Archive for April 2016

Screening or Testing Articulation on the iPad. Which app should I choose?

Screening or Testing Articulation on the iPad. Which app should I choose?

Throughout the years we all have gotten the routine of articulation testing down: Look for clean protocols, or buy them if we run out, find the test and dig out the scoring book. During the test we rush to transcribe what we have heard and then we spend double the time we spent with the child scoring and writing the report for that assessment. Yes! It was painful. Lucky someone said, “There has to be a better way!”.

Technology and brilliant minds have made the process of speech assessment so different. Back in 2010, a screener for articulation was released called Sunny Articulation and Phonology Test. It could be used as a screener or as supplemental data from your traditional paper and pencil test that we have all used for way too long. The Sunny has been sold around the world and it has conquered the hearts of thousands of speech paths around the world. It was way ahead of the curve and it still is the best articulation screener available on the iPad.

sunny-img11

The reality was that many school districts and governmental agencies still rely and demand the use of standardized assessments. That’s when Smarty Ears partnered with a company in Texas to create and standardize an assessment tool that would be universally used for bilingual students as well as monolingual Spanish or English speakers. That’s how the Bilingual Articulation and Phonology Test was conceived. BAPA uses the technology behind Sunny to become a stand alone fully standardized articulation and phonology assessment tool. It was released in 2013 and it has quickly become the preferred choice among bilingual clinicians in the assessment of articulation and phonology skills.

In 2015, Smarty Ears listening to the feedback from clinicians, decided to create an English only version of BAPA, with a lower price point for clinicians that are only performing English assessments. Using the data collected for the creation of BAPA, Smarty Ears separated the English only portion of BAPA and created iTAP, the Test of Articulation and Phonology.

The bottom line: When it comes to Articulation screeners/ Articulation tests there are really only 3 apps worth your consideration: Sunny Articulation & Phonology Test, iTap, and BAPA. Which one you pick will depend solely on your needs as a clinician.

All three app are wonderfully designed to make your life as a Speech Therapist as easy as possible. They all feature:

a. Ability to enter student’s name and track progress over time;

b.Tests all phonemes of the English language including clusters;

c.Offers two options: Screening & Full Assessment

d.Ability to record student’s production with the same tool you are using to administer test;

e.E-mail test results immediately after administration;

f.Provides immediate positive feedback to students throughout the test administration;

g.Sample recording of target word is available as you touch each image;

h.Ability to add notes on the app during the assessment.

Which one to pick really depends on your needs.

Here are the real key differences that set them apart:

iTap

  1. iTap articulationIt is Standardized
  2. English Only

 

 

 

bapa-img1BAPA

  1. It is Standardized
  2. for English monolinguals, Spanish monolinguals, and English / Spanish Bilinguals

Learn more about BAPA here.

Sunny

sunny articulation

  1. is NOT standardized (a qualitative assessment only)
  2. English Only
  3. includes vowels screener
  4. includes sentence screener
  5. includes an “R screener”

Learn more about Sunny here.

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Which one is (really) the best articulation app for iPad?

Which one is (really) the best articulation app for iPad?

We’ve seen the question a million times on Facebook, twitter and other social media:

“What is the Best Articulation app?”

This well intentioned question often comes up from someone who is either just became a Speech Therapist or is a Newbie to the world of app on the iPad, or perhaps someone who is just overwhelmed by the amount of apps that are out there and available.  Usually a host of passionate responses spark up. If we are being honest though, its really hard for most people to give a completely fair response.

Usually this is because:

People vouch for what they have, but it really isn’t fair to call it the “best” when they haven’t experienced most or all of the other Articulation apps. (Imagine If you called one grocery store the “best” because you liked it, but had never set foot in the other major chains nearby?)

People often base their experience off of free apps or apps that have a free version. Its understandable people go this route as it can make it easier to sample more things. But again using the grocery store anology is it fair to rule out a Costco and Sams club because of the “membership costs”. Yes, they have a cost but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a value that may outweigh this factor.

As we were at Texas Speech and Hearing Convention this year we had several customers who had experienced all or most of the Top Tier apps out there and they resoundingly and unsolicitedly wanted to tell us “Articulate it! is the best.

 

We wanted to share why…

Why is Articulate it the Best Articulation app?

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It has the most content of any Articulation app out there (and you can even add more to it by adding “custom words”!). No articulation app has more words, sentences, phrases, and  stories. With a built in “Matching game“, a “Guess What” game, a “Stories” section, in addition to the traditional route of working on phonemes and clusters, that If this app was in paper form you would probably need a large file cabinet just to store all the decks of cards.  People who have this app tend to use it everyday; this wouldn’t be realistic if it didn’t have enough content to do this.

articulate-img11

It is the most versatile and powerful articulation app.

It has phonological processes, mirroring capabilities, up to 6 players during the same game (each with their own objectives, the ability to add custom words, over a 100 fun avatars that could represent the player, , . When presenting this app to someone who has never seen it before it can be hard to remember to show them ALL of the features. A common chorus from the SLP is usually is a breathless sincere ,“You’ve really thought out everything on this app …haven’t you?” And they’re right, rarely does an app give a user such a COMPLETE EXPERIENCE.

It has homework— sooooo much homework. Every single phoneme at the word, phrase and sentence level (almost 200 worksheets). All of it can be emailed or printed to be sent home for your students to work on. “this app is worth it just for the homework,” says pretty much every SLP ever who has opened up the app and even glanced at the homework.

articulate it built in homework best articulation app

It has Themes- This allows you to change how the app looks and sounds to match a particular holiday or season. What a way to increase student engagement!!! Our users tell us all the time “this is the one app I use EVERY DAY.”  With 13 themes to choose from, students love how it feels like something new every time the theme is changed.

articulate it by smarty ears themes

It has Stories (& 7 questions about the story each of which target the phoneme)— Other apps that have “stories” tend to seem about as fun as the old “Dick and Jane” book series from the 1930-70’s. Articulate it has fun (and often funny) stories that not only target the objective, but make for an engaging experience for the learners. How cool is it that you can work on reading skills and Articulation at the same time? Seven different Wh questions (whose answers  always target the selected phoneme) and you have a brand new way to target a wide host of speech goals from auditory bombardment, production, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension.

articulate it stories best articulation app

It has a built in “Guess What” game— Tired of practicing in the same “flashcard style?” Well, guess what?– we got something even better:How about a guessing game where your students work on articulation and language skills at the same time? This fun activity is just one more reason why Articulate it! is the best and more versatile app available on the app store.

ARTICULATE IT best app ipad

It really is designed by an SLP. Our CEO Barbara Fernandes is an SLP,  she is always involved in every aspect of the app creation, and she is often consulting from her large network of SLP friends and colleagues to make all of the apps the best they can possibly be for the SLP community. She’s super passionate about helping improve and innovate technology in every aspect of the speech therapist world and when she is working on area that requires very specific expertise, she makes sure there are even more SLPs involved directly in the project. We’ve been to every ASHA over the last 7 years and we know that even though a lot of companies claim to have an SLP involved it is sadly very often at just a very superficial level (particularly from big publishing companies), or we’ve even seen where it is pretty much an outright sham (often from computer programmers or tech experts hoping to make a quick buck). Smarty Ears has innovated the speech therapy world with its apps, but a big chunk of that comes down to really being involved in the speech therapy community.

Comprehensive Data tracking—- The app seemlessly lets you switch between word, sentence and phrase level while working on phonemes; likewise it is dividing the specifics of that data as you click the correct, almost or incorrect buttons so that you don’t have to be thinking out the specifics. It even stores the recordings and lets you review which words were targeted. With clear charts and percentages: data tracking has never been so easy. With the ability to email the results to parents and the ability to export into Therapy report center, Smarty Ears understands the data driven world of Schools and have given you the simplest tools to get it done.

articulate it data tracking best articulation app

Intuitive, User Friendly, and Tools of Support. We know one of the reasons you probably like using Apple products like the iPad is its user friendliness. We want you to feel that experience is the same with our apps. With a “instructional audio” , that can guide first time users as they learn the app, a built in video tutorial (that makes learning the features of the app quick and easy), and a simple way to reach out to us by emailing us from the app, we are dedicated to making Articulate it! the best possible user experience out there.

articulate it by smarty ears

Because it is a Smarty Ears app:

Now this might seem humorously self-congratulatory at first glance … but there is a very serious reason why brand name matters in the business of apps. We were the first to make any app for Speech Therapy that was not an AAC app, and for those who have been using iPad apps since the beginning know Smarty Ears is the gold standard. Every app they make we have continually updated it to make sure that it will work with the newest iOS, and we are always looking back at how we can improve our existing library of apps . What was great in 2009 often doesn’t cut it by 2016 standards and we know it.

Other speech therapy app companies die off.. and they often let their app die with it. (No more updates to keep it compatible with the iOS).  For us making an app doesn’t ever end. We constantly update our apps to make them the best out there. We’ve seen the sad looks on someone’s face when they thought they had our articulation app (but didn’t and had something that seemed good— so they assumed it was Smarty Ears— yes this really happen ALL the time). It’s because those who know Smarty Ears know the value they are getting and that they are always getting a cutting edge app, and we won’t let those fans down EVER.

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