in numerous ways. I’ll share some of the ways I’ve used it, and then I’d love for you to share what you’ve done with it!
What It Is: A pretend tea party app by Toca Boca.
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.
Some research has shown that today’s children are less creative than previous generations, and many point their fingers at the digital era. It makes sense, to an extent. For example, a child who would have once been engaging in imaginative play with action figures and Beanie Babies is now playing with apps and video games. In a large majority of these digital games, imagination is not required; the goal is to win or earn points, and there are only a set number of ways to do so. Thankfully, I don’t think this shift is quite as terrible as some make it out to be. First, common sense parenting (and teaching and therapy) includes knowing how to provide balance–not letting kids play with an iPad every waking minute but realizing that the digital world provides some great opportunities, too. Second, that digital world is actually starting to allow more creativity on the part of the user. My PlayHome is a perfect example.
What It Is: A digital doll house by Shimon Young.
Instead of reviewing one app like usual, I’m going to briefly review three apps. Each are musical instrument apps that can be incorporated into speech-language therapy. I will explain each app and then talk about therapy applications and the overall take-away at the end of the entire post. This post is less about the apps (they’re each pretty good) and more to get people thinking about how they could be used in therapy. 🙂
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.