Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Free App February: Apps for Communication

Sono Flex Lite by Tobii Technology

This is my last Free App February post for 2013. Below are the two free communication apps on my iPad. These are designed for AAC users; however, you may find uses for these in speech and language therapy as well.

Sono Flex Lite by Tobii Technology

Add your own pictures, words, and phrases. Great for short periods as using the free version limits you to 20 voice outputs, before having to restart the app. When you have reached the limit of 20 voice outputs, you will hear the message "This is the lite version of Sono Flex." after touching touching the message bar. Simply restart the app to use it for 20 additional messages.

How to restart apps on your iPad:
  • Double-click the home button to launch multitasking.
  • Find the app in the running apps at the bottom of your iPad.
  • Press and hold on the app until it wiggles and tap on the red minus sign to close the app. 
  • Press the home button once to return to your normal home screen.

SoundingBoard by AbleNet

Create boards with up to nine message locations, easily connect messages to other boards, record your own messages, and use your own pictures, photos, or Ablenet's symbol library. Data determines how often a board and/or symbol is accessed as well as the day and time. Allows Auditory scanning in a addition to single and dual switch scanning. 

Not only is this a fabulous free app for AAC, this is an app that can be used regularly in therapy. Use as visuals (with an auditory component) for responses to a literature selection. Easily create multiple choice question activities, sentence building activities, and activities for articulation practice. Boards can be made to teach new vocabulary and students can create their own boards about a topic or themselves. CC at If only I had Super Powers wrote about this app and how she uses it with Boardmaker symbols as a guest post at Speech Room News earlier this month. Check it out! 

For many additional free apps look at 119 Free & Lite Versions of AAC Apps + App Selection Resources from PrAACtical AAA, Supports for Language Learning. 


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Friday, February 22, 2013

Free App February: Apps for Articulation

There are many wonderful apps for articulation therapy, most are pricey, but worth the money. Some offer a glimpse of the app by offering a phoneme or two free.  Some of those "glimpses" along with completely free articulation apps are found in the list below. Included in this post are a few apps that are not designed for articulation therapy, but easily incorporated into therapy sessions. These apps may also be appropriate to use during phonological process therapy and when teaching phonemic awareness. 

Phonics Studio by GrasshopperApps.com - I am a big fan of GrasshopperApps.com. All can be easily customized to meet each student's needs. This free app is no exception. Although not actually set up as an articulation app, it can be changed as needed. Under the "core initial /s/," I would delete scooter, shorts, spatula, shovel, spider, and snake and I might add additional /s/ pictures. You can add your own pictures, categories, and sounds. The star feature allows you to mark words for later practice. However, you could use the star feature to choose words by phoneme prior to sessions. Data is saved for each student and you can use this app with multiple students during each session. The only thing that would make this (and other Grasshopper Apps) perfect would be to allow movement of the original pictures into different categories. 

Phonics Genius by Innovative Mobile Apps - Part of the Grasshopper Apps family, this app, with over 6,000 words, is also fully customizable. Add your own categories, words, and sounds. 

Sly F and V by Sly Speech Apps  For /f/ and /v/ practice, this is one of many articulation apps from Sly Speech Apps and the only one that is free. 

Webber Photo Artic Castle Free by Super Duper Publications - Free download of the /b/ activities 

ArtikPix  by Expressive Solutions LLC - Free downloads for /th/ (both voiced and voiceless), /w/, /h/, and /j/ (y).  Includes flashcards, matching activities, and the ability to keep data on multiple students. 

Articulation Flip Books by DynaVox Mayer-Johnson - The /ar/ book is offered as a free app.

I Can Articulate by Express SLP - The /k/ is free and other phonemes can be purchased as needed.  

Articulation Station by Little Bee Speech - The /p/ is free and other phonemes can be purchased as needed. 

SLP Minimal Pairs Lite by SLP TechTools - Free cluster reduction activities

Quick Artic by Virtual Speech Center Inc. - Contains 566 images categorized by phonemes in all positions of words.

Talking Gina the Giraffe, by Out Fit 7 Ltd, or any of the other talking objects or creatures are fabulous tools for therapy. Just test all of the buttons or use guided access to make sure that any undesirable sounds aren't heard in therapy. Students can talk and get immediate auditory feedback as Gina repeats their words or phrases.

iTalk Recorder by Griffin Technology - Record and easily email recordings. A great way to email sound recordings of good speech to parents! 

For Carry-over:

For the younger students, look at apps by My First App; each app offers two free games. The others are locked until you make a purchase. Find apps for sequencing, puzzles, telling differences, telling about opposites, matching, and creating sticker scenes. All of these activities will give students multiple opportunities to produce target phonemes in spontaneous speech.

For students of all ages, look at my last post, Free App February: Apps that Promote Expressive Language. Apps on this post will allow for numerous opportunities to practice phonemes in spontaneous situations. 

AND, visit Jessica Chase's blog, Constantly Speaking, to find her app list for articulation and apraxia of speech. Not all are free; however, beginning on page 14 (under  Tongue Twisters /Phrases /Sentences /Jokes/Riddles/Books), I found 15 free apps that you could use for carry-over activities. 


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Free App February: Apps that Promote Expressive Language

These free apps can be used to elicit language for so many objectives! 

Toontastic Free, Sock Puppets, and PuppetPals are amazing apps that let students create their own stories with animation and audio. Students can work together to practice conversation and other social skills. Observe students as they create to determine proficiency of carry-over skills. SLPs and teachers could use this app to create social stories or story starters prior to lessons.

Comic Touch Lite
plasq LLC
Students can add captions to photographs using Comic Touch Lite. Let them take their own pictures or present them with a selected set of photographs and/or vocabulary. Save the photos with captions to your Photo Album for later practice or use for another project. 

Animoto Video Maker
Animoto Inc.
Use Animoto Video Maker to turn your photographs into movies. If students are taking the photographs, you may want to create a task card with instructions that will make the photographs relevant to the lesson. 

Use both Comic Touch Lite and Animoto Video Maker to make a movie of your captioned photos. 


© 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Free App February: Creative App Ideas From Other SLPs

There are thousands of free apps in the iTunes App Store, but deciding what apps to use and how to use them to meet your students' needs takes time. Check out the links to blog posts below to see how some very creative SLPs use free apps. 

Speaking ofApps blogger, Jeremy Legaspi, wrote about What's the Saying, a free app that he uses when teaching students about idioms and figurative language. 

Visit Chapel Hill Snippets to see how Ruth Morgan uses Doodle Buddy in therapy. 

Learn how Allison Nichole, at Speech Peeps, creates visuals using Class DoJo.

Read the blog, speechymusings, to see how this SLP grad student uses Story Creator to teach language and articulation skills.

Make Dice Lite, isn't an app that would pop up in a search for speech and language apps, but Abby, at School House Talk, creates dice for articulation, language, and fluency therapy. 

Angela Desideri, found at AT and AAC: Practical Tips and Strategies, employs Sight Words for Reading HD  to teach core words to AAC users.  

Thank you to these bloggers for their wonderful ideas!


© 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Free App February: Apps for Young Readers

Teaches early science concepts. Practice asking and answering questions, monitoring carry-over skills and making predictions. Quizzes can be taken at the end of each lesson. 

wiseHopper by Ganomaly, Inc. 
The free version offers just a taste, but I liked the grammar portion of the app. The objective is to find the verbs in sentences. The music is calming and students can work at their own pace. However, you will need go to options to turn off the "bully frog." This might be a great short activity to use in a speech center while the SLP is working with another student. 

Funtastic Animal Flashcards Lite by Think Design Studio 
Use for print awareness, teaching vocabulary, and making inferences. This version shows 20 mammals. 

Sorting Machine by F Permadi

Introduce comparatives and superlatives, sort by size, and more. 


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Friday, February 8, 2013

Free App February: Apps for Young Children

Although I spend a lot of time with the early childhood population, I titled this Apps for Young Children as these apps may be appropriate for early childhood and/or students in primary grades as well.  

Chipper's Rainy Day Adventure by Invent-A-Tale
This short story gives students opportunities to answer questions, make predictions and make choices about the story. 

Three Little Pigs - A Play HD by C&B Unlimited
There were lite and full versions of this app in the iTunes Store; however, both were free so I chose the full version which also has a matching activity.  This adorable version of the story has a modern twist.  Practice answering questions, describing characters and houses, and retelling the story. Recreate the play by having students pretend to be the characters. Props would be easy - a helmet, flowers, and magazines. Paper props for the houses and materials can be found at Kizclub.com

Two of six apps featuring Peep and the Big Wide World
PEEP and the Big Wide World Trash Stash by WGBH - A sorting activity.

PEEP and the Big Wide World House Hunt by  WGBH - Match the animal to the correct home. Teach verb tense, vocabulary, question skills, and increase utterance length. 


I find many of the apps by My First App useful for speech-language therapy. Each app offers two free games and has many others that are locked for purchase. Here are just a few. 

My Scene and My House
Label objects, actions and locations. Create stories about the scenes.

Build a Toy
Give or follow directions, label parts, and increase utterance length. 


© 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Free App February: Tools for You

This Free App February post features apps that you might find useful for planning, conducting therapy, or even for personal use. 

Tally Counter by Pixel Research Labs

A simple tally counter. Customize by controlling the sound and setting a limit. 

Picture Card Maker by Bo Innovations

Create free visual supports with this easy to use app. A great app to recommend to parents who want visual supports or pictures for communication at home.  Using photographs of  objects and actions meaningful to the individual makes this app appropriate for all ages. 

In addition to printable cards, these picture cards can be used directly over the device as a communication tool. However, there are ads and not all ads are appropriate for children. If using this as a communication tool, you might want to spend the $5.99 to purchase Picture Card Maker Plus.

Similar to Dropbox, but with more storage, you can easily access any file on your tablet, phone, or computer. Sharing is easy, so I use Google Drive to store all of the downloads that you find on this blog.

Feeddler RSS Reader for iPad and iPhone by C.B. Liu

Feeddler syncs with my Google Reader allowing me to read blogs that I subscribe to on my phone or iPad.  I always have something interesting to read! 

If you don't use Google Reader, but would like to know how, check out my post Keeping Track of Blogs!

Use Skitch to annotate photos, maps, web pages, and screenshots with arrows, text, and shapes. Zoom and crop images, pixelate portions of images, add highlights, and share your work with any application that accepts images.

Use Skitch to demonstrate the use of a web page or app. Support your students with visuals by annotating directions, important words in sentences, or for readers, target phonemes. 


I have written about the following apps in a prior post. To see more, read my post Apps to Make Life a Little Easier

Dropbox - Up to 2GB of storage. 
Easy to move files from 
computer to computer, ipad to 
computer, and from work to home. 

VisTimerFree - A free visual timer.
Customize colors and sounds for up
to five minutes.

Easybee Age Calculator
Calculates age faster than
I calculate ages manually. 


© 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Free App February: Apps for Readers

This month, all of my posts will be about some of the free apps on my iPad and how you can use them in therapy. So today, the first day of Free App February, I will show some apps for your readers.

Bluster, by McGraw-Hill School Education Group, is my favorite of their many apps as it covers so many language goals.  Bluster is designed for grades two to four, but is not babyish and could even inspire older students with vocabulary needs. Match rhyming words, prefixes and suffixes, synonyms, homophones, adjectives, and more. Students can play individually, together, or compete against each other. 

Lil' Kitten Shopping Cart Game by PODD Corp - Show understanding of food groups and the concepts more, less, and equals as you shop with Lil' Kitten. Students could discuss best prices, location of foods, and more. A good way to measure carry-over of language skills and phonemes in spontaneous speech. 

States Fun - Learn state capitals and practice structured or spontaneous use of target phonemes.  Every state and capital pair has at least one /s/, /r/, and/or /l/ except Cheyenne, Wyoming and Des Moines, Iowa. 

Please note that these apps were listed as free in itunes on February 1, 2013


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