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My recent post on Appdapted: Halloween Themed Apps was a tremendous success. Thank you to all my followers as well as a big thanks to those of you that re-posted it on twitter, Facebook, Pinterest , and their own blogs. A few of the developers that I posted about saw the post and were happy to offer apps for a giveaway.
was nice enough to offer copies of three of their awesome titles. These titles include:
To Enter the Giveaway Simply:
1) Comment on what app you would like and why
2) Re-post, share, tweet, or pin the link to the giveaway
Halloween is a great time of year to work on a variety of language enhancing activities, hence my last past of the top Halloween apps to use in therapy. Be it simple describing of costumes to spooky narratives there are many goals that can be targeted while using the Halloween theme. Below are two cool apps that can be incorporated to focus on such concepts as Colors and Numbers (quantity). You can include them into your Halloween candy sorting routine! They also do not have to be limited to Halloween activities and can be incorporated into any type of sorting or counting activities.
Color Me Pete is an augmented reality coloring book app. The premise is that colors have gone missing from Pete’s coloring page and you have to go search for them. You search for them by finding like colored objects and holding them up to the camera on your iOS device. You tap on the object and you can use that color to “recolor” Pete on his coloring page. This app is fun to create a scavenger hunt game during your therapy session or for basic color discrimination. In the paid version there is an easy and difficulty mode included. The easy mode pictured below gives you the word and color prompt when asking ” Find me Yellow” etc… and the difficult mode takes away these prompts. Find the colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Brown, Gray and Black. ( The lite version only offers 3 colors).
You can use this app to sort through your Halloween candy and work on identifying colors of the different wrappers
Flexible Counter will be fun to use when counting your candy. It supports up to 8 counters with user-selected images, label text, and colors. So you can decide on counting your candy by color or go ahead and take pictures of the candy, like in the example below, and see how many of your favorites you have. Save and load up to 5 different layouts. It works in either portrait or landscape mode.
Updated List 10/21/12 10 Days till Halloween
Halloween is going to be here before we know it, so spend some time now and stock up on some great quality Halloween themed apps! I have always enjoyed working on Halloween themed activities throughout the month of October and I now really enjoy having my clients interact with Halloween themed apps. I know some you school SLPs out there aren’t allowed to call these activities “Halloween themed” and usually have to go with “Fall Festival” or use some other workaround title.
Here is a list, in no particular order, of 21 Apps to use for Halloween. Some of them have a direct Halloween theme and others are themed around spooky or scary things. Keep an eye out for the apps that are labeled HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as these will be of immediate use to you in your therapy sessions.
1) Halloween Shelf – Free (5 years and up)
This is a fun little app that is essentially a soundboard. You can use it for cause and effect, predicting, etc… My favorite us of it and do this with other sound board apps is to use it for sound effects. I have some of my higher functioning clients write a scary story and then read it and use the soundboard like an “old timey” radio show. They really enjoy hitting the sound effects and then listening to a recording of their story.
2) iBlower Series: Magic Halloween – Free (Toddler and up) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
This is pretty cool cause and effect app because you are able to activate the animations using your hands, voice, or by blowing into the mic. The blowing into the mic feature is neat because you can have some lower functioning kiddos interacting with the app as well or even higher functioning if you want to work on some production of lip rounding or just work on basic imitation skills.
3) Monster Mash Lite- Free (Toddler and Up)
Working on describing skills? This app allows you to create monsters with a different head, torso, and legs. This can be a fun app to use in a barrier type game, where the child creates their monster and the therapist has to then draw the monster based on the child’s description of it.
4) Monster Booth- Free ( Middle School and Up)
This app is definitely for the older kids as it is slightly gross and contains aspects of blood and gore. You take a picture of the person you want to turn into a monster and then apply the overlays. Perhaps you can turn it into a what do you want to before Halloween game? So if you have some older middle school students and above this might be a great app to use if they can handle it without laughing and not being mature.
5) Treat Street- $.99 ( Toddler and Up) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
This is a fabulous app if you want to work on role-playing skills or just practice saying “trick or treat”. To play, you dress your character up in their costume and then head out down your street ringing the door bell or knocking on the door. The door opens and you get a treat for your bag. You are also able to monitor the treats in your bag as you go along in the game and can practice sorting skills at the end of the game by sorting all the treats in the bag.
6) Carve-A-Pumpkin from Parents Magazine- Free (Toddler and up) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
The app store as a bunch of carver your own pumpkin apps but I like this one the best. You are able to carve both free hand or use templates .
7) Monster Me- Free ( Toddler and Up)
Monster Me is a pretty cool Augmented Reality App that has a mad scientist feel to it. You line up your head on-screen with the guidelines and click play and virtual mask is overlay-ed over your face. You can change your eyes, nose, and mouth while wearing the mask or have fun and click randomized for a totally mad creation!!!
8) Ask Ya Mummy- Free ( Elementary and up)
Working on answering “yes” and “no” questions? Is it boring and tedious? Well invite a Mummy into your therapy session. Ask Ya Mummy randomly answers questions you ask with a “yes” or a “no”. You can have fun by have the child gauge if the mummy was ”right” or “wrong” when answering the question. The app can also be used as a soundboard as well.
9) Peek a boo Trick or Treat $1.99 (Toddler) iPad, iPhone, Nook, Kindle, Android HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Night and Day studios have a fun series of Peek A Boo apps and this is their latest edition. Knocking on the door causes it to open revealing 1 of 14 Halloween themed characters. The only thing I don’t really like is the fact that you are knocking on the door and finding a character and it should really be the other way around. You should be answering the door to greet one of the characters. It’s cute and fun nonetheless!
10) My Monster Voice- Free (Toddler and Up) iPad
Want to sound like a monster? This app comes with 3 preset high pitch monsters, 2 low pitch monsters, and a custom setting. Select your monster, record your message, and hit play and start laughing at how silly the voice sounds.
11) Go Away Big Green Monster! $2.99 ( Toddler and Up) iPad HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
I am sure you have used this at some point with a felt board activity or just reading the book, as this book as been around for quite some time. It offers a treasure trove of possible activities from just working on the word “go”, parts of the face, to describing activities. Just Google “Go Away Big Green Monster! activities” and you’ll see what I mean.
12) Halloween Card Creator- Free (Elementary and up) iPad
A fun free app that allows you to make Halloween Cards! Lots of fonts, clip art, and various other customizations Start creating your Halloween card today and share it via e-mail or Facebook!
13) What was I scared of? By Dr Seuss $1.99 (Elementary and up) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
A fun story about “fear” and how to handle it. Typical Dr. Seuss rhyming pattern through the book supports good phonemic awareness. Great to work on picture and word associations as well.
14) Spooky Playtime $2.99 (Toddler and Up) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
This is one of my favorite Halloween apps. It has lots of fun mini games!! They include: Junk Food Zombie- feed the zombies and help improve their eating habits, Bat Cave- sound recognition, Haunted House- a memory and matching game, Pumpkin Patch- counting skills, Spooky Forest- candy shape and color matching, Billy Bones- fine motor and shape recognition, Sylvia’s Spider Web- letter andnumber recognition.
15) First Words Halloween $1.99 (Pre-k and up) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
This app is based on the successful First Words Apps. I like this app because you can work by letter name or phonics and pre-select the amount of letters you want in each word. It’s useful to target CVC word for articulation or simply target some fall themed vocabulary!
16) Clicky Stick Halloween $.99 (Toddler and Up) iPad HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
This app is based on the award-winning app Clicky Sticky. This app will allow you to create a visual scene using “stickers” and then animate it using the play button. It’s lots of fun and can be used to enhance describing and vocabulary skills.
UPDATED APPS !!
17) Guess Who I am! Halloween Monsters Edition- Free HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
This is a fun twist on the classic Guess Who but with monsters. What’s nice is that the app offers the options of what questions to ask like ” Does your monster have wings?” etc.. So works great if you are working on asking questions or describing skills! These prompts are also available for the regular version of Guess Who I am where people are involved.
18) Mystery Machine- Lite -Free iPad HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
This app is lots of fun. You essentially are a Mad Scientist who has created a mystery machine that creates all sorts of gross things and monsters. You have different ingredients you add to the machine three at a time and what you get is a mystery! I can see this game being used for targeting working memory where you give the child a recipe i.e. Eye ball, Frog, and Pumpkin and they have to remember it.
19) Mask Doodle- $.99 iPhone and iPad
This app is developed by the same developers that brought you Cookie Doodle which is another fun app. What cool about this app is that once you create your mask you are able to print it out. You can even target some fine motor by having the child cut out the mask.
20) Mask Jumble- $.99 iPhone and iPad
Here is another mask making app but this time the fun is not printing it out like in Mask Doodle but by using augmented reality to wear your mask. I use their other mask game called Mask Jumble Animals that has a free and paid version in case you wanted to check out how the app works. Lots of fun possibilities for describing or role playing with this one!
21) Henry’ s Spooky Headlamp- $.99 iPad
Another fun app for building Halloween vocabulary and based on the Henry’s Headlamp series. You play as Henry wearing his headlamp in the dark and you have to search the darkness with your lamp for items like a skeleton, bat, pumpkin, etc…
I hope you enjoyed the updated list and that you find these apps useful for therapy! Thanks!
Appdapted: Zooburst 3D Pop-up Books
Zooburst is the latest in digital storytelling! It allows you to create free 3D pop-up books and share them online with others. To create or read the books you must first register for a free account at Zooburst.com. It’s web-based so you will need a computer with a web browser and Adobe Flash. Once you have set up your account you can then start creating or reading 3D pop-up books on your computer or iPad! When creating a book you have to login to your account on the website, click on New Book, and start creating!
The Book Builder on ZooBurst has over 10,000 searchable items that you can add to your books, plus the ability to import your own pictures. In premium mode you can add your own voice and sound effects too! To check out the pricing scheme and see the difference between free, premium, and school accounts click here —>Pricing
When you create your book there are a few ways you can read them: right from the website, using your computer’s webcam with a printed book code, or on your iPad.
When using the iPad you have a few options:
Story codes are QR code esque and you use your Zooburst app in camera mode to scan it. The book attached to the code will magically pop up and you can start reading.
The iPad app Zooburst lets you view any 3D pop-up book in 2 modes. You can use Screen mode to interact with the book by tapping on any of the characters that have an exclamation point over their head. You can navigate from page to page using the arrow buttons on either side of the book or by making gestures. In camera mode you use your printed story codes as shown above.
So how did I Appdapt Zooburst? Using the webcreation tool on zooburst.com I created a book called Ape’s Final /p/ Minimal Pair Adventure which focuses on final /p/ and uses minimal pairs. If you are unfamiliar with minimal pairs they are pairs of words where one competent is different, in this case they are words with and without the final /p/ sound.
The story includes these pairs of words:
- hop- ha
- cap- ca
Want to read Ape’s Final /p/ Minimal Pair Adventure or use it for therapy?
Download the Zooburst app and use the camera mode to scan the Store code below:
If you prefer to use your computer and check it out right now click on the picture below.
Descripto Dinos, available for $54.99 by Super Duper Publications, is a fun and engaging game that will have the children you work adding those pesky attributes to nouns in no time. Want to play? Well its easy to start! Have the child select their favorite colored game board and game chips. Each game board has a different dinosaur on it. You roll the foam dice, which Super Duper includes with virtually every product right? I mean they must have a whole warehouse dedicated to these dice. The number you roll determines how many attributes the child has to say in order to earn the ‘square’ . For example if they roll a two and just say “It’s yellow” and point to the mustard you would prompt them to ” Tell me more.” You would want them to expand it to “It’s yellow and you put it on hot dogs” etc.. There are multiple items on each board that are similar in category, shape, color, functions etc.. to help the child add more attributes to their description. There are a variety of ways to play but the main goal is whoever puts all their chips on the board first wins!
The game includes the following :
- 14 colorful, laminated games (7 boards printed front and back).
- A total of 1,036 picture-words across the 7 game boards
- 90 game chips in red, green, orange, yellow, purple, and blue!
- Foam die
- Instruction book
The instruction book is handy because it lists all the words on every game board. The list can be used to adapt the game to work on things like articulation. You can do this by finding the game board with most of the particular sound you want to work on.
The game can also be adapted for things like expressive language by having the child build sentences using the word or by simply expanding vocabulary. With receptive language you can work on things like following directions using different colored chips, concepts like next to and under, or by finding objects by function or category.
Check out the example video from Super Duper:
Voice Recognition & Activation Apps for Speech Therapy
Voice recognition and activation have been slowly made it into the main stream with advancements like Siri, S Voice, or even Dragon Naturally Speaking. These features are also making their way into apps and I am not talking about apps like Talking Tom, Talking Ben, or Talking Ava as these are simple record and say apps. These record and say apps are useful especially with children that are reluctant to vocalize or just too stubborn. What I am talking about is using your voice, words, or phrases to activate the app or cause something on the screen to happen in response to a “recognized” word or sound. Some of these apps are voice activation apps and some are voice recognition apps.
This app, based around characters of a Canadian TV show, appears to be a much improved version of the first Tiga Talk app which I have to say I was not a fan of. I wasn’t a fan of the first app because it put too much emphasis on the phoneme and then adding a ‘uh’ to the end. If you are a phonology person you know this is a ‘no no’. The premise of this app is that all the animal’s voices were stolen and you have to help them get their voices back by telling them. The developers have done a much better job this time around and have made it very fun and interactive working on 18 phonemes each with a different animal “voice”. The recognition software appears to be pretty accurate but they are up front with the disclaimer: “Gameplay rewards are based entirely on participation, not accuracy, so the child is constantly getting positive feedback as long as they are trying to make sounds!”. I am glad that they make this disclaimer because in the hands of a parent this would be a very useful app. There are other nice features to turn on and off such as on screen items to tap like acorns for the squirrel etc.. I did find it weird that some of the characters appear to be standing in mid- air during some of the scenes, which hopefully is an easy fix for the developers. So keeping in mind proper sound production and elicitation techniques a great therapist will find this app handy, especially if you are working on some early approximations.
This app has a really super simple premise. There is a monkey on screen with a thought bubble and the user has to say what it is. The voice recognition analyzes it and tells you if you’re correct or incorrect. MonkeyThinks uses the CMU Pocketsphinx library, and Politepix’s OpenEars (cmusphinx.sourceforge.net, www.politepix.com/openears/). Upon your first incorrect response and written cue will pop up on the screen. The voice recognition software is actually fairly sensitive and isn’t based on “accept any vocalization.” It’s not perfect though as it will accept “bee” for “key” and some other differences like that. This app would work best for a child working on word retrieval and expressive vocabulary and not for a child working on articulation. I have e-mailed the developer to find out how many words are in the word set as it is not listed, they also indicate that there will be more word sets coming soon.
Magic Voice, by Pocket SLP, is a voice activation app where the child use’s there voice to make something happen on the screen. There are 5 animations available in the app: a car, a balloon, a magic hat, a rocket, and a stack of blocks. Once the animation is selected the child then uses their voice to trigger the animation. There are 3 levels of difficulty I first thought this app was super sensitive to sound as it kept activating from the noise of my ceiling fan, so I went and tried it in a room without any noise in it. Once the difficulty level was selected the animations seem to start with or without sound, so I am hoping that Pocket SLP can comment on this. I was also concerned that when the app was released it was in the education category but I have now found it in the entertainment category.
This is a fun little iphone game based on voice activation. You are the pilot of a rocket ship flying through space and you use your voice to control your ship, saying “Ahhh” to go up and “Pah” to shoot. The game is a little tricky at first to get a hang of so could be a little frustrating for younger children. This game might work best perhaps with a child that has voice goals.
This is a wonderful free app put out by Disney that is an “Interactive Show”. It is based on one episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse called “Road Rally”. It also has a voice activation component to it where Mickey asks you a question and you have to answer. It would be really neat if it was voice recognition as well but sadly it’s not as most of the time the background music activates the voice activation areas. None the less it’s a great app that has big production value that will be great motivator for any client that’s a fan of Mickey Mouse!
EggZoo is an app developed on the representative method for teaching language to children- Total Physical Response (TPR). I had to look this up as I thought I was crazy for having never heard of it but it is apparently a methodology for teaching second languages that involves interacting and acting out the words as you learn them. The app revolves around four egg shaped animals You learn the words: catch, hit, chase, laugh, jump, spin, smell, shake, sleep, play, eat, and fly. You interact with the characters touching items on the screen for a few turns and then it switches to saying the words. There really isn’t voice recognition as it will accept any sound to activate the character’s response. That being said it will work well for a child working on approximations to some of these words like “eat” or “play”. It’s unfortunate that most of the words have clusters in them, but they are still good words to work on expressive vocabulary.
Are you using any other voice recognition or activation apps that I have not listed? How do you use these types of app in therapy? Comment and let me know! Thanks!
TenseBuilder, by Mobile Education Store, is the newest app in their lineup. It focuses on verb tenses: the past, present, and the future. You select the tense you want to work on and watch a video of the verb in action. Still shots of the video are then presented and you have to select what happened, what is happening, or what will happen based on the verb. There are 36 verbs in the app (that will soon expand to 60 by December 2012) and you have the ability to choose which tense you would like to work on as well as regular and irregular verbs. This app uses high quality animations and you have the opportunity to record the sentences and add it to the user profile to track progress as well as to work on expressive language skills.
Update: The app has been updated as of September 17, 2012 and you now have the ability to select which verbs you want to target for your session!
There are two main levels to this app:
Level 1: You watch the videos and then select the picture of the specific tense it is asking for.
Level 2: You watch the video and then have to select the correct word or phrase and drag into a sentence to complete it. The words you select ‘speak’ as you touch them, so you can hear them as you drag them into the sentence.
Update: The app has been updated as of September 17, 2012 and you now have the ability to select which verbs you want to target for your session!
Make a comment about how you would use this app in your therapy sessions for a chance to win a copy of the app!
Augmented Reality (AR)
If you follow my blog, and I hope that you do, you have noticed that I have been playing around with Augmented Reality and using it in therapy. Wikipedia defines AR as :
“Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.”
This territory isn’t new and if you follow Speech Techie’s blog you can see he did a wonderful 8-part post on QR codes and their use in therapy. In a recent post of mine I used a Spider-Man AR app to have fun with clean up time and to Appdapt various flash card activities. This leads me to a pretty awesome app called Aurasma (available for both the app store and google play). Aurasma was just featured in a TED Talk. If you didn’t catch it check it out:
As you can see the premise of Aurasma is fairly simple as you can turn any thing you see with a smart phone or tablet into AR and have a picture/video overlayed live. I believe the potential uses of this app are endless and if you are a crafty app developer you can even take their API and include it in a therapy app. Hmmm… that really makes you think of how you can use this in therapy right?? Well have no fear I have come up with a few ideas for you!!
Not as tech savvy as me? Well stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll be explaining the “how to” on making some basic AR using Aurasma. As always, I would love to hear some feedback! So please comment and post some questions if you have them!