Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Phono Learning Center {app review and giveaway}

I have another app for you all to check out today!  This is a great app from Smarty Ears to implement the cycles approach for those children with phonological disorders or severe articulation disorders.  This app was developed by a speech-language pathologist!  It is based on the research done by Barbara Hodson (2010) on the cycles approach.

Love this cute main page when you first enter the app!

Basics about the app:
-There are four games.
-It includes words, phrase, and sentence levels
-There are options for multisyllabic and complex consonants to increase difficulty
-There is an auditory bombardment component
-It is compatible with Therapy Report Center

The first thing you do is click on "New Session" on that main page you see in the photo above.  You can either important student data from Therapy Report Center or you can add a new student.  When you add a new student, you type in their name and can add a photo or avatar.  You then click on the level (word, phrase, sentence) that they're working at and their targets.

Primary targets include: syllables, initial consonants (b, m, p, w), final consonants (k, p, t), s clusters (sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw), final s clusters (ks, ps, ts), posterior conrasts (g initial, h initial, k initial, k final), anterior contrasts (d initial, t initial, t final), liquids (r initial, l initial, r clusters, l clusters)

There are options for complex consonants, multisyllabic words, voicing contrasts, stridents (f, s, th), palatals (ch, j, sh, y), consonant sequences (glide, medial s), medial k, and post vocalic r.  There is a note on the app that these are for children 8 years or older.

Following the cycles approach, the app then takes you to an auditory bombardment activity.  Students will pop the bubbles and the words will be said.  They just listen to all of the words.  NOTE:  This option is only available in single-player mode.

After auditory bombardment, you have four game options.  The first one is matching/memory.  The card appears in the bottom left corner.  Students will say the word and then try and find the match (face down).  In the upper right corner, you can see a "Missed, Almost, and Got It" bar.  Click on the appropriate one after the student says the word.  I would recommend that the student say the word several times.  Once per turn is NOT enough.  The game is over when they have matched all of the words.

Another game is the puzzle.  The puzzle piece with the word will appear on the left side.  Students say the word, then drag the puzzle piece onto the puzzle.  It then starts to create a picture with all of the pieces.   The game is finished when they have completed the puzzle.

The third activity is the paper basket toss.  The card appears on the right side with the word on it.  The student says it, clicks on the card, and then it becomes a wadded up piece of paper.  Then they try and get it in the basket!  There is no given ending to this game, so be sure to track how many words you want your student(s) to say and then hit "done."

The fourth and final game is the hot air balloon.  The card with the word appears on the left side.  When the student has said the word, he or she drags the card to the basket.  This starts to inflate the balloon, as you can see in the picture below.  The balloon will inflate completely.  Then, click on the balloon and it will fly away.  This is how you know how the game is over.

The final component of this app is the homework!   If you click on "support" on the main page, it pulls down a menu of options (video tutorial, contact, back-up, restore, etc).  One of those options is homework!!  These are worksheets that can be emailed or printed. Great idea for carryover activities!

Reasons I like this app:
-It is research-based (based on the cycles approach by Hodson, 2010).
-It was developed and designed by a speech-language pathologist.
-It has a multi-player set-up, which is great for group therapy.
-It has data collection built-in.
-It has four different games, which allows for student choice.
-There is a homework option that can be printed or emailed.
-The games are engaging!

Want this app?? Phono Learning Center is available on iTunes currently for $19.99.

Smarty Ears has also generously donated one copy of Phono Learning Center for a lucky reader to win!  Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this app for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 
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  1. I love the puzzle activity and the homework part

  2. I like the auditory bombardment part because its fun! I've struggled with how to keep my kids interested in this part of therapy.

  3. I really love them all! Tough choice! If I had to pick one I would choose it would be the paper basket toss! Thanks for sharing and the giveaway opportunity! I am new to using an ipad!


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