Go-Togethers is an application developed to improve language comprehension and expression in individuals of all age groups. The ability to identify and generate words that “go together” in semantic associations is a critical language skill that relates to vocabulary and word retrieval. Go-Togethers provides SLPs, parents and others with a tool to develop categorization, association, and naming skills by interacting with pictures and audio. Go-Togethers is designed specifically to use the touchscreen features of the iPad to mirror linguistic connections. For example, a touch “sweep” on screen is used to respond and map associations between words. A “tap-to-tally” feature, likewise, is used as a visual and kinesthetic means to reinforce naming of associated items and explanations of how items “go together.”
Go-Togethers can be used to:
-Help students identify items that share a semantic association.
-Target categories of items, such as rooms in a house, weather and seasons, and buildings.
-Elicit and score students’ naming and description of semantic associations.
-Measure treatment effectiveness and skill growth over time through reported data.
Creating players on Go Togethers is fast and straightforward. From the main menu select "new session" on the top right; this will bring up the player menu. Select "Add Student" on the top left. Type in a student name in the "Enter Name" box; then tap on the "Tap to Add Picture" area to select either a photo (from your photo library), an avatar (from over 100 built in fun character illustrations), or nothing as a visual representation of the student. Press "done" to save the player.
Alternatively, if you are using the free app "Therapy Report Center" aka TRC you can import players by selecting the orange "import players from therapy report center" button on the bottom right. TRC is a great time saving tool as if you enter the players in that app you are able to export them to almost all Smarty Ears' apps.
!To delete or edit a player double tap on the player's photo; this will bring up a popup menu with the student's info. If you want to delete the student press the "delete" in the bottom left corner of the popup menu. To edit the student, tap either the photo area to choose a new photo, or tap in the name area to change the name. When you are done select the "done" button to save the changes.
The settings on the app can be accessed from the main menu by touching the brown "settings room" arrow on the right. This allows the facilitator to individualize the game to meet their particular player's needs by offering choices regarding difficulty level, activity, The number of correct items presented on the receptive activity, and a choice of what to do when a wrong answer is selected.
Additionally, by selecting the "level" switch you are able to select or deselect which particular categories of objects tat the player will be presented in the game. (By default all categories are selected)
Starting a game
From the main menu select "new session" on the top right corner. After creating at least one player, select a player for starting a game by tapping on the player's picture. A green check mark will appear next to the selected player in order to indicate which player that was selected. After selecting the player, press "continue" in the top right corner. The game will begin.
For those who are do not need to save or track data, yet want a quick way to start a game Go-Togethers has a "quick play" feature. This feature can be accessed from the main menu by touching the "tap for quick play" button (the drawing board in the center of the screen). After touching the "quick play" button the game instantly starts.
On receptive mode the target is in the top center. Below the target there are three correct answers and one foil. (The number of correct answers available can be changed in the app settings)
The player needs to drag their finger from the target (the picture on top) downward towards one of the corresponding correct answers. A thick dotted line shows the player which selection they are making.
Each time a correct answer is chosen the dotted line leading to the answer and the orange outline around the answer will turn green to indicate a correct answer.
If the player selects a wrong answer the answer choice is taken away.
After all the correct answers have been selected a swirling animation is given as a reinforcement. The game does not proceed until the facilitator presses the "next" button so that if needed there is time to discuss the player's answers.
On the expressive mode the facilitator is trying to solicit expressive (open ended) responses from the student. This is a great activity for working on expressive communication and divergent thinking. First the student is prompted "what" goes with the target. Each time they come up with an answer the facilitator taps on the "I said what" yellow sticky note on the bottom left. This will tally the responses that are saved in the results.
After a student is able to name "what" goes with the target object, it is natural for the facilitator to ask the follow up question "why does that go with the target object. Each time a student is able to explain "why" the facilitator should tap on the purple "I said why" sticky note on the bottom right.This will tally the responses that are saved in the results. After the student has exhausted all ideas of "what" goes with the particular target object and "why". The facilitator can press "next" in the bottom right to proceed to the next question or "done" in the top right to end the game.
After the player ends a game they are automatically brought to the "report cards" area. (This area can also be accessed from the main menu by selecting the blue "report cards" arrow on the top right). From the "report cards" screen tap the picture of the student you wish to see the results of.
A detailed report of the results is presented with the most recent session data on top. More results of older sessions can be accessed by scrolling down on the report card by making an upwards swiping motion.
By selecting "share" in the top right corner, results can be shared via e-mail or printed directly from the iPad (provided user has a air-printing ready printer), or exported into Therapy Report Center (TRC). Therapy Report Center is a great free app for creating progress reports from accumulating the data from all of your Smarty Ears apps.
"Smarty Ears has another winner with Go-Togethers! I love the fact that you can visualize drawing a line to connect your response with the stimulus. However, I have a few kids who have difficulty making swiping movements on the iPad (they tend to move from fingertip to fingernail). Tapping is an easier input method for these kids."
“Overall, this app is a useful app for children who needs to be explicitly taught how to organize their vocabulary and make sense of them which in turn facilitates word retrieval. So if you’re looking for an intervention app that targets these areas, make sure you check out Go-Togethers.”
“I don't know about you, but a lot of my little kiddos need to increase their vocabulary. One of the objectives I often target for this is associations, and this is a great app to work on this skill.” Read more: http://busybeespeech.blogspot.com/2013/02/go-togethers-app-review.html
Go-Togethers was featured on the “ Every App has a Story” Website.
“It’s essential to build a strong base of vocabulary words and meanings to help us organize our language and assist in word retrieval.” — Rosie Simms, SLP, teacher, and author of Go-Togethers Read more here: http://www.everyapphasastory.com/2013/03/every-app-has-a-storygo-togethers/