The Texas Speech and Hearing Convention (TSHA) took place in San Antonio between the 20th and the 22nd of March. The TSHA convention is the largest state level convention in the United States that provides CEU sessions to speech-language-pathologists ( SLPs). Smarty Ears has been attending the TSHA convention since 2010, and we are so proud to have been a part of every single TSHA convention in the last 5 years.
We still remember our first year, with balloons and hand written signs for the booth. This year, our 10×10 booth had high quality signage and displayed several of our 60
applications. This year’s greatest hit was the Bilingual Articulation and Phonology Test, the first standardized articulation and phonology test for the iPad. This is the only test that was standardized directly on the iPad itself. Everyone came to the Smarty Ears booth wanting to take a look at the BAPA app, and were amazed at the potential for assessing not only bilingual students but also monolingual English speakers.
This time we have an amazing giveaway at our booth, TSHA attendees had the opportunity to sign up for a prize of over $600 in apps for their iPads! One lucky SLP won a copy of every single Smarty Ears app for her iPad. The best news is that she was already a Smarty Ears fan! Check out the video of when we picked our winner.
Barbara Fernandes, Smarty Ears CEO also gave a presentation during this year’s convention titled ” Efficient Caseload management across apps” You can download here: efficient caseload managment across apps
We also have already signed up for next year’s convention that will happen very close to home: Fort Worth!!!
We are so excited about November! This month is always full of great exciting events for Smarty Ears. This year the National Association for the Education of Young Children convention will be in the Dallas area and we will be there. This will be the first time Smarty Ears attends this event, and if all goes as planned we will always make an effort to attend.
We will be at booth 1837, and we hope to see you there!
This week Smarty Ears is being featured on the super awesome website Yapp Guru! We felt so honored to have been invited to be one of their first developers to be featured on their website.
Yapp Guru was founded by speech-pathologists who, like me feel overwhelmed by the number of apps on the app store. The website is designed as a place for you to find apps based on a variety of different areas, and to be able to get some more details about the apps as opposed to just looking at 5 screenshots and a description of the app.
Even though Apple recently allowed developers to add a video to the app descriptions ( super cool!), as we travel the country we see a real need for an easy place for clinicians to get a better idea of what the app is all about before purchasing.
Being featured on Yapp Guru is super amazing by itself. However, it would be even better if you could sign up to their website and vote for your favorite Smarty Ears app on their website! We wanted to also thank Mai & Tanya for the invitation to be a part of this incredible new service for speech-pathologists.
Apple heard our requests! You can now buy many of our apps as part of a bundle and save big. We have bundled our apps in several different bundles based on app categories and you can not only save big by buying the apps as part of a bundle but also save by getting a credit if you already own one or a few of the apps included in that specific bundle.
Smarty Ears has submitted many different bundles for Apple to review and approve. We currently have three bundles available:
The first bundle is an “Elementary School Language Bundle” and it contains 6 apps targeting different language skills:
As you can see the price for this bundle is $39.99. The app store also shows how much you would pay per each app if you had bought these apps separately: $59.94! This is a savings of $20 for this bundle.
The second bundle is a basic bundle for Articulation. This basic articulation bundle includes three of everyone’s favorite articulation apps: One assessment and two therapy apps.
This bundle is $89.99 and if you were to buy these apps separately you would pay $119.97. This is a $30 savings for this bundle. Amazing right?!
The third bundle we have available is a bundle for our apps for the adult population and it includes three apps.
Getting credit for the apps you already own
Apple will give you credit for the money you spent on the app included on the bundle. For example, let’s imagine that you already paid for Articulate it and you still want to get the other two apps and save. Apple will display how much it will cost you to “complete the album” taking into account what you already paid for that one app.
Think of it as when you buy a song of an album, when you are ready to commit to the whole album you get a discount for the single song you already bought.
About: The Bilingual Articulation and Phonology Assessment (BAPA) was developed for the purpose of assessing the articulatory and phonological abilities of monolingual and bilingual speakers of English and Spanish. BAPA can also be used to assess articulation and phonology skills of either monolingual English speaker or monolingual Spanish spakers.
About: The Sunny Articulation Phonology Test Kit is a qualitative screening and assessment tool that can be can be used to identify articulation errors and phonological difficulties. Sunny can be used as a stand alone tool or in combination with other paper based testing materials. The Sunny Articulation Phonology Test Kit (SAPT-K) is an individually administered clinical tool for screening, identification, diagnosis and follow-up evaluation of articulation skills in English speaking individuals. Sunny is the application that will save you not just minutes, but hours on assessment procedures, error identification, caseload management and report writing. Test administration is not only more efficient but also more engaging for students. The results provide a complete written report and a comprehensive overview of the articulation and phonology inventory of the student tested.
3. Common Core Early Language Screener: ($24.99 – Now: $19.99)
About: The common core standards are expectations set out by the states regarding what students are expected to learn from kindergarden through 12th grade in order to be prepared for postsecondary education (www.corestandards.org). The Common Core Early Language Screener (CCELS) is a screening tool used to identify weaknesses in early language skills. The CCELS was designed to be used with Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and first grade aged children; however, the screener can be used for other groups if needed.
4. Basic Concept Skills Screener: ($24.99 – Now $14.99)
About: Basic Concepts Skill Screener (BCSS) is a quick, motivational screening tool created to help assess the basic concept skills in children. Designed by certified speech-language pathologists, BCSS uses technology to engage clients while assessing their school readiness skills. Perfect for all levels from preschool to early elementary, BCSS assesses the concept skills needed for pre-reading and math skills. The Basic Concepts Skills Screener is sure to be a great app for the busy speech-language pathologist, teacher, parent, or caregiver.
5. Profile of Phonological Awareness: (Full:$29.99 – Now: $9.99)
About: The Profile of Phonological Awareness (Pro-PA) was developed for the purpose of evaluating and describing the phonological awareness skills of children. Phonological awareness skills are related to speech sound and literacy development and should be assessed in children with difficulties in speech, language and/or reading (Catts, 1993; Gillon, 2002, 2005).
About: ATEval2Go provides a guide through the evaluation process and a thorough template for technology consideration including the ability to enter text, pictures, and audio about background information, environmental observations, tools already within the environment, student abilities based on targeted goals, and potential recommendations. Using the iPad’s multi-function capabilities, professionals can take pictures, record audio, and input text directly in the app generating rich, multimedia artifacts necessary for the purposes of documentation, analysis, and contemporary report creation.
Founded by a language and culture lover, Smarty Ears CEO, Barbara Fernandes is vested in providing quality apps that will help children not only in English but also in as many languages as possible. Smarty Ears has released a new version of two apps: WhQuestions & Fun & Functional that will help children with language difficulties reach their potential in their native languages. WhQuestion is now available in Spanish, Portuguese & French. While Fun & Functional is now also available in Spanish & Portuguese. All language are available inside the same app, users can switch language choices within the settings of each app.
“As a practicing speech-therapist, 95% of the children I saw were Spanish speakers; Spanish speaking clinicians end up pulling their hair out to come up with materials in languages other than English. I want to make sure other Spanish speaking therapists in the Unites States and around the world can have more tools to help children communicate.”
The latest version of WhQuestions includes a receptive and an expressive component to answering a variety of WhQuestions. WH Questions features over 400 opportunities to answer and ask real-world questions. With beautifully designed fun illustrations, and versatile yet real world questions, WH Questions is the “go-to” app for helping students attain proficiency at asking and answering basic questions. The app is available on the app store and compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
Fun & Functional, authored by speech-language-pathologist Rosie Simms, was designed to help improve language comprehension and expression in individuals by enhancing the ability to identify and describe the function or use of real-world objects. Fun & Functional users can now easily switch language of choice of the app by accessing the settings function. Fun & Functional can be downloaded from the app store on the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fun-functional/id498640017?mt=8
Smarty Ears is already one of the leading providers of apps for speech therapy in Brazil with over 14 apps in Portuguese. Smarty Ears has a dedicated website for their Brazilian users on www.ipadfono.com. Smarty Ears has also started building their dedicated Spanish website which will be released in the last quarter of 2014.
The company has spent a large amount of effort in 2014 in translating their apps into other languages. Some of Smarty Ears apps are now available in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German & French. Smarty Ears plans to release two additional apps in Portuguese and Spanish before the end of 2014, and to start offering more apps in French in 2015.
It is official! Our very own Founder and CEO will be presenting ( once again) at the Asha convention. The 2014 convention of the American Speech-Language and Hearing association is set to take place in Orlando between November 20-22 of 2014. Barbara Fernandes has presented numerous times at the annual convention. This year she will be presenting on the topic area of Business & Management.
The session is set to take place on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM.
The session title is: Efficient Caseload management Across Apps.
Smarty Ears has not only been the leader in app development for speech, language and communication apps, but also has started to push the development of the first apps in languages other than English for promoting language and speech development. Smarty Ears is proud to announce the release of WhQuestions in three additional languages: French, Spanish & Portuguese.
WhQuestions was initially released in January of 2010, and it was one of the first speech therapy apps on the app store. Since its conception and initial release, WhQuestions has gone through many updates and improvements. Most of what users see today is a result of a lot of hard work from all of our team members. The current version of WhQuestions, version 3.6, contains both a receptive and an expressive task. The receptive task was also introduced on this latest version of the app.
Barbara Fernandes, Smarty Ears CEO, has always had a commitment for offering apps in as many languages as possible. Smarty Ears already offers over 10 apps in Portuguese ( www.sefono.com), several in Spanish ( www.espanol.smartyearsapps.com ) , two in French and one in German.
If you are in the New York area and looking for a great way to become proficient on using the iPad to provide speech and language therapy you should not miss, Barbara’s presentation titled: Understanding and Setting Up the iPad as a Therapy Tool The workshop is set to take place in New York City on October 26, 2014.
Course Description: This workshop will provide speech-language pathologists with a wealth of information regarding the powerful features and possibilities for the iPad. Many of the built in features make “iDevices” accessible and flexible which open up many possibilities for all students and especially those with disabilities. You will learn to use the built in features, find appropriate apps and explore accessories to maximize learning. The iPad is more than a device. It is a game changer not only for SLPs and teachers but also for parents and most importantly children. With exponentially increased possibilities, one needs to understand the basic principles of the “iWorld” including upgrading operating systems, purchasing and upgrading apps when they become available, using accessibility features and identifying key features that make it an invaluable tool. Attendees will explore issues related to privacy and student confidentiality as well as accessories for the iPad. This workshop is a hands-on workshop that will give participants the knowledge necessary to effectively use the iPad as an educational and therapy tool. Participants are encouraged to bring their iPads but for those without, iPads will be shared. For more information and to register visit: http://www.therapeuticservicesinc.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=154
Over the last four years, Smarty Ears and Bilinguistics have been working on the first and only articulation app fully standardized on the iPad. The Bilingual Articulation and Phonology Assessment has been available on the app store since 2011 as a non-standardized qualitative assessment of Spanish only articulation and phonology skills. In 2012, BAPA was updated to include one of its kind feature on any bilingual assessment for articulation: the ability to evaluate both English and Spanish skills for each student. The application was also able to be used by English speaking speech-language-pathologists to assess English speaking students. BAPA quickly became one of the most versatile assessment options for evaluators, as it permitted the assessment of students regardless of their primary language.
In 2014, Smarty Ears updated BAPA to its version 2.0 to include standardization. This is a ground breaking advancement for speech pathologist who up until now had to rely only on bulky and outdated paper based evaluation tools, or on qualitative assessments of articulation and phonology on the iPad.
“We are very excited about the release of the version 2.0 of BAPA. As a speech-pathologist who did primarily evaluations with Spanish speaking students all over the Dallas area, having an iPad application that can automatically not only provide me with standard scores immediately after an evaluation but also an automated report, I can say this is one of the most exciting contributions I have made in my profession,” said Smarty Ears CEO Barbara Fernandes.
It is very important that English speaking speech-pathologist understand that the use of the term “Bilingual” on the name of the application, does not refer to the fact that the app was designed to be used only by bilingual SLPs, but to the fact that it can be used to assess two languages: English or Spanish or both.
Smarty Ears has been on the forefront as the only app developer to create iPad based assessments for speech pathologists. Smarty Ears has released evaluation tools for language, basic concept skills, phonological awareness skills and of course articulation.
We are sure you are probably focused on wrapping up reports, but we thought of giving you a last minute chance to snag some high quality apps for a lot less than their full price. We have started the part 3 of our sales and this is the last of our 2014 app sale season. This sale will end on May 27th, 2014 at noon ( EST). Here is a list of the apps currently on sale.
This application was designed so that parents and speech therapists can have a more interesting and motivating tool to help children learn how to answer questions. WhQuestions features 400 questions in a variety of formats.
Speech Trainer ($9.99) – Now $3.99 – Download Speech Trainer here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/speech-trainer-3d/id418333616?mt=8Speech Trainer 3-D is a unique application created specifically to help individuals with speech-sound disorders and English language learners. Speech Trainer 3-D provides an animated video model for both consonants and vowel sounds. With both a side and front view, Speech Trainer 3-D provides 32 English language sounds: 23 consonants and 8 vowels.
Sentence Ninja ($19.99) – Now $9.99 – Download Sentence Ninja here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sentence-ninja/id685971804?mt=8 Sentence Ninja is a multi-player multi-level app designed to improve sentence structure skills in children and adults. Designed by a certified speech-language pathologist, Sentence Ninja uses a fun Ninja theme to engage clients in their learning while teaching word order. Easily customizable to fit nearly every need, Sentence Ninja is a great addition to the therapy toolbox.
Expressive ($29.99) – Now $9.99 – Download Expressive now: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/expressive/id398345416?mt=8Expressive was featured on the “Autism Hangout” Podcast and the “TUAW.COM” as an app that is helping children & adults to communicate and learn. This is an entry to mid-level, easy to use, and powerful app that allows children and adults with speech impairment or communication difficulties to express their wants and needs through the use of pictures and symbols.
SLP GOAL Bank ($15.99) – Now $5.99 – Download it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/slp-goal-bank/id418644043?mt=8The SLP Goal Bank was designed to be used as a clinical tool for speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Created by SLPs and developed by Smarty Ears, LLC, the SLP Goal Bank serves as a starting point for busy SLPs creating goals for children and adults with speech-language issues. As such, it is designed for use by those individuals trained in selecting speech and language goals for special needs populations.
Categories Learning Center: ($9.99) – Now $4.99 – Download it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/categories-learning-center/id496646536?mt=8 Categories Learning Center is a multi-level, multi-player application designed by Speech-Language Pathologists to improve language comprehension for individuals of all age groups. Categories Learning Center is based on research surrounding language development and language processing in children; however, categorization skills may prove useful for individuals of all ages with word finding, memory, and reading comprehension difficulties. Before you purchase an app make sure that the price you see on the app store reflects the sale price. We have several promotion happening on our Facebook page. Make sure to check them out, lots of app give aways happening right now!
You may have missed part 1 of our Better Hearing & Speech Month sale. We had nine of our apps on sale. We wanted to let you know that you have a chance to enjoy part 2 of our sale, which starts today! We have a completely new set of apps on sale today. Part 2 of our Better Hearing and Speech Month sale ends on May 14th, 2014. Check out the list of all the apps that are part of this week’s sale:
Custom Boards $39.99 – Now for only $19.99
Custom Boards Premium is an evidence-based app designed to serve as a board and activity creator for speech therapists, teachers, special education and parents of children who need symbols to communicate and learn. Custom Boards includes over 11 thousand built in symbols from the Smarty Symbols library and the ability to add your own photos.
Language Adventures is a first-of-its-kind app that allows you to engage students in a contextual language intervention experience on your iPad! Through an exciting interface and bright, colorful graphics, students will develop language skills in areas for success in school.
Reading Comprehension Camp – $19.99 – Now only $10.99
Reading Comprehension Camp is a multi-purpose app specifically designed to encourage language growth and reading comprehension. With multiple levels, 50 stories, and the ability to create personal stories this comprehensive app is perfect for students struggling with comprehension.
Appy Hearing and Speech Month to everyone! May is Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM). This is the time we take to celebrate and raise awareness. We celebrate the thousands of speech-language pathologists around the world for their commitment to improve the lives of many. We also celebrate the thousands of parents of children with communication difficulties for their endless and tireless efforts in their children’s communication. Most of all we celebrate and applaud everyone in the path for improving their own communication skills.
This month professionals, parents, and companies must also increase efforts in raising awareness of communication disorders. This year’s BHSM theme is “Communication Disorders are Treatable”. Increasing public awareness about the early signs of communication delays is the first step to providing treatment.
Smarty Ears is committed to participating actively in improving public awareness for communication disorders. We will join these efforts on all of our social media platforms. We plan on organizing contests, app giveaways, sharing information about communications disorders, and making our apps more accessible to everyone.
Smarty Ears has participated on many BHSM campaigns these past few years. Many of you have come to expect an app sale in May, and we won’t disappoint you this year. We have selected eight of our most popular iPad applications to be offered at a reduced price.
Nine of our apps have gone on sale today, April 29th and will remain on sale until 10 P.M. on May 5th, 2014.
Stay tuned on our social media platforms for more information. Make sure to join our Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram ( You will love our Instagram photos). You may also want to share with parents and colleagues that we offer a lot of free materials on our website, including free homework sheets, and certificate templates. Here is the direct link to our materials: http://smartyearsapps.com/materials/
Smarty Ears was a proud sponsor of the 2014 Asha convention in Chicago! The convention hit a record attendance this year and we loved being a part of it. Our apps are loved by many clinicians and their clients and it shows during the convention. We loved attending and getting to hear the feedback from everyone at this year’s Asha convention. Thank you so much for everyone who stopped by our booth to check out some of our latest apps. Check out some of the shots we got during this year’s convention:
Tiffani Wallace enjoying her time at our booth
Lots of interest about our latest apps
Debra Kerner showing off great apps
We were always busy!
We are looking forward to seeing you all again next year!
Award-Winning producer of iPad apps for individuals with communication difficulties updates its iName It app in order to support iOS 7 and add two new languages, Spanish and Portuguese.
Dallas, TX – October 29, 2013 – Smarty Ears is excited to announce that it has updated its app, iName It, adding two new languages: Spanish and Portuguese. iName It was released in 2012 and developed initially for the one million English-speaking people who suffer from forms of Aphasia in the United States. Now, iName It will serve an even bigger population by reaching out to speakers of two additional languages. These individuals are unable to find the right word to describe an item, action or thing.
Since each person is different, creating an app to address everyone’s difficulty level was challenging. Clinicians had to develop a universal approach that would be suitable for all types of users. iName It combines multiple strategies that can assist patients who struggle in a wide variety of areas. The app has been effective at helping patients with different levels of communication.
iName It gives users a simple, systematic way to retrieve just the right word, using realistic visual scenes that are enhanced by the five methods of evidence-based cueing strategies. iName It allows speech therapists to use various combinations of cueing options in order to meet the requirements of each patient, regardless of their level of need. Each target word can be elicited by one or more of the available cues.
iName It is just one of the iPad apps created by certified Speech-Language Pathologists, Elizabeth Begley and Mary Pitti. iName it was developed under the guidance of seasoned app designer, Smarty Ears CEO and also speech-language pathologist Barbara Fernandes. Fernandes’ company, Smarty Ears, has developed over sixty apps for those with various communication difficulties, including children and adults in a variety of languages.
According to Mary Pitti, Clinic Program Director and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at Ithaca College, “We’re excited to making some updates to our iName It app for iPad. By adding Spanish and Portuguese, we can now reach out and provide a tool to thousands more individuals who struggle with Aphasia around the world.”
Fernandes added, “This app has become an essential tool for SLP’s who work with those struggling with Aphasia. We zero in on basic words that people use on a daily basis. We’ve gotten great feedback from Speech-Language Pathologists in Brazil who already use one or more of our 15 apps that are available in Portuguese thus far and many of them urged us to develop a version of iName It for those who speak Portuguese.”
Smarty Ears is an award-winning company with an extensive line of educational and medical apps, many available in multiple-languages and designed to serve as tools for promoting speech and language skills to children and adults. The apps are designed for kids and adults alike and have become a favorite tool for speech pathologists and teachers working with those who have communication difficulties.
Smarty Ears has earned the “Teachers with Apps Certified Developer” certification. This Certification recognizes App Developers who consistently create educational apps for the mobile platform that are exemplary in content, presentation, and execution, as well as overall user experience.
iName It is currently available for $14.99 and can be purchased from the iTunes app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iname-it/id486781414?mt=8. The app is compatible with an iPad running iOS 5.1 or above.
You can watch a video to learn more about iName it here:
For more information about Smarty Ears or iName It, please visit smartyearsapps.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Smarty Ears
Smarty Ears is an award-winning developer of educational iPad apps for children and adults. Each app is designed to educate students while making the learning experience fun and entertaining. All apps are developed by certified speech-language pathologists & teachers with years of experience and training. Smarty Ears was founded in 2009 by Barbara Fernandes, a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and was the first company to create apps geared towards speech and language therapy for mobile devices.
We have just released our latest version of Articulate it! Our best selling articulation app has never failed to impress parents, speech-language pathologists and children, but are you truly ready for what it offers on its version 3.5? Let’s take a look at all the great new features of this already fantastic app:
1. Generate and print certificates of mastery of articulation skills directly from the Articulate it!
It is very easy to generate the certificates:
Tap on Reports
Select the student
Tap on generate certificate
Select which sound, position, and level the student has mastered and tap “generate”.
You can air print, send certificate to iBooks, or email a pdf file to yourself or to the parents. They will just love hearing the news!
2. Over 160 built-in homework sheets for you to print or share via email with parents
You can access the homework files directly from your iPad without the need for wi-fi connection.
3. See data tracking results directly on the screen with percentages and fractions
You have asked us to display not only the percentages but also the fractions. You got it!
4. Export all students’ results at the same to the FREE app Therapy Report Center
If you already use TRC ( Therapy Report Center) you know that this is an incredible time saving application for teachers and speech-language pathologists. If you don’t know about TRC yet, make sure to download it today. In the past, you had to export students one by one to TRC, now you can tap one button and export all the results from all children from Articulate it to TRC. Amazing right?
The Therapy Report Center also now generates a graph with detailed information about your caseload and app usage.
What are you thoughts on our latest update to Articulate it? If you love it, please take a few minutes to comment and leave us some feedback. This is the only way we have to know where to go next! Thanks to everyone who participated on the beta-testing of Articulate it 3.5
Award-Winning producer of iPad apps for those with learning disabilities launches its newest app, Sentence Ninja. Sentence Ninja is designed to help children and adults improve their English sentence structure skills.
Desoto, TX – October 5, 2013 – Smarty Ears is pleased to announce the release of its newest educational app, “Sentence Ninja”. This app was authored by Rosie Simms and designed by Barbara Fernandes, two speech-language pathologists and it was designed to teach how to correctly build phrases and sentences in the English language.
The app is a multi-level, multi-player game that combines the latest iPad app features with today’s best understanding of how to teach English language word order on simple phrases all the way to complex sentences. Sentence Ninja uses the creative and fun Ninja theme and includes numerous features and the flexibility to teach both kids and adults how to combine words and produce grammatically correct sentences. Sentence Ninja was created as an educational tool to be used by those who are trying to learn English or by children with grammatical difficulties or recent stroke victims.
Smarty Ears is an award-winning company that is well-known for its extensive family of educational apps that promote speech and language skills in children and adults alike. The apps are often used by speech pathologists, teachers who work with special needs students, homeschooling parents, or people who are learning English as a second language.
Smarty Ears has earned the “Teachers with Apps Certified Developer” certification. This Certification recognizes App Developers who consistently develop educational apps for the mobile platform that are exemplary in content, presentation, and execution, as well as overall user experience.
App designer and Smarty Ears founder, Barbara Fernandes, had this to say, “We are so pleased with our latest educational app and have already received very positive feedback from users. Kids, educators and parents are finding Sentence Ninja fun and easy to use. It is a great tool for individuals of all ages who need some help learning about sentence structure. Sentence Ninja is, in my opinion, one of Smarty Ears’ best productions yet!”
Sentence Ninja uses a delightful Ninja theme to engage individuals as they learn correct word order in sentences. The iPad app is easy to customize, and adaptable enough to adjust to meet everyone’s learning levels. There are 39 difficulty levels that range from simple two-word phrases to complex sentences. The app teaches and reinforces grammar rules in the English language.
A playful Ninja figure walks across stepping stones as players move from one level to the next. With each turn, words are displayed on pieces of paper. The player drags these words to a line at the bottom of the screen to form a complete sentence. If the sentence is not correct, the words return to their position and the student can try again. When a session is completed, a simple tap on the done button takes the user to a reports center where the student’s progress is shown. Users can generate certificates and win awards as they move through the levels.
About Smarty Ears Smarty Ears is an award-winning developer of educational iPad apps for children and adults. Each app is designed to educate students while making the learning experience fun and entertaining. All apps are developed by certified speech-language pathologists & teachers with years of experience and training. Smarty Ears was founded in 2009 by Barbara Fernandes, a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and was the first company to create apps geared towards speech and language therapy for mobile devices.
For more information, please visit: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/sentence-ninja/
Media Contact: Jonathan Fernandes Contact @ smartyears . com Smarty Ears De Soto, TX
This is our second giveaway, and we really like doing it! This week we have two great apps to giveaway: Articulate it & Apraxia Ville. These are essential tools to your practice and we will be doing a giveaway.
Here is a little bit about these apps:
Apraxia Ville is a unique application created specifically to help children with childhood apraxia of speech and severe speech-sound disorders. With multiple levels, both vowel and consonant targets, and the ability to create custom words, Apraxia Ville is perfect for those students struggling with sound production. Designed by certified speech-language pathologists, Apraxia Ville provides video modeling of consonants and vowels, word targets by syllable structure (CV, VC, CVC, CVCV, CCVC, etc…), customization of targets, and progress monitoring making it perfect for use by SLPs, special educators, and parents alike.
Articulate it! is an application designed by a certified speech-language pathologist for the iPhone and the iPad to help children practice their pronunciation skills. Articulate it! has been nominated for several awards, and mentioned as ” every speech therapists’ favorite and best” articulation application on the market. This app was designed to allows speech therapists and parents work towards improving the speech of children with speech delays.
We know that you have your caseload (almost) all figured out by now. We also know that articulation and phonology are one of the most common cases on your caseload and we want to give you a little help. Regardless of whether or not you already own another articulation app, you know that kids get bored and need a variety of activities to help them improve their articulation skills. We wanted to give you a little incentive to try two of our best selling apps: Articulate it! and Articulation Scenes.
Here is a little bit about these apps:
Articulate it! is certified by The REMLE Project to adhere to evidence-based practices and, based on the results of the study, effective in treatment of the triad of impairments. The easy data collection provided by Articulate it! encourages use with RTI.
Articulate it! is an application designed by a certified speech-language pathologist for the iPhone and the iPad to help children practice their pronunciation skills. Articulate it! has been nominated for several awards, and mentioned as ” every speech therapists’ favorite and best” articulation application on the market. This app was designed to allows speech therapists and parents work towards improving the speech of children with speech delays.
Articulate it! contains over one thousand images in all sounds of the English language at the word and phrase level. Articulate it! includes all the phonemes as well as the /r/ , /s/, and / l / clusters as a separate option to choose from during practice.
“I can’t say enough good things about the app. It is truly good articulation therapy at your fingertips!” by 1SuperSLP – Jun 27, 2012
“This app worked so well with my artic group! I liked how they could each be working on a different sound. They loved recording their speech and listening to it. We each rated how they did. I like the feature for keeping data too. This is a must have app!“ by Jenash789 – Jun 25, 2012
“This app has it all! All speech sounds in all positions of words and phrases. I work with low functioning students at the middle and high school levels and my students love this app. They love recording their voices and comparing their pronunciations with the app. I love the data collection capability! It’s a win-win for all of us.“ by SLPM – Jun 25, 2012
Articulation Scenes brings articulation practice to a whole new level! This app, developed and designed by a certified speech language pathologist allows children to practice their sounds with a variety of engaging and fun activities centered around the cinema theme. Based on scenes, Articulation Scenes provides numerous opportunities for children to pronounce their sounds more clearly. All activities were beautifully designed around the theme of cinema and movies for a fun and interesting learning activity.
Articulation Scenes comes with 72 stunning built-in scenes and over 1200 practice words. Each scene contains 4 separate activities:
1.Find the hidden items: Allows children the opportunities to listen to targeted words and find them on each scene.
2.Tap and say it: Children tap on the items on the scene, which are isolated allowing the therapist to track and monitor their productions.
3.The movie theater: Children get the opportunity to listen to a story using the target words.
4.The production room: This is the activity that allows children to either create their own stories, record them and continue to practice.
Articulation Scenes includes all consonants in the English language:
[ p, m , h, w, n, b, d, y, t, k , g, ng, f, ch, j , l , r, v, s, z, sh, th]
It is that time again! How about using Smarty Ears screening & assessment apps to make your back to school days much easier and less stressful? Smarty Ears has a collection of screening and assessment apps that are perfect for the first few weeks of school. Learn more about them by watching video tutorials or reading the reviews done by professionals using these amazing tools. Check out our apps on sale until August 19th, 2013:
Description: This app is designed to help you document all observations and considerations essential to an assistive technology evaluation. ATEval2Go transfers the recording functions accomplished by paper, heavy computer equipment and other devices to the portable and easy-to-use iPad interface.
Description: The Common Core Early Language Screener (CCELS) is a screening tool used to identify weaknesses in early language skills. The CCELS was designed to be used with Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten aged children; however, the screener can be used for other groups if needed. The skills assessed on the CCELS vary depending on the grade level choice selected by the evaluator.
Description: Basic Concepts Skill Screener (BCSS) is a quick, motivational screening tool created to help assess the basic concept skills in children. Designed by certified speech-language pathologists, BCSS uses technology to engage clients while assessing their school readiness skills. Perfect for all levels from preschool to early elementary, BCSS assesses the concept skills needed for pre-reading and math skills. The Basic Concepts Skills Screener is sure to be a great app for the busy speech-language pathologist, teacher, parent, or caregiver. Available in Portuguese & English
Description: The Bilingual Articulation and Phonology Assessment (BAPA) was developed for the purpose of assess-ing the articulatory and phonological abilities of Spanish-speaking and bilingual (English-Spanish) children. Best practices for assessment of speech sound disorders for bilingual children recommends an as-sessment of all languages spoken by the child. Through assessing both languages, one can more easily rule out or explain second-language influences and can describe errors observed in both languages as well as those errors specific to each language.
Description: Dysphagia2Go guides you through the evaluation process with reminders to assess medications, cranial nerves and all the areas on which any good dysphagia evaluation should focus. This app provides a thorough evaluation report template developed by speech pathologists who have drawn upon their experience in varied settings to provide extensive opportunities to record chart reviews, assessment data, and recommendations in a single document, which can then be printed or e-mailed directly from the user’s iPad. ( Soon available in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian)
Sunny Articulation Phonology Test (Everyone’s favorite)
Description: The Sunny Articulation and Phonology Test can be used to identify articulation errors patterns in children as well as adults. The Sunny Articulation Phonology Test (SAPT) is an individually administered clinical tool for screening, identification, diagnosis and follow-up evaluation of articulation skills in English speaking individuals.
Description: The Profile of Phonological Awareness (Pro-PA) was developed for the purpose of evaluating and describing the phonological awareness skills of children. This evaluation can be considered as part of a full speech, language, and/or literacy evaluation or can be stand alone.
Description: The easiest, cheapest and most advanced way to track your %SS (Percentage of stuttered syllables).The Disfluency Index Counter app allows Speech and Language Therapists to perform a live count of the number of fluent or disfluent syllables. This application comes with two styles of counters: A simple and an advanced counter.
Description: In the past, when you downloaded a new Smarty Ears app you would have to add each student to the app, one by one. Now with the TRC, you enter your students on TRC only once and export all of the students at the same time to each newly downloaded or existing Smarty Ears app. This makes the process of adding students one by one to many apps a simple two-step process. In the past, if you owned 10 Smarty Ears apps, and had 40 students on your caseload, you would have to repeat the process of adding students 400 times. The TRC saves time and makes the use of the iPad even more efficient.
Howdy everyone! As I present on topics such as the use of iPad and apps for promoting speech and language services, I always emphasize the importance of reading app reviews and watching app video tutorials before making a choice on an app purchase. While we love what we do, and we work hard to try to spread the word about the apps we create, we rely on bloggers to inform you guys about their thoughts and opinions about our apps. We all agree that the five screenshots and the short description on iTunes most times cannot tell us much about an app.
Smarty Ears is very fortunate to count on various bloggers to review, and write their thoughts on our apps. We love our Smarty bloggers! They do it all free of charge for your benefit! It like a “read before you buy” kinda of service that benefits the entire community of parents and professionals. So in that spirit, we wanted to take the time to thank our Smarty bloggers and also start a campaign called “Nominate your favorite Smarty blogger“.
Here is how it will work:
If you follow a blog who reviews and evaluates apps and love what they write about, have learned about an app that your purchased in the past or know of a blogger you would LOVE to hear their opinion about our apps let us know. Fill out the form below and let us know your thoughts, we will compile a list of comments and share with our blogger friends so they know their work is being appreciated by everyone. The blogger that receives the most votes will receive the a Smarty Ears t-shirt as our appreciation gift. Voting will end on August 7th, 2013.
Here at Smarty Ears we value our “blog friends” and we can only thank them for their support and feedback on one or many of our apps. I know that they spend a considerable amount of time playing with the app or even using the app with children before they post their feedback. This is the time you can write about how much you appreciate the work they do reviewing apps for you, providing creative app ideas and letting everyone know how good (or bad) the app is.
Smarty Ears CEO
We have winner!!! Congratulations to Carrie Speech Corner!
The iPad has been a bit hit among children and adults, and for a couple of years it has been used to help individuals with autism to communicate and learn. Now, the iPad is also being used to help elderly individuals who suffer from reading difficulties due to a stroke or other neurological pathologies.
A stroke can leave individuals with a language disorder called aphasia. Aphasia can impact a person’s ability to understand written and spoken language. Alzheimer’s disease can also be the source of a person’s difficulty to read and write correctly. These individuals can receive speech-language services, which is designed to re-habilitate their language skills.
A speech-language pathologist, Barbara Fernandes, created an application for the iPad called Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit that is helping adults to recover reading skills. The application is currently available in two languages: English and Brazilian Portuguese. There are plans to translate this application to other languages in the future such as Spanish and French.
The Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit application, also known as “Afasia Pro” in Portuguese, targets improving reading skills for adults with reading difficulties. The Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit integrates six state-of-the-art reading activities at the word and phrase levels all specifically crafted to promote success in reading rehabilitation. The application contains hundreds of words, organized into semantic categories to facilitate its use.
A video demo of the application can be seen here:
The application displays a series of words and images that must be matched by the user. One of the activities requires the user to look at a picture, read a question and answer multiple-choice questions. The app also promotes writing with one activity that allows users to combine words to create short phrases.
This is a step forward into the future, where family members can take an active role on helping their parents, or grandparents who suffered a stroke to re-gain reading skills by using the application at home. Part of the treatment for stroke victims was to promote reading at home, and this application can serve as a great practice activity with monitoring at home.
For more information visit the Smarty Ears Website www.smartyearsapps.com
Smarty Ears has been creating apps for speech therapists, teacher and children with special needs for the last 4 years. We have appreciated all the support we have received from everyone. We have had a very active advisory board since 2011. The advisory board is a group of approximately 10 individuals who collaborate, provide feedback and participate on active discussions on future and existing Smarty Ears apps. Over the last two years, we had a couple members move on to a busier schedule and we are wanting to add two new members to our advisory board. If you are interested in becoming part of our family please continue reading this call for applications:
The advisory committee acts as a group that will help with decisions we make about the apps we create. We want to hear what you guys need, so we can continue to improve our products. We want to hear from everyone: Parents, teachers and Speech Pathologists. If you are selected you will be asked to join our Facebook.com private group, where all discussions will take place.
1. Must own an iPad
2. Must own at least three Smarty Ears apps
3. Must be a teacher, SLPs, parent, or person involved in the app community
4. Must have a Facebook.com account
5. You may not apply if you already participated on the advisory board in the past
6. You may not apply if you have developed an app with another company
What will be expected from you:
1. Vote on decision we will ask such as your favorite icon for our next apps, suggestions for promoting specific apps, suggestion for updates, etc…
2. Share a photo and a Bio to be posted on our website as a member of our advisory board,
4. Participate on beta-testing of an app before the app goes on sale on iTunes and provide feedback
5. Anything else you want to help us with
This does not represent any form of employment association with Smarty Ears. You will be referred to as a member of our Advisory committee board.
What will you gain from it:
1. You will get to learn about our upcoming app releases before anyone does
2. You will be able to put this on your resume as a member of an advisory committee
3. You will receive a FREE copy for personal user of ALL Smarty Ears apps – one per month, or when new releases come
4. You will be mentioned on our website when your Bio and photo are posted
We hope you contact us if you are interested. You can use our contact us page to send your message. Please let us know why you are interested, and what you can bring to the table in helping Speech Therapy and educational apps better.
Smarty Ears is pleased to announce that it has earned the “Teachers with Apps certified developer” certification. Smarty Ears is part of the original 15 developers to receive this honor.
“This Certification was designed to recognize and applaud App Developers who have consistently brought education apps to the mobile platform that are exemplary in content, presentation, and execution, as well as overall user experience. These distinguished developers have created four or more apps that meet our high standards and criteria.”
This is a great honor to be bestowed upon Smarty Ears as it an award than not only recognizes our dedication to producing quality educational apps, but it also recognizes the unique consistent quality in our apps that our customers have grown to expect from the Smarty Ears’ brand.
We hope you are enjoying your summer time! Many of you are away from the kids and already miss them, don’t you? Some of you don’t get any break during the summer. Some of you are parents and are enjoying the extra time with your kids. The summer is a month for renewal at Smarty Ears headquarters. We spend a lot of time planning for new apps that will be released in the fall, and also we spend a great amount of time updating our existing apps based on the many emails you receive from our customers. While we prepare for our new year, we want to give you a chance to start thinking about new exciting apps for your students and children by offering you our best sales of the year: The Smarty Ears Summer sale 2013.
We have offered 10 of our 55 apps to you for one week for $4.99 each! We have never reduced the price of our apps so much! You will probably not see these prices again until next summer. So, we invite you to check out our apps, read the reviews, read the descriptions, watch the video tutorials and go on a shopping spree this week.
At Smarty Ears, we wanted to also take this moment to thank all of you for your support for the last 4 years. We have loved every minute and interaction we have had with our customers and the feedback we have received from parents and clinicians alike.
As you know, these sales will not be extended and cannot be given on an individual basis after July 21st.
Lastly we would like to ask that you share these great news with your friends and other parents whose children will benefit greatly from these apps!
Have an appy Summer & here are the apps on sale this week:
Go Togethers – $4.99
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. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/go-togethers/id511881567?mt=8
Describe it to me – $4.99
Describe it To Me is a fun, multi-level game, created to help improve the receptive and expressive language skills in children and adults. Designed by a certified speech-language pathologist, Describe it To Me employs a game show atmosphere to engage clients in their learning while incorporating a variety of questions designed to help clients build a deeper understanding of everyday items. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/describe-it-to-me/id664655041?mt=8
Categories Learning Center – $4.99
Categories Learning Center is a multi-level, multi-player application designed by Speech-Language Pathologists to improve language comprehension for individuals of all age groups. Categories Learning Center is based on research surrounding language development and language processing in children; however, categorization skills may prove useful for individuals of all ages with word finding, memory, and reading comprehension difficulties. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/categories-learning-center/id496646536?mt=8
iPractice Verbs – $4.99
iPractice verbs 2.0 is a fun and easy way to learn and practice basic English verbs. With over 120 verbs in present, present progressive, and past tense with corresponding high quality images and audio (totaling to almost 1000 stimuli) practicing verbs has never been so easy or intuitive. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ipractice-verbs/id356668882?mt=8
WhQuestions – $4.99
This application was designed so that parents and speech therapists can have a more interesting and motivating tool to help children learn how to answer questions. WhQuestions features 400 questions in a variety of formats.This application was designed by a speech and language therapist to help your child succeed! Not only will you have a variety of questions at your fingertips, but also an interactive tool that allows your child to touch on the appropriate answer. After the presentation of 10 questions “WhQuestions” will show the percentage of accuracy, so you can keep track of your child’s progress. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/whquestions/id348905092?mt=8
Preposition Remix- $4.99
Prepositions Remix was designed in order to help children learn prepositions while playing and having fun. Preposition Remix is a highly interactive way to help children learn their prepositions by choosing the correct picture in a pool that relates to the appropriate preposition. Prepositions Remix provides practice with 20 of the most commons propositions in English. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/preposition-remix/id418788789?mt=8
Fun & Functional- $4.99
Fun & Functional is an application developed by author and Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Rosie Simms to improve language comprehension and expression in individuals of all age groups. The ability to identify and describe the function or use of real-world objects is a key language and life skill. Fun & Functional provides SLPs, parents and others with a tool to develop categorization and descriptive skills by interacting with pictures and audio. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fun-functional/id498640017?mt=8
Social Quest – $4.99
Social Quest is an application developed by Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Rosie Simms to improve pragmatic language comprehension and expression in a variety of social situations for older elementary, middle school, and high school-aged populations. The app utilizes a problem-solving quest theme in which students navigate various locations and earn “rewards” linked to social competencies. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/social-quest/id556089006?mt=8
Adjective Remix- $4.99
This application was designed to be used by parents, teachers, special educators or speech language pathologists. It is possible to play the activity with only one or multiple children. Adjective Remix will analyze the data and track progress, which can be emailed or printed. In order to more effectively teach this concept we have segmented the adjectives into 8 major categories. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/adjective-remix/id533921131?mt=8
Syllable Splash- $4.99
Syllable Splash is a fun and engaging way to teach children the important skill of syllable segmentation. A multiplayer app designed with younger children in mind, Syllable Splash is colorful, fun, and easily adapted to the child’s zone of proximal development. With nearly 1000 images and words from one to four syllables in length, Syllable Splash is sure to provide many opportunities for learning this fundamental skill while the fun under-the-sea theme helps keep the child engaged. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/syllables-splash/id625296207?mt=8
Since 2009, we have been the leader in app development for speech therapists and children with speech and language delays. May is better hearing and speech month, and we want to give everyone a chance to use our apps and discover why Smarty Ears is speech therapists’s favorite app development company. Several of our apps are on sale until 5/12/2013. Make sure to take advantage of it before it is too late:
Smarty Ears Apps is proud to be the developer of the week at www.appabled.com for the week of February 11, 2013. As developer of the week, there will be an app featured each day. The featured app will be price reduced and www.appabled.com will be hosting a giveaway (or two).
For those of you unfamiliar with www.appabled.com, it is a website specifically designed to help parents and teachers find apps designed to help children with special needs. AppAbled is run by parents for parents. Based around the world (Australia, Ireland, US), AppAbled offers a unique perspective to providing app reviews and showcasing the developers with the vision to create the apps utilized and needed by so many.
As the featured developer of the week, Smarty Ears will be showcasing several of their most popular apps, a different app each day. The apps will be on sale for a limited time.
Articulation Scenes is the newest articulation app by Smarty Ears. Based around a movie theme, Articulation Scenes provides numerous opportunities for children to practice their sound production. With over 1200 practice words, 72 built-in scenes, and four activities for every scene, Articulation Scenes will intrigue children of all ages. Skills targeted include auditory bombardment, single-word production, and sentences/story production. Original price $29.99 – featured price $19.99.
Custom Boards was designed to serve as a board and activity creator for SLPs, teachers, special educators, and parents of children with special needs. With over 11,000 built in symbols and the ability to import photos, Custom Boards allows for the easy creation of activities, signs, worksheets, schedules, and templates for communication devices. Custom Boards allows saving of individual templates into folders which are able to be organized by student. In addition, Custom Boards is one of the few apps that can save templates to your computer based iTunes account as a PDF. Original Price $39.99 – featured price $29.99.
Language Adventures is a unique app designed specifically to work on higher order language skills such as Antonyms/Synonyms, Categories, Inferencing, Multiple Meaning Words, and WH Questions. Language adventures is a multi-user app featuring built-in board games, multiple levels, and a variety of complex language skills designed to assist children in developing and strengthening word connections. Original Price $21.99 – featured price $14.99
The Profile of Phonological Awareness (Pro-PA) was developed specifically for evaluating and describing the phonological awareness skills of children. Using Pro-PA allows educators and clinicians to identify early reading difficulties in children. Pro-PA offers customization of sections administered, color-coded scores, and the ability to print or email results immediately. With Pro-PA early identification and progress monitoring has never been easier. Original price $29.99 – Featured Price $14.99
Thank you AppAbled for selecting Smarty Ears Apps to be a featured developer!
Smarty Ears newest app, Language Empire for iPad, has just been released! I was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to review it. As always, I watched the video tutorial. This is helpful in guiding you through the steps to set up student profiles, identify and use settings, and how to start playing.
There is a quick play option, but with quick play you do not keep data.
You can choose up to 5 players!
You set up student profiles by putting in their names and then having them choose an avatar ( there are many cute themed ones ) or a photograph to represent themselves. On this screen you can also choose which settings you want. One of the options is that you can have questions written and read to the student, or just read to the student with no text display. One of the features I liked was being able to choose if there should be a ‘buzz’ sound or if the choice should just disappear when a student answers incorrectly. I have some students who are very sensitive and hearing a buzz sound when they answer incorrectly can be a bit upsetting. When you choose these settings however, they are for everyone, not individual students.
The students you select then appear at the bottom of the screen. You drag the students picture to the desired Empire. There are 8 to choose from: Predicting, Inferencing, Sequencing, Figurative Language, Which, Why, How, and Vocabulary ( Phew, that’s a lot! ). The aspect that I loved, was that you can have a student work on multiple areas in the same session. You are able to re-select these areas each session to accommodate the targeted goals for the day.
For certain areas you to choose a level of difficulty. This allows you to increase the level of difficulty as students progress.
Here are some screen shots of each area. Labels for the targeted area are located at the top of the screen.
As reinforcement incentives, students can earn trophies that are themed to match the different Empires. As they collect trophies ( there are quite a few ), they will appear in the students trophy case.
When your finished playing you can allow students to see the trophies in there case or you can view their results.
Results are displayed in a graph ( WOOHOO! ) and as a percentage for the areas targeted. You can share, print, or email these if you need. I like using this feature to print the information for IEPs so that parents have a visual of their students progress.
So to wrap it up…
Pros: This app covers 8 areas that students frequently have goals for. I was very excited to see targets for How and Why, as there are not many materials that focus on these areas. The questions are made applicable to real life, which I feel is helpful for students are more ‘black and white’ thinkers . You are able to use this app in groups as large as five, as well as, target multiple areas per student/ per session. This app allows you to choose to have questions be delivered in a written/verbal or strictly verbal form. This is nice for students who are working on listening comprehension. I like the reinforcement of collecting trophies as a motivator. I can see my students trying to see who can fill up their trophy case first. Finally, it keeps track of data and displays it in a graph form.
Cons: Sometimes the graphics can be a bit busy, which may distract some students at times. Also, while the aspect of having the questions read to the student is great, I wish the answers could be read too. It can be a bit challenging reading upside down at a table for my students who are struggling readers.
Language Empires – TOP Learning Apps for Communication and English Language Arts Skills
Language Empires by Smarty Ears is a massive app focused on teaching students about a variety of communication skills. From answering basic questions to more in depth reading tasks, the app covers many different topics in a unique way. As a teaching tool, I can easily see this being a top pick for educators.
Language Empires is an enormously in-depth experience, providing students with a huge variety of skills to practice. Developed by speech language pathologists, this app showcases a wide range of communication tasks. Using eight ancient civilizations as the map for these skills, players explore the realms of Which, How, and Why questions, as well as Predicting, Inferencing, Figurative Language, Sequencing, and Vocabulary.
Parents and teachers begin by creating files for students who use the program. By choosing an image or avatar and customizing student profiles, adults can hand pick which tasks students should focus on. Simply drop a player into any or all of the civilizations for practice. When users are finished, teachers can access score reports to check on the percentage of correct answers, as well as a graph of overall performance. Sharing results is easy with options to open in a variety of programs and formats including mail or print.
The program is similar for each of the eight civilizations. Players are read aloud short scenarios and asked a question related to whichever skill they are working on. Users select one of three choices. A note here that while the question is read aloud, the answer choices are not. Most answers choices are at an upper elementary reading level.
What Fun Educational Apps Liked
Language Empires earned a top pick status for educators, not just because of its enormous size but for the depth of skills available for practice. How, Which, and Why questions are by far the hardest type of question to answer. Giving students a place to practice these is genius. The other skills covered are also all essential skills, and honestly, I’ve not seen any apps dealing with inferencing or predicting. Having the Figurative Language, Vocabulary, and Sequencing all in the same app just makes a teacher’s life a little easier! The level of question is of moderate rigor, making the app appropriate for upper elementary students. All of the different skills come with 2 or 3 levels (customizable on the main map), except Figurative Language and How questions. Additionally, the ability to track and monitor student accuracy is a boon to any parent or teacher. It holds students accountable for their progress by giving adults a chance to assess independent practice.
A Note to the Developer – I would love to see the app offer an option for the answer choices to be read aloud as well. I teach low level readers and without the ability to read the answer choices, the app becomes dependent on a teacher to assist the student. I’d love to have this app be completely independent.
Overall, this app has a ton to offer teachers and parents looking to increase student communication and English Language Arts skills. The questions are challenging, the interface easy to use and engaging, and the sheer wealth of skills impressive. I’ve already introduced this one to my students and they are loving it!
Language Empires is available for download via the iTunes App Store – iPad and iPad Mini app
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, a special education teacher, and a technology coach. She is a self proclaimed nerd with a passion for incorporating technology into education and you read her findings at The iLesson Lady
I was just notified of a new app from Smarty Ears called Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit. I was fortunate enough to be provided with a copy to check out and try so I can share it with all of you! This app was designed for those working with adults but I can see how it can easily be adapted for working with school aged students. Keep reading to learn more about this $9.99 app:
This app was created by a Speech-Language Pathologist and includes 6 different activities. It automatically links up with the Therapy Report Center application. You can chose to use the “quick start” or pick a student/client from the list you have generated so you can track the data.
The 6 activities:
1.Word-Images match: In this activity, the app provides your student or client with a word and an image. They must match accordingly using their phonics and reading skills. Then students have the opportunity to read and record their responses and rate their reading skills.
2.Image-Words match: This activity is the reverse of the above. Students/clients are provided with an image and they must select the correct word using their reading skills. Again, you can record the production of the word. This is great for articulation, self-correction, and extra practice.
3.Phrase-Images match: This activity provides users with one phrase and they must identify the corresponding image. Just like the other activities, again they can record their responses after they have selected the appropriate image.
4.Image-Phrases match: This activity is the reverse of the above. They are provided with an image and they must select from choices the appropriate phrase.
5.Read & Answer: Users must attempt to read simple questions and answer based on the provided scenes. This works on answering questions and reading comprehension.
6.Phrase Building: This activity shows an image and three words. Students/clients must read the words and understand how to put them together to produce a short phrase. This activity requires a variety of skills and is the highest level of them all. Once they have moved them into the appropriate phrase placement, they can practice reading it out loud and record it.
Skills this app works on:
Self-monitoring and self-correction
I don’t currently work with adults but I can see how this app would be great for those working with adults with aphasia.
Last but not least, this app does collect data and generates score reports.
by Rick Waters ’95
Updated: Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Barbara Fernandes ’08 MA is the founder and CEO of Smarty Ears apps, an industry leader in speech therapy and assistive technology. (Photo by Carolyn Cruz)
Barbara Fernandes ’08 MA still calls it the “a-ha moment.”
In fall 2008, she was a first-year speech pathologist and language evaluator for the Irving school district, the only bilingual therapist in the district, when she met Michael, a 5-year-old preschooler who had not spoken at school in his first two months. His teacher suspected autism.
Fernandes knew the boy liked cars and trains, but he had little interest in talking or looking at flashcards with her. He did, however, think her mobile phone was a toy with which he could entertain himself.
Rather than put the device away, Fernandes did a search for “transportation,” downloaded some images of various vehicles and handed over her iPhone.
“Boat,” the boy whispered. “Plane.”
His voice grew louder and more assured.
“He just began naming them. I was just trying to get him to speak, for him to say a word, and this unlocked him,” she said. “I never expected to have that kind of immediate response.”
The iPhone was less than a year old then, but Fernandes realized paper flashcards were an ancient technology and mobile devices had worlds of possibility with images and sound and animation.
A technophile growing up in Brazil, Fernandes tinkered with her own website growing up and had come to the United States to study assistive technology, but now she had a vision for how it could be used in schools and homes with children with disabilities and their parents.
In fall 2009, she published her first app under the name Smarty Ears. It featured the entire phonetic alphabet with corresponding sounds, words and images for each letter or blend. She took it to conferences and got a lukewarm response.
“Most people were very resistant at first, but some were really intrigued,” she said. “I was surprised it wasn’t 100 percent.”
But families loved it. What used to be a frustrating daily practice was now being seen as play.
As word-of-mouth spread to practitioners and they tried it, the app began selling fast. By then, Fernandes was about to release her second app — on conjugating verbs — and had four more in the works.
In the spring of 2010, Apple released the iPad and Smarty Ears “really took off,” she said.
“It pushed me to make my old apps better,” she said. “The tablet is really the ideal size for working with children.”
Now, Fernandes has 60 apps in English, Spanish and her native Portuguese and is considered a pioneer in the speech therapy industry. Ranging in cost from $1.99 to $49.99, Smarty Ears apps are the No. 1 brand with more than 150,000 downloads and are used in more than 40 countries, covering language development, articulation, autism, aphasia and voice disorders.
Fernandes and her husband Jonathan, a former English teacher who now helps craft the curriculum, employ six programmers, illustrators and interface designers. Smarty Ears has published 26 authors in nearly every practice within speech pathology and language evaluation. The company also has an 11-member advisory board of experts, parents and teachers.
Those first Smarty Ears apps seem primitive compared to the ones the company makes now, which include games, stories and animation that rival computer games and Saturday morning cartoons. Voice recording and camera technology also soup up the experience, allowing students to listen and watch their own mouths form phonics and sounds. There are also sophisticated reporting components built in, which track students’ scores and allow speech therapists to monitor progress.
Now, Fernandes is a highly sought speaker at conferences and is considered an expert in assistive technology.
“I have people come up to me now who just want to shake my hand or take a picture with me like I am some personality,” she said. “It’s gratifying to see the impact this is having.”
As you download the Therapy Report Center the first thing you must do is to add your students ONE by ONE. There is no easy way out of this step, this is a MUST do. However, this is the last time you will do this step! It took me a few minutes to enter 22 students on TRC.
After you are done entering ALL your students you are ready to start taking advantage of the features of TRC. However, if you already own Smarty Ears apps, you must be careful on how to use this application to avoid deleting data accidentally.
There are two main functions on TRC that you will start using after you add your students:
If you have a brand new Smarty Ears app or if you have an app that you do not have any data built in yet and you would like to automatically add all the students into that app you can just tap on “ export students” and select the students to export to the app:
Within a few seconds you have your brand new app ready to go with all the students:
If you have an Smarty Ears app that already has all the students entered on it, you DO NOT have to export the students from TRC on to the app. That step was already completed by you manually so there is no need for you to do it again. Save the joy of doing this for when you download a new Smarty Ears app.
Exporting students FROM TRC to Smarty Ears app is a step ONLY needed if you have a brand new app.
2. Exporting data from all apps to TRC:
If you already own Smarty Ears apps and have data on those apps that you do NOT want to lose, you should NOT export students FROM TRC to the app. The exporting students from TRC and importing data to each student functions are NOT related to each other.
Once you have data from any student from any compatible Smarty Ears app, all you have to do is to export the results from the app on to TRC.
Let’s use the example here of Language Empires:
You can see I have the data from Ben Aflik and all I have to do now is to export the date obtained with Language Empires on to TRC:
Once TRC is loaded you get to pick the student you want to place that data on to. Technically you could just place that data anywhere, under any student. TRC does not know where that data came from- all it knows is what you tell it to do: You must tell it to copy this data on to the correct student. Therefore, it did not matter how you got that student on Language Empires at first place. All it matters is that now you have the data from Language Empires organized on TRC with all the other possible data you might have imported to that student:
Once the data from Language Empires is placed on TRC this is how it should look like:
After you have imported the data from Language Empires once, you can now import data for this student from any other compatible app! Happy TRC use!
A huge collection of apps to kickstart your iTunes library!
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I am always looking for ways to make articulation practice fun. Picture cards and worksheets work but if I get bored then I know the kids are too. I found that using hidden pictures is a way to work on targeted sounds with a fun twist. Now this app from Smarty Ears brings this twist to my iPad along with more options to spice up articulation therapy.
This is how I use this app in a traditional articulation session with a few twists included.
Find the hidden items:
* Touch each word and find it in the scene
* Touch a picture and say the word or make up a sentence
* TWIST: set a timer and see how many items you can find AND say correctly
Tap and say it:
* Touch each word and record your voice
* Touch each word and record a sentence
* TWIST: Create a silly sentence by using 2 or more pictures in the scene
The Movie Theater:
* Listen to the story and read the script and record it
* Create your own story and record it
* TWIST: Select create your own story and record it BUT don’t let anyone hear you…yet! When you are finished have others listen and see how many items in the picture they heard in your story.
The Production Room:
* This area allows for generalization of correct sounds.
* Create and record your story or use the provided scripts.
* TWIST: Record your story but leave out the target sound words and have the others guess what word fits the best from the scene. Example for R blends scene: One day I rode on a blank to the beach (train). I sat in my chair and ate blank (grapes). My blank (friends) played in the sand. Suddenly a blank (dragon) flew over us and we ran to the castle. (You could say blank or toot a horn, bell etc.)
Now I always use apps in as many ways as possible and this app is no exception. I can use this in my language and fluency sessions too. Here are some more “twisted” ideas to try.
* Use the scenes to practice easy speech in words
* Practice easy speech in sentences and stories
* Recording helps the student to identify stuttering and easy speech patterns
* Use the scenes to work on syntax- he, she, they, is, are, etc.
* Give clues describing an item in the scene and have others guess- I spy…
* Work on positional concepts and find items between, next to, on, etc.
* Use scenes to work on creating questions: Where is the ball? Who is walking? What is purple?
* Work on sequencing by creating a story for a scene with a beginning, middle and ending
Oh and don’t forget the homework documents! You can send them home as traditional practice sheets for words or “twist” it up and put directions for creating stories or other ideas that I have listed above.
DALLAS, TX (May 4, 2012) – Award-winning educational mobile app company, Smarty Ears has released four innovative educational apps, Fun and Functional, Categories Learning Center, Go-Together, and Learning Adventures, that were designed to effectively aid in improving children’s language and speech communication skills. In addition, the apps enable teachers, parents, and speech therapists to utilize these convenient tools to enhance their sessions and tailor each treatment for each student’s specific needs.
Designed by Speech-Language Pathologists, Nichole Hanneken Ontis and Danielle Sears, Language Adventures is a theme-based game board that incorporates standard game play settings such as dice rolling, token moving, and player selection. This exciting app helps children develop vocabulary, naming, and description in the context of a real-world setting such as the classroom, cafeteria, and playground. With its exciting interface and colorful graphics, this visually appealing app can be used by multiple players with different skill levels and target goals.
“I have personally used Language Adventures with students in 6th through 12th grade. The students are very excited to use the app and frequently ask to play it!” said co-author, Nichole Hanneken Ontis, “The app set-up makes it easy enough for students to learn while playing independently in a small group, yet allows endless opportunities for the therapist or teacher to build on the context-based questions to increase learning opportunities for increasing language skills. The data tracking within the app has allowed me to track their increased progress over sessions and has made it easier as a therapist to collect data and be involved in the app use. Having the 3 level game boards and hundreds of target words has made this app a great therapy tool that can be used over many sessions without the students getting bored with it.”
Fun and Functional and Go-Together were both authored by SLP, Rosie Simms and were created to improve language comprehension and expression in children. Fun and Functional helps children to identify and describe how real-world objects function, thus strengthening their language and life skills while Go-Together targets categories of items and helps children to identify objects with a semantic association. These customizable apps effectively measures receptive activity and can be used by individuals in all age groups.
The fourth app recently released by Smarty Ears, Categories Learning Center helps students build their memory, word retrieval, and vocabulary skills which are vital for them to effectively listen, speak, read, and write. Authored by Barbara and Mary Huston, Categories Learning Center increases receptive and expressive vocabulary through picture stimuli and aids individuals with category naming and category selections.
“Through sorting items into categories and subcategories – for example, not just animals, but also ‘animals that live on a farm,’ children can develop key word networks that help them learn and retrieve vocabulary words,” stated Sean Sweeney, Production Development Manager for Smarty Ears. “Categories are everywhere in our world, and though students with language difficulties struggle with verbal organization, this app provides an engaging way to work on these skills…”
All four apps, which are currently available in the iTunes apps store, can be used with an iPad, running on IOS 4.0 higher. Fun and Functional and Go-Together are also compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. The prices of these easy-to-use apps range from $9.99 to $19.99.
For more information about Fun and Functional, Categories Learning Center, Go-Together, Learning Adventures and other Smarty Ears products, visit smartyearsapps.com or contact Smarty Ears at email@example.com.
I use this app in the receptive only setting as a way to measure a child’s ability to identify objects and their functions. The app allows me to set how many items are shown on the screen, which makes it easy to set up for the different ability levels of my students. I can even adjust how similar the items are related in this level. The student completes the task and I have the data saved and emailed to me. I love that I can modify the receptive level and adjust at the student’s skills improve.
In the expressive setting I am able to see how well my students can explain functions. I use this setting to measure their expressive language skills, grammar, fluency and even carryover for articulation skills. I am able to mark their responses in 3 different modes: Missed it, Almost and Got it! and email the results to myself. I have even had some of my students rate themselves.
In the alternating receptive-expressive setting I have the best of both options! I can see how well they “get it” receptively and move directly to how well they can “explain it” expressively. If I have a student who couldn’t identify the function on the receptive screen I may choose to skip the expressive screen by touching the next button. Once again the data is saved and I can email the results.
Options: Here are some other ways I have used this app
Guess What Game- I turn the sound off on the iPad. We use the Expressive Level setting. The group decides on a category and in settings I turn off the other categories. Some groups have asked for a challenge and then we use all the categories. Each student takes the iPad and gives two clues for the picture on the screen before asking for guesses. The goal is to get the others to guess the item. If the item is guessed with only 2 clues they mark it Got it! If it takes 3-4 clues then they mark Almost and if it is not guessed it is marked as Missed it.
Cold, Warm, Hot- In this game we use the Receptive Level setting. The goal is to be able to explain how the items on the screen are related. The setting option allows you to see 2, 3 or 4 items per screen. The more items shown the harder it is to explain similarities.
To play an easier game we choose this in settings: Receptive more similar and two items per screen.
To play the most challenging we choose this in settings: Receptive less similar and four items per screen.
Each student takes a turn and tells how the items on the screen are similar. As a group we judge if their ideas were cold, warm or hot.
Cold: their explanation was not related or they could not think of a similarity
Warm: their explanation was close but maybe a stretch
Developing students’ semantic abilities is one of my favorite parts of my job! I think words, and the connections between them, are just really fun! Building semantic networks provides students with a stronger vocabulary base, which in turn gives them points of reference as they learn new words. Enter Go-Togethers, an app I helped design along with Rosie Simms for Smarty Ears Apps. Go-Togethers targets identification of word associations as well as expressive naming. When designing the interface for this app, we wanted to utilize more innovative responses in terms of gestures that take advantage of the iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone’s touch screen. For this reason (although a simple tap will also work for students with fine motor difficulties), receptive connections are made by a tap-and-drag, essentially creating a semantic word map for each target.
Each screen allows you time to discuss the associations with students (targeting rationales such as “Yes, a cow goes with milk because milk comes from a cow!”)
Likewise, the expressive level allows you (or the student) to tap-and-tally both associated items (e.g. “a cake!” and, optionally, rationales “because eggs are needed to make a cake!”) for an open-ended language intervention experience.
Consider Go-Togethers as one “go-to” intervention for your students with word retrieval difficulties (especially for its data-keeping functionality) and for those students who don’t do so well on the CELF-4 Word Classes or Word Associations subtests. With 200 target items in 20 categories across two levels of difficulty, the app offers SLPs and other educators (and parents!) a LOT of content to work with. For a full video demonstration, see below!
We will be giving away one app per day for the whole month of April. In order to participate you must sign up on our website or on our Facebook page. Winners will be announced on our Facebook page daily at 6 pm central time. Parents, Speech Pathologists, and special education teachers are welcomed to apply for a chance to win one of our 38 apps for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.
Dallas, TX (March 22, 2012) – Approximately one million people in America (one out of 275 adults) suffer from some form of Aphasia and/or Apraxia. As a result, the majority of these individuals face word finding difficulties, the inability to think of and retrieve the right words. Clinicians have created several evidence-based cueing strategies for word finding. However, it has been difficult to pinpoint a universal approach that is suitable for patients as each individual’s case is different and requires mixed or combined approaches for successful treatment. Therefore, it is essential to have a tool that incorporates each of these approaches in order to effectively help patients with various levels of communication.iName it is the first app to provide patients with a simple, systematic way to retrieve target words depicted in a realistic visual scene and enhanced by the five types of evidence-based cueing strategies. Each target word can be elicited by one or more of the available cues. iName it enables speech therapists to use a combination of the cueing options to meet the needs of a wide range of patients with varying communication levels.Published by Smarty Ears, iName it was created by certified Speech-Language Pathologists, Elizabeth Begley and Mary Pitti to assist individuals with word finding difficulties that are secondary to Aphasia and/or Apraxia. “This app is essential for every SLP who works with people who have Aphasia. The app targets basic functional words that people use on a daily basis. The target words are found in attractive visual displays that are realistic. The user has several cueing methods to choose from when trying to elicit the target word. This app is bound to be your favorite in your collection,” states Mary Pitti, Clinic Program Director and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at Ithaca College.
iName it includes fifty word finding items that are typically found in the household and around the community. By using the household visual scenes such as the garage, kitchen, bathroom, and living room, patients’ word finding skills will significantly improve.
“Clients can select a room in the house and then work with a therapist, spouse, or alone, to name relevant items in the room. While the target item becomes central in the screen, the context of the room is always visible in the background. In addition, the ‘adult look’ of the items and scenes will appeal to older individuals who often reject childlike or cartoon images. This app encourages and reinforces multiple practices both in the therapy setting and at home,” says co-author, Elizabeth Begley of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinic at the College Station Medical Center.
iName it can be used by speech-language pathologists, family members, and individuals with word finding difficulties. The easy-to-use app is designed for adults, but it is appropriate for all ages. “I am amazed at the number of adult clients who buy iPads and are just looking for appropriate apps to aid in their language recovery. iName it can be an excellent adjunct to regaining naming competence,” Begley adds.
Articulate It! And Custom Boards are two of five finalists chosen to compete in the ‘Favorite Special-Needs App’ Category
San Francisco, CA (March 5, 2012)–We are pleased to announce that Smarty Ears’ apps, Articulate It! and Custom Boards have been selected as two of five finalists in the 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards for “Favorite Special-Needs App,” presented by About.com. The popular annual reader-driven awards program highlights the best products, services, and features in hundreds of categories that span across a majority of About.com’s channels from technology to hobbies.
Smarty Ears was founded in 2009 by Speech and Language Pathologist, Barbara Fernandes. Smarty Ears is an innovative company that specializes in creating mobile educational apps and has quickly emerged as the leader in creating convenient, affordable, and easy-to-use apps that serve the needs of parents, speech therapists, teachers and, students with speech, language, and hearing disabilities. Smarty Ears currently provides users with over 32 mobile apps and 3 Android apps.
“We greatly appreciate the positive responses that our products have been receiving and are humbled by the recognition About.com’s readers are giving Custom Boards and Articulate It!” said Fernandes.
Custom Boards and Articulate It! were created to help improve children’s speech and language skills. Custom Boards serves a visual support system that enables teachers, parents, and speech therapists to enhance learning for each child with special needs. The app also provides parents with an affordable way to aid their child at home, creating a link between the child’s learning environments and reinforcing the learning process. With the Smarty Symbols’ advanced and comprehensive library of over 11,000 symbols incorporated into the app, Custom Boards offers its users a pool of templates to create customized communication boards, schedules, and meaningful activities. Custom Boards was launched on October 6, 2001 and quickly became the #3 Bestselling Educational App on iTunes.
Articulate it! was created to help parents and speech therapists improve the speech of children with delays in speech. This universal app contains over 1 thousand pictures and includes all of the phonemes of the English language. Articulate it! is currently the only application on iTunes that enables speech therapists to work with a group of students simultaneously, which is a great need in school settings.
We encourage each of our users to show their support by voting for their favorite Smarty Ears’ app. To vote, visit the following link: http://specialchildren.about.com/b/2012/02/22/vote-for-favorite-special-needs-app.htm.
Users can vote for Custom Boards or Articulate It! once per day until March 21. About.com will announce the winner on March 30.
For more information about Articulate It!, Custom Boards, or other Smarty Ears’ products or how to vote in the poll, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Cindy Meester M.S;CCC/SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
WH Questions is an app that helps any therapist work on a variety of WH question forms. You can choose to work on one or more of the six WH-question options. Here are a few ways to get you started.
I often start with this app to evaluate how well a student understands all WH question forms. I usually choose three forms at a time (why, how, where) and the next session I evaluate (who, when, what). This provides me with a baseline as the data is collected within the app. The app contains 400 questions and when completing my baseline data I will use about 10-15 questions per WH-question form. Once I’ve collected data I can target the question form(s) that need support. This app allows me to present many more questions as part of my therapy plan. And yes I do use other materials and activities to work on this skill.
When I use this app in a group I am able to choose how many questions are presented to each student. The options range from 1-4 questions per turn. Since some of my students are also working on focusing and turn taking I mix up how many turns they get in each session. This way not only are they “paying attention” (hopefully!) to see when their turn starts they are also watching and listening to the others in the group. So often they are used to one turn at time that mixing it up and keeps them on their toes (and yes some are literally on their toes).
I like to get my students moving in therapy whenever possible. So when using this app I have my students “act out” their answers and see if their friends can guess. So if the question is “What is your favorite animal?” the student might pretend to be a dog. The rest of the group takes turns guessing. I always tell the group that we are not trying to be tricky but see who can get the group to guess the fastest. But I do require the “actor” to give us two clues before we can guess. So the “dog” might scratch his ear and then bark. This too can lead to more WH questions- “What did you see? What did you hear? Who has a guess? Why did he scratch his ear?”
The other great thing on this app is the option to record. I can have my students record their answer to a question. Or even record the question itself, which allows us to work on wh- question formations. We also use this function to become a reporter. One student asks (or repeats) the question to another student who answers and the whole exchange is recorded. We call it: “What do you have to say.” I’m not sure if they enjoy being the reporter or listening to their voices more!
Call me a little partial, but I LOVE this app. Dysphagia2Go has given me a new way to utilize my iPad in my dysphagia therapy. I also can use it with the confidence that it is HIPAA compliant. Yes, I am one of the authors, but this app was created out of the need to complete a quick and simple Clinical Dysphagia Evaluation. This app was created to assist clinicians in assessing all areas for dysphagia and to complete a chart review that is as thorough as possible.
When you open the app, you will first begin by adding your patient information. You can save patients or you can bring up previous patient information. When adding a new patient, you will be prompted to input a Patient ID, Patient first name, Patient last name, Patient Date of Birth and Physician’s Name. If you are not comfortable adding a patient name, you can assign each patient a number or simply use initials.
One thing you will want to make sure to do is go under settings and add your therapist and institution information. Turn the information on to add it to your reports.
Once you have added that patient, you can either view a saved report, or you can add a new evaluation. To begin the evaluation, you will select the chart review tab. The chart review will prompt you to input the reason for referral, physician order (yes or no), diagnosis, current method of nutrition, respiratory status, etc. There is also a text box that you can input any other pertinent information from your chart review. Don’t worry, new sections are being added to complete a more thorough chart review.
Once the chart review is completed, you can go assess the patient and begin to start the Oral Mech Exam. This will prompt you to input information regarding all the oral and pharyngeal areas that we assess, including the tongue, teeth, lips, etc.
Upon completion of the Oral Mech Exam, you will be able to assess trials. Either use the consistencies provided or skip the consistencies not used. For each consistency, you will be able to assess oral control of the bolus, pharyngeal stage of the swallow and add any comments needed.
The final section is the Recommendations section. You will be able to recommend compensatory strategies, exercises, MBSS, FEES, therapy, no therapy, or referrals.
Once the evaluation is complete, you can download the report and either print it wirelessly or email it to yourself and print it. You also have the option to email it to yourself and cut and paste into your computer-generated report if your facility has a report that is required to be completed.
A few tips to remember with this app, first and foremost, please make sure to lock your iPad with a passcode. This helps to ensure the privacy of the information that has been saved on your app and also helps to protect your valuable information that is stored on your iPad, should someone “borrow” it. Also, please remember that this is a work in progress. This app will continue to have new feature added. One feature that will soon be added is the cranial nerve assessment section. Please write a review of the app. This is how we as the authors and Smarty Ears will know how to improve the app so that it can be useful for everyone.
I’m sure most SLPs have tried a variety of techniques to improve articulation sound errors. My iPad has not only helped to improve communication but it has opened up options on where I provide therapy. I am now able to move out of my speech room and work in a classroom or even a hallway. What a hallway! Wasn’t that what we used to do in the “olden” days. Well maybe but now it is a very functional option for some of my articulation students. Here’s how it works for me.
Scenario 1: I often have several students who are close to using sounds in carryover. I found that working twice a week for 20 minutes or so was not that effective especially as my caseload grew and grew. I started with the first 30 minutes of the day and called this my Articulation Rounds. This worked well as I moved from room to room and worked with each student for 5-10 minutes. I would take with a binder filled with word lists, pictures, reading passages plus my data sheets. But it did get cumbersome. Then I got an iTouch and my tired arms relaxed and when I showed up at a classroom and held up my iTouch the “coolness” effect take over. The speech student came willingly and all the other kids wanted to join in too. Now with my iPad I have a bigger screen and more kids that want to join in! I now have started using this model with some of my students who have multiple sound errors and poor overall speech intelligibility. This gives them the opportunity to practice more often and I am finding they are able to focus better with these shorter bursts of service. I love using Articulate it! in my Articulation Rounds. I can have all the materials necessary to meet my students’ needs. The school I work at even has benches in the hallway that I use. And BONUS it keeps track of the data too!
Scenario 2:I use Articulate it! with students in my speech room too. The app allows you to have more than one student practicing at a time. There is an option to choose to take a photograph of the student and a newly add option of an avatar. My students were excited about this new choice and all have changed their image to avatars. Who wouldn’t like being a smiling face with blue hair! I use the app just like using traditional articulation cards. I can have them practice at the word level or make up sentences for each picture. The record option allows each student to work on self-correction. And BONUS it keeps track of the data too!
Scenario 3: I use Articulate it! for my fluency students (stutterers). I have them practice easy speech in words and sentences. I use the record option so the students can help analyze their own speech or practice a technique and hear it in their own voice. And BONUS it keeps track of the data too!
Scenario 4: I have a student working on vocabulary or expanding their descriptive language skills. Each student is assigned a phoneme and they take turns giving two clues and receive can push the green check mark if the other student(s) guess correctly. It’s about providing good clues and not trying to be tricky! And BONUS it keeps track of the data too!
In all these scenarios I can add a note to each student’s data. This allows me to note if we practiced in words or sentences or if they needed models etc. I can then e-mail the data to myself or upload it to iTunes.
There have been some issues of the buttons disappearing. It has happened to me too. Thanks to Smarty Ears team they figured out the problem. If you use the lock button on your iPad the control area buttons will disappear. Here is a video link to fix: http://vimeo.com/34134714
An update is coming so stayed turned for the new exciting features!!!
by Cindy L. Meester M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist
There are many options to use the Custom Boards app within speech therapy sessions. Let me show you a few ways to get you started.
Activities & Games Templates:
I used the Christmas Tree template and imported pictures from my Photos that displayed different emotions. I printed one master copy. You could laminate this or put it in a protective plastic sleeve. I printed one extra and cut out the ornaments. The object is to pick an ornament, label the emotion and make guesses on what the gift might have been. For example: Excited (red): she received an iPad or Upset/Mad (orange): she received a pair of used boots. It can be a fun brainstorming activity and lead to a social skills lesson on what to say and what to keep in your thinking bubble.
I used the Board Game (Simple) template to create a quick open-ended game that could be use for different objectives. This one is called Blizzard. You can use a coin (heads=2, tails=1) or a die to move. If you land on the purple blizzard you lose one turn. If you land on snow day you take another turn. Now landing on the red dice is the open ended part of this game.
For articulation students use articulation cards or the Articulate it! App and if they land on a die with 5 they say a word five times or five words or even use the words in a sentence. Play continues as long as time allows.
For language students use the Label Set #3 template found in Signs & Labels and add vocabulary words or pictures to the circles or “snowballs” and they draw from the pile when landing on a red die. You might have them provide a definition, describe and have others guess; use the concept in a sentence, etc. You may want them to just draw one “snowball” on their turn.
I used the Matching Cards template found in Activities & Games to created two syllable word cards. I cut them apart and laminated them. I made them color-coded to help with matching the two pieces.
The students can draw these in a matching game format.
I have also placed or taped one half of the word in the room and they try to find their match.
We placed these on the floor in a hopscotch form and they say each syllable while hopping on them. They like to collect as many pairs as they can.
These are only a few ways to use the many possible options available on the Custom Boards app. Be sure to explore the many templates available the possibilities are endless!
December 26, 2011, San Francisco, CA – Smarty Ears is proud to announce Sean Sweeney as the company’s Product Development Manager. Sean will manage and help create new apps for Smarty Ears as well as collaborate with authors to develop ideas and bring their projects to life in an app format.
Sean is quite the expert in the industry. Sean holds a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University and an additional master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Framingham State College. He has served as a Private Practitioner for the past eight years at the Ely Center, located in Newton, MA, in which he provides treatment to clients with social communication issues. Sean has 10+ years of experience as a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist and he has also worked in the public school district as an Instructional Technology Specialist.
In 2010, Sean created the blog, SpeechTechie.com, to share info with users on how to integrate technology into speech therapy and soon after, won the 2010 Best New Blog from Edublogs. He not only authors his own blog, but he also contributes to the popular industry blogs, ASHAsphere and the Mindwing Concepts Blog. Consequently, Sean has spent the past few years providing consultations and making presentations at conferences, area clinics, and the annual national ASHA convention. He has presented on topics concerning webtools, apps, and social media venues that SLPs can use to enhance their practice.
“I am hugely excited to join the Smarty Ears team! My experience in Instructional Technology in educational settings was primarily geared around helping teachers use (and in many cases work around) the features of available tech tools in order to meet their lesson objectives. In my role with Smarty Ears, it will be wonderful to be able to actually design tools for SLPs that are customized to clinical needs!” Sean expresses, “As an SLP, I have always been a fan of products that provide a broad context and strategies that can be implemented outside treatment sessions. I hope to apply that strategic and contextual focus toward developing apps that directly target language and literacy skills, while engaging students by taking advantage of the interactive potential of iDevices.”
Barbara Fernandes, Founder and CEO of Smarty Ears, “We are glad to have such a talented SLP join our team. We have watched all the great work he has done in promoting the integration of technology into therapy on his blog and we look forward to the great work he will do as the Smarty Ears App Development Manager.”
Dallas, Texas – Smarty Ears attended the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) convention on November 17-19, 2011 in San Diego, California. The 2011 ASHA convention, which was held at the San Diego Convention Center, provided over 12,000 speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists with the latest technology and evidence based research that will help advance their knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively aid individuals with speech disorders. Featuring over 200 vendors, the ASHA convention is well known for providing ground-breaking tools and resources that speech therapists can incorporate into their sessions and ultimately, improve the learning and verbalization process of children and adults with communication delays or disabilities. This year one vendor stood out from the others, Smarty Ears demonstrated their revolutionary speech therapy apps in the vendor booth #1023.
Barbara Fernandes, Smarty Ears’ CEO, is among a number of distinguished presenters who presented on Thursday on “Using Evidence-Based Articulation Therapy” and on Saturday on “All about the iPad for Speech Therapy”. Both auditoriums were full, with attendees sitting on the floor or standing in the back of the room. Fernandes was applauded throughout the presentation as she demonstrated the wonders of Smarty Ears apps to a full room of top notch Speech-Language pathologists.
It was clear from these three days that Smarty Ears is the most liked, respected, and recognized company in terms of apps for speech therapists. “It felt great to have people come by our booth and want to shake my hand just to say, ‘thank you for making my life easier,'” said Fernandes. Smarty Ears was the first company to integrate speech therapy into mobile applications. The company has grown significantly since their first appearance at the 2010 ASHA convention in which 12 apps were presented; within a year, Smarty Ears has swiftly become the leader in speech therapy mobile apps development with over 29 apps for iOS devices and 3 Android apps.
Smarty Ears released two brand new apps during the American Speech and Hearing Convention in San Diego: Custom Boards & Dysphagia2Go. Authored by Dyspahagia Specialists, Tiffani Wallace and John DuBois, Dyspahagia2Go is an easy-to-use app that administers swallowing assessments and assists clinical speech experts in properly evaluating patients with Dyspahagia; it is among the Top 25 Medical Apps featured in the iTunes app store.
Custom Boards is a popular and cost-efficient speech therapy app that serves as an activity creation center and visual support system, enabling speech-language pathologists, special education teachers, and parents of children who need symbols for communicating and learning to create and print meaningful activities, schedules, and communication boards. Custom Boards was recently released on October 6, 2011 and quickly became the third Bestselling Educational App on iTunes.
Smarty Ears was established in 2009 by ASHA-certified Speech Pathologist and CEO, Barbara Fernandes. She has organized many initiatives that have transformed the lives of many people. She states, “The smiles I see on the therapists when I show them our products: that’s what makes this all worth it. Reading the several emails with positive comments and reviews about our apps is rewarding; however, meeting users and showing them how the app works in person I get to experience nothing but gratitude and enthusiasm.”
It is without a doubt that, with Smarty Ears, speech therapists and teachers can provide individuals the best tools possible that will facilitate learning efficiently while fostering proper communication skills.
For more information about Smarty Ears, visit our website.
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 4.0 or later
* 10.8 MB – Dysphagia2Go
* 387 MB – Custom Boards
Pricing and Availability:
Dysphagia2Go 1.0 is $99.99 USD and Custom Boards 1.1 is $69.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store.
The iPad has brought about a revolution in special education with its affordable and effective apps that are impacting children with special needs. While speech pathologists and educators have been searching for convenient and cost-effective tools that will provide visual support for children with Autism, Smarty Ears, an innovative company that specializes in creating speech therapy apps, is announcing the release of Custom Boards. Custom Boards is the first app of its kind and it is set to also bring about a revolution for special education. It was designed to serve as a board and activity creation center for speech therapists, special education teachers, and parents of children who need symbols for learning and communicating.
Custom Boards was created to offer teachers, parents, and speech therapists the tools they need to support learning for each of their students while providing parents with an affordable way to facilitate continued learning at home, creating a link between learning environments and strengthening students’ process of learning.
Custom Boards serves as a visual support system that enables speech and language pathologists, teachers, and parents to create and print meaningful activities, schedules, and communication boards. This excellent app allows users to select from a pool of templates in three areas: Communication Boards, Schedules, and Activities. Custom Boards includes over 11,000 symbols from the Smarty Symbols library. The Smarty Symbols library is advanced and comprehensive with vocabulary that is organized into semantic and meaningful categories (such as communication and expressions) and features a unique low frequency vocabulary not found in any other symbol library. By utilizing Custom Boards, users can save, print directly from the iPad, and email countless templates.
Custom Boards has the flexibility of being used on the go, at school, in therapy sessions, and even at home. “I created individual boards using Custom Boards for many of my students today. Articulation pictures for some, requesting for others and vocabulary for all!” stated Cindy L. Meester, an educator who recently purchased Custom Boards, “I even made a game board to use with a theme unit for fall. And I can save them to use again and again! I can print them off for home practice too.” The reviews on iTunes also show the level of excitement that Custom Boards is generating: “A Must Have App! Intense! Universal! Multi-Functional! Adaptive! Ingenious! is this App. It is well-suited to meet any Therapist, Teacher, Parent, and Child’s needs. This app has set a new bar for board creations,” review by beVerbal.
Older computer-based programs charge between $399 and $799 for their software; Custom Boards, available in the app store for only $69.99, is a product that educators, speech pathologists, and parents can afford and use in various learning environments. Custom Boards is cost-effective, user-friendly, insightful, and easy to use.
Custom Boards can be purchased from the iTunes app store. The product was officially launched on October 6, 2011 and quickly became the #3 Bestselling Educational App on iTunes.
For more information about Custom Boards and Smarty Symbols, visit us and watch the video tutorial before purchasing at www.smartyearsapps.com
In the wake of companies across the U.S. facing difficulties in attracting and hiring speech pathologists, Smarty Ears, an innovative company in the field of speech pathology, has launched an app for the iPad that is currently used by thousands of qualified and tech savvy speech pathologists. SLP Spots is a free iPad app that allows companies to post job openings for a fraction of what they currently spend on traditional media advertising. It gives speech and language pathologists the opportunity to browse the job openings and post their resumes.
Companies that hire speech pathologists spend numerous hours making direct phone calls and browsing through online resumes, hoping to find a therapist to fill the thousands of open positions across the country. The current shortage in the field of speech pathology has forced companies, school districts, and hospitals to spend a great amount of time, making enormous efforts to find a therapist that is available for the position. At the same time, employment in this field is expected to grow 19 percent, thus companies need a clever and innovative way to reach them. In the past, companies heavily relied on websites such as Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com to post their job openings. However, their ads have become lost in a sea of countless irrelevant or unrelated job openings from companies across the globe.
The iPad and Google Maps are remarkable technologies that have been made available to us. SLP Spots has decided to take advantage of this opportunity to make job matching for speech pathologists easier and hassle free. The map feature allows speech pathologists to view the location of the available positions on the Google Map directly on their iPad; this map even allows speech therapists to actually see how far each opening is from their own home. SLP Spots will have each available opportunity mapped out so SLPs can see which cities are displaying the jobs they are specifically looking for.
Barbara Fernandes, the CEO of Smarty Ears, informs us that with SLP Spots, “speech pathologists can utilize a search filtering feature that was built specifically for speech pathologists and include filters such as setting, population served, and certification level. This is an extremely useful feature not only for SLPs but also for companies.”
SLP Spots is currently available in the app store. It has been already downloaded by nearly two thousand speech pathologists, and the number is rapidly growing daily. While SLPs download the app for free to use, post resumes, and browse through job posts, companies pay an affordable price through an in-app purchase to place their ad on SLP Spots. The ad will become visible, immediately after purchase on the app store, to the over 20 million people who use an iPad and purchase apps through the iTunes store. There is no doubt that SLP Spots give companies the resources they need to conveniently and quickly find the right candidate for their position.
Companies can start posting their openings immediately by downloading SLP Spots and making an in-app purchase. Prices start at $29.99 for a 30-day ad placement. For more information about SLP Spots, visit http://www.slpspots.com or send an email to Smarty Ears at email@example.com.
In recent years, alternative communication systems have become more advanced in providing solutions and communication aids for people, especially children, with learning and intellectual disabilities. Smarty Ears was the first company to integrate speech therapy into mobile applications and it is now the leader in speech therapy mobile apps development with over 27 apps for iOS devices and 3 Android apps. The company was founded in 2009 by ASHA-certified Speech Pathologist, Barbara Fernandes. She has spearheaded many initiatives that have changed the lives of many people. “It is our goal to provide the best tools possible to engage every child in learning effectively, developing appropriate communication skills, and becoming better communicators. Our most recent innovation is the launch of Smarty Symbols.”
Professionals in the field had been relying on symbols developed in the early 1980s, and the development of a contemporary symbol set was overdue. Smarty Symbols is a symbol set that provides nearly 12,000 symbols for developers of educational or medical apps and manufacturers of AAC devices to use on their apps in order to promote the learning and development of communication skills for individuals with disabilities. By using symbols, many children have gained the ability to communicate with loved ones and many adults have regained their communication. The Smarty Symbols set is appropriate for all age levels. Through the presence of Smarty Symbols, developers and manufacturers of products for individuals with disabilities can create learning and communication materials that are more appropriate and attractive thus providing a more rewarding experience for children and adults with communication difficulties.
“Developers and AAC companies can license our high-quality product, Smarty Symbols for a significantly lower fee than our competitors. We want to revolutionize our field with Smarty Symbols. The current license options include a one-time payment for lifetime usage of 11,000 symbols, or a one-time set up fee plus a royalty payment schedule based on the sale of products using Smarty Symbols.”
Smarty Symbols has a modern, up-to-date, comprehensive and very transparent library. Vocabulary is organized into semantic and meaningful categories (such as food, animals, fruits, drinks, communication, expressions, and colors) and can be easily retrieved by the user. It features a low frequency vocabulary that cannot be found on competitors’ symbol sets such as adult intimacy, college life, employment, and Internet and social media vocabulary. Smarty Symbols is also currently being translated into Spanish and Portuguese.
Smarty Symbols will play a vital role in the communicative experience of children, teens, and adults with disabilities. Barbara Fernandes explains:
“We want to empower individuals with disabilities with a vocabulary that reflects the communication being used today by everyone which includes words that did not even exist five years ago. Smarty Symbols is a modern symbol set and allows users to express themselves fully like it should.”
Smarty Symbols is currently featured in some of Smarty Ears’ iPad apps available on the app store, Custom Board, That’s How I Feel, and Expressive. It has already been licensed to developers across the world to be utilized into apps, computer software, and traditional alternative communication devices that are currently in development. Soon, professionals and users will start seeing more and more products using Smarty Symbols.
For more information about Smarty Symbols, visit http://www.smartysymbols.com or contact Smarty Ears at contact(at)smartyearsapps(dot)com.
Smarty Ears has been creating apps for speech therapists, teacher and children with special needs for the last 15 months. We have appreciated all the support we have received from everyone. Now we have decided to create an Advisory Committee Board for Smarty Ears. If you are interested in becoming part of our family please continue reading this call for applications:
The advisory committee will act as a group that will help with decisions we make. We want to hear what you guys need, so we can continue to improve our products. We want to hear from everyone: Parents, teachers and Speech Pathologists. If you are selected you will be asked to join our Facebook.com private group, where all discussions will take place.
1. Must own an iPad
2. Must own at least one Smarty Ears app
3. Must be a teacher, SLPs, parent, or person involved in the app community.
4. Must have a Facebook.com account
5. Must have written at least one review for one of Smarty Ears apps on iTunes
What will be expected from you:
1. Vote on decision we will ask such as your favorite icon for our next apps, suggestions for promoting specific apps, suggestion for updates, etc…
2. You will be asked to write reviews for our apps on iTunes,
3. Share a photo and a Bio to be posted on our website as a member of our advisory board,
4. Help us sometimes with testing an app before the app goes on sale on iTunes
5. Anything else you want to help us with.
This does not represent any form of employment association with Smarty Ears. You will be referred to as a member of our Advisory committee board.
What will you gain from it:
1. You will get to learn about our upcoming app releases before anyone does,
2. You will be able to put this on your resume as a member of an advisory committee,
3. You will receive a FREE copy for personal user of all Smarty Ears apps – one per month, or when new releases come.
4. You will be mentioned on our website when your Bio and photo are posted.
We hope you contact us if you are interested. You can use our contact us page to send your message. Please let us know why you are interested, and what you can bring to the table in helping Speech Therapy and educational apps better.
The iPad, iPhone and iPod touch run an operational system called the iOS system. This is the system that allows you to run apps and perform all functions on your device. It comes pre-installed on your devices when you purchase it from the Apple store.
It is very important that you keep your iOS system up to date in order to have apps run smoothly and also take advantage of the enhancements and the possible bug fixes provided by Apple.
Updating your iOS system is FREE
While most apps will work on older versions of the iOS system, keeping an up-to date update will guarantee you best performances.
In fact, some apps also do not work on older iOS versions (e.g 3.1); therefore you will not be allowed to purchase the app from the app store. First let’s learn how to identify which version of the iOS system you are running on your device.
1. Identifying the iOS system on your device:
1st. Go to the setting area on your device and click on “General”:
2nd. Under the “General” menu, click on ” About”:
3rd. Under the “About” menu you will see the information you are looking for under the “Version“.
On this example you can see I have the Version 4.3.2 of the iOS system; which is the most most up to date version as of 4/23/2011.
2. Understand app’s iOS requirements
Now that you know how to identify which version you have, now let’s learn about the fact that some apps do not support older version of the iOS system.
When you are purchasing an app from the app store you will notice that the app has several requirements, one of them is compatibility with iOS systems. Take fore example the number one, best selling educational application: Star Walk for iPad ; it requires that you have the iOS 3.2 in order to run this app. See image below:
Notice that the app requires that you have iOS 3.2 or later; if you have anything older the app will not install. Another example is an AAC app called Expressive:
As you can see, Expressive requires that users have the version 3.1.4 or older in order to run the app on the devices.
Now that you know how to identify your iOS system, and understand that some apps will not run on older versions of the iOS system; you will need to know how to update it. This is the easy part of the whole story.
3. Updating your iOS system
You will need to connect your device ( iPhone, iPod or iPad) to your computer to update it.
1. Plug your device
2. Open iTunes
3. Select your device and make sure you are under the ” Summary” section.
Many times, we are able to provide a free trial code of our apps that will allow presenters, and AT centers to test our apps. If you provide training to parents or speech-language pathologists on apps for children with communication disorders and would like a free trial codes, just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our codes are VERY limited, and unfortunately we are only able to give away codes to presenters. Please include the date , location & the intended audience of your training on your e-mail so we can better assist you. Many times we do not have codes available, but you can always check with us. Please remember that these codes have an expiration date: four weeks after redeemed.
There are two ways to redeem your code.
Directly on your iPhone or iPad
If you are redeeming your code on iTunes, follow these steps:
Open iTunes and find the “App Store” button;
Find the “redeem” button on the right side of your screen on iTunes;
3. Enter the code provided to you;
4. Wait until app is downloaded
5. Enjoy your app and we hope you can write a review telling us how you like the app.
If you are redeeming your promo code directly on device, follow these steps:
1. Open the ” App store” on you iPhone or iPad,
2. Navigate to the “featured” section;
3. Scroll to the bottom of the list to find the ” redeem” button;
4. Enter the promo code and tap ” redeem”
5. Once you are done; click on ” done” and check to make sure your app is being downloaded.