Articulate It! receives a major update! Join the giveaway to experience it for FREE

Articulate ItSmarty Ears Apps had recently given one of their highly successful apps, Articulate It! a major makeover.  Articulate It! was designed to help speech-language pathologists, teachers, even parents work on children’s articulation and phonological skills.  Packing a hefty weight of 1000 images, one can use the app to target the production of English consonant sounds.

We updated our copy of Articulate It! and after starting it up, we were greeted with a brand new startup screen.  Love the new dinosaur mascot.  Love the new colours!  We could almost imagine how this new look would pop out in Retina screens (we used our trusty iPad 2).Articulate It 1

Here are the update’s highlights:

  • the Reports screen received a new look, and our kid clients’ profiles were retained including data on past activities, dates of practice, and accuracy ratings.
  • the Select Player screen likewise has a cleaner, fresher look.  We tried to import players from Smarty Ears’ Therapy Report Center, and since we haven’t gotten the app yet, we were prompted to download it right away.
  • after tapping on Quick Play, we were treated to four NEW choices
    • Phonemes:  select which phonemes we would like to work on (including /r, l, s/ clusters)
    • Phonological Processes:  one can opt to start the activity by being more specific and target specific phonological processes
    • Manner of Articulation:  choose your mix:  plosives?  liquids? fricatives?
    • Number of Syllables:  filter the words you want included in the activity by syllable.  You can choose between 1 to 4 syllablesArticulate It 2
  • when the activity started, we were chuffed to know that the app now has THREE levels of practice:
    • Words
    • Phrases
    • Sentences
  • images appear to have been refreshed
  • interface received a facelift:  the main part of the screen is flipbook in style, with other options set in a taskbar at the left of the screen.  One can opt to take notes, or rotate the picture in four ways (that way, you can opt to have your taskbar oriented to where you are positioned in relation to the iPad).
  • report format was redesigned:  nice big letters, with buttons to allow the user to view notes made, what words were used for that specific activity, and to play back any recordings that were taken.Articulate It 3

Just so they can let everyone know Articulate It’s new features, Smarty Ears is giving away a FREE copy.  If you think you’re curious enough to win one, join the contest via Rafflecopter (see below) and follow the instructions on how you can have a chance at snapping up a promo code for Articulate It!

Price:  $ 38.99
Weight: 343 MB
Updated:  11 April 2013
Version: 3.2
Compatible with: iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad.  Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
Target Population: children
Awesome if you want to work on:
  • apraxia
  • articulation
  • phonology
  • naming

Customer Ratings (iTunes): 4 out of 5 stars                                                              iSPeak App says: 4 out of 5 smileys

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Streamline your work on verbal apraxia with Speech FlipBook

Speech FlipbookAdmit it: somewhere in the depths of your arsenal / box of tricks / treasure chest / speech box is your handmade speech sound flip book.  Springbound colored laminated sound cards.  Loose sound cards in a plastic box.  We made ours during internship eons ago: cut up index cards with big letters written in wide-tipped markers, held together by metal binder rings.  These worked of course.  They were also unwieldy.  

When Tactus Therapy Solutions finally released the Speech FlipBook, we could almost swear we heard trumpets blaring.  Finally!  But wait a minute, we thought: this for sure is no ordinary flipbook.  We’ll walk you through this and tell you why.

Speech Flipbook1See that start-up screen, the design complete with spring binding?  Great attention to detail, yes?  That’s just an intro.  Before jumping into the Speech FlipBook, we went to Settings first and it was good we did.  Look at this rich array of options:

  • by FlipBook case:   UPPERCASE, lowercase, IPA
  • by Word case:   UPPERCASE, lowercase
  • (include) blank pages: (lets one manage syllable forms better)
    • Initial (allow VC)
    • Final (allow CV)
    • Both (allow V)
    • None (CVC only)
  • Include:
    • Real Words
    • Nonwords
    • both
  • Show / Hide words (words are situated in the bottom of the Flipbook)
  • Turn Links On / Off
  • Flip Effect:  Visual, Sound, Both, None
  • Edit Word List button

Speech Flipbook2

We went back to the cover where one can choose to flip by…

  • sounds
  • words

Speech Flipbook6

Flip by words, open the FlipBook, and it shows you sound combinations in uppercase / lowercase / IPA that form words (or nonwords, depending on your Settings).  Flip by sounds and, again depending on your settings, FlipBook generates initial, medial and final sounds in three paper panels that you can flip individually to create new words / non words.

Of course, what really really trumps the competition here is its ability to hand to the clinician full customizability by allowing individual sound selection.  These tabs are divided into (with their own tab colors, remember attention to detail?) the following:

  • Initial Sounds:  in table form(!) arranged by 
    • place of articulation (bilabial, labiodental, velar, etc.)
    • manner of articulation (voiced & voiceless stops, fricatives, nasals, etc.)
  • Initial Clusters:  /l, r, s, w, 3/ clusters
  • Vowels:  by
    • vowels
    • dipthongs
    • r-controlled vowels
  • Final Sounds (same table form as Initial Sounds)
  • Final Clusters: /p, m, th, f, t… etc./ clusters

Speech Flipbook5SpeechFlipbook 4Thus, if you are to start using the FlipBook with a client, simply:

  • tweak your settings: words only? in lowercase? show words? with flipping sound and animation or none?
  • choose your sound combos: tap which initial and final sounds and clusters, and which vowels you want to appear in your FlipBook
  • start flipping! tap the sounds to toggle the sound cue.  Flip between sounds or words to show (and play the sound of) the syllable’s parts
  • recording voice is optional:  you can record the client’s voice to encourage comparing and contrasting his/her voice to that of the app’s, and facilitate the client’s ability to monitor his/her own productions

What we love about this app:

  • full customizability:  we held on to our handmade therapy material because it it was easy to go through individual cards.  FlipBook improved and returned this accessibility back into the clinician’s hands by allowing one to select different speech sounds, whether or not to include blank pages, to use the IPA or not, etc.
  • a rich set of sounds, vowels and clusters offers the clinician that can be combined to produce 60,000 words and nonwords:  we love numbers, so, to borrow from the developer’s website:
    • 22 initial sounds
    • 29 initial clusters
    • 24 vowel sounds
    • 20 final sounds
    • 32 final clusters
  • one can opt to use words and/or nonwords:  would you want your client to practice on functional, real words or give your goals that extra stretch by using nonwords?  Again, your call.
  • retains the natural feel, or opt out if is distracting:  having an app that minimizes distractibility matters a lot to us, so when one has controls to remove sound and animation, it shows just how much it must also matter to its developers.
  • records the user’s voice:  when working on sound production, having a feature like this is always useful.  Any help in facilitating self-monitoring goes a long way.
  • interface is simple to use, sufficiently large font:  working with a client who may have poured most of his attentional resources on managing speech sounds using the FlipBook requires visuals that are easy on the eyes and are engaging enough without possessing distracting features.  What do we mean by this?
    • no scoring: Some may find the absence of scoring options as a disadvantage.  We view it as a welcome change, something that may even encourage the client to monitor and assess his own performance by comparing the FlipBook’s voice prompts against his own voice recording
    • no picturesThis is fine by us.  We would like to think that the developers did design the FlipBook to enable clients to focus how to produce target speech sounds rather than compromise attention by dual tasking via pictures.
  • downright light and affordable:  One cannot go wrong with $6.99, and you’ll love it featherlight at 33.7 MB.  With this price, the clinician can ask the client and his family to purchase the app and use it to practice at home.

What we would love to see in future updates:  We do have a tiny suggestion… a Settings lock.  The more we used the FlipBook, the more we saw it as a viable take-home tool.  Most clients (and their families) either have an iPad or has access to one even if borrowed.  Imagine if several of our clients downloaded the FlipBook, a clinician can adjust each copy’s Settings depending on each client’s therapy goals.  A Settings lock can keep the clinician’s settings in place while the client practices at home going through words and speech sounds in the appropriate level of difficulty.

The tried-and-tested therapy materials are those that one tends to go back to over the years.  What the developers of Speech FlipBook did was they took a universal, well-loved therapy material, compressed all possible targets into an interface that sped up the selection of speech sounds to align with one’s therapy goals, retained the traditional look and feel of the humble flipbook, and produced an oh-so-affordable app that guarantees a permanent place in the clinician’s iPad.  We believe no other app can be packaged to allow highly-specific customization via the selection of specific speech sounds, contain tens of thousands of words and nonwords, allow voice recording and playback and still be priced so low.  Speech FlipBook can definitely earn permanence not just in a clinician’s iPad, but in his/her clients’ as well.

Price:  $6.99
Weight: 33.7 MB
Updated:  28 February 2013
Version: 1.0
Compatible with: iPhone 3GS until iPhone 5, iPod Touch (3rd-5th Gen), iPad.  Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Target Population: children, adults
Awesome if you want to work on:
  • apraxia
  • articulation
  • dysarthria
  • auditory processing
  • phonological awareness
  • reading, etc.

Customer Ratings (iTunes): 5 out of 5 stars                                                             iSPeak App says: 5 out of 5 smileys