FREE for a Limited Time! Target Narratives with Two Free eBooks

One of the main reasons why SPeak App is around is to tell you when things are free, and which free stuff is worth your download and your clients’ time.  For this Halloween, SPeak App presents to you two kid ebooks guaranteed to help you work on your kids’ narratives.

On Lion Roars Up,  Lion is sick in bed and his friends try to cheer him up and make him feel better… well, apparently they tried too hard.  The ebook The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs tells the classic fable of a greedy couple who killed their goose hoping to gather more golden eggs.

What I love about this app:

  • two reading options:  You can opt for the app to read for you by playing it as an animation with a storyteller going through the story slide by slide, read it yourself where you can touch the screen to turn the page and the words will appear for you to read from.
  • interactive! On Read It Myself mode, your kid client can tap on the cartoon characters and have them make a sound or speak a line.
  • three kinds of views:  choose to view it as a running animation, a classic page-turn animation, or view it in Cover Flow format.
  • supports two languages:  shows instructions, words, and speaks in either English and Chinese.  In my case however, my 10 years of being in a Chinese school as a kid amounted to zilch… But this is awesome for multilingual SPs (lucky them) and for those with kid clients whose L1 is Chinese
  • vivid, eye-catching cartoons:  need I say more?

What this app needs to improve on:

  • Um… I find it rather hard to find something faulty on a well-made FREE app.  None for now!
Price: FREE for this Halloween season (was $0.99 each)
Weight: 53.7 MB (Lion Roars Up) / 9.9 MB (Golden Goose)
Updated: 21 October 2010 (Lion Roars Up) / 15 July 2010 (Golden Goose)
Version: 1.0 ((Lion Roars Up) / 1.1 (Golden Goose)
Compatible with: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad.  Needs iOS 3.0 up.
Seller: Max Stage Technology (Lion Roars Up) / Dam Chen (Golden Goose) both @ AppleTreeBooks

Target Population: young kids

Awesome if you want to work on:

  • picture description
  • answering Wh- questions
  • narratives
  • facilitating production of both simple and complex sentences
  • teaching pragmatics via stories
  • comprehension of cause and effect
  • problem-solving (identifying the problem, identifying consequences of the action, stating how the problem could have been avoided/prevented)

Customer Ratings (iTunes): 5 out of 5 smileys

SPeak App says: 5 out of 5 smileys


Sound Touch: Strengthen Concepts with Sounds

Let’s start with something basic.  Something that makes a sound when you tap it.  Something that FLASHES a beautiful hi-res picture when you tap it AND makes a sound.

Sound Touch does exactly what the title suggests and more.  Designed for toddlers and young kids, the main screen holds 12 cartoon images per category.  Tap on a cartoon image and a hi-res picture pops out along with the associated sound.  Each cartoon image has as many as five different real pictures and sounds.  Awesome to use especially if you need to hold your kids’ attention.  Have I mentioned that the pictures are hi-res?  No?  Well, they give the HD in ADHD a different meaning. And the sound quality of the recordings are top notch.  The lion growls and roars are freakin’ realistic.

The categories are:

ANIMALS (farm animals, pets): sheep, duck, horse, frog, dog, pig, cow, rooster, goat, bird, donkey, cat
ANIMALS (zoo animals): elephant, kangaroo, monkey, lion, zebra, dolphin, seal, bear, camel, snake, tiger/cheetah/leopard, wolf
BIRDS: flamingo, owl, vulture, stork, parrot, penguin, eagle, peacock, pelican, ostrich, geese
VEHICLES: airplane, firetruck, motorcycle, bicycle, car, carriage, bus, helicopter, ship, truck, tractor, train
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: trumpet, accordion, violin, piano, recorder, organ, harp, xylophone, guitar, harmonica, drum, saxophone
HOUSEHOLD ITEMS: clock, keys, sink, blender, door, drinks, pot, toys, washing machine, broom/dustpan, mobile phone, dishes

What I love about this app:

  • Loud, crisp sounds:  The saxophone plays a jazz clip (5 different ones!), the horse’s neighing puts my own rendition to shame, and the washing machine reminds me of the pile of laundry I need to do at home.
  • Different pictures per concept: My kids are never bored with this app.  Sound Touch teaches kids that a dog can look different across species but is still a dog.  A guitar can be a classic or an electric guitar.
  • Easy to use: No startup screen, no words, nothin’.  Just pictures and sounds.  App opens on the 12-image grid right away. Tap and get your pictures and sounds.  Shake the iDevice and the sound is repeated.

What this app needs to improve on:

  • Nothing yet! My kids are very happy with this app.  So happy, some of them find the lion growls and roars very… alerting 😉

I got this app free one lucky afternoon.  But you can try out Sound Touch Lite version for free.  If you really, really like it and see how useful it will be at work, what’s $2.99 for the full version?  It’s just like forgoing a McDonald’s cheeseburger meal with a Twister fries upgrade (Twister fries!).

Price: $2.99
Weight: 66.3 MB
Updated: 12 October 2010
Version: 1.7
Compatible with: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad.  Needs iOS 3.0 up.
Seller: Eran Talmor @ Sound Touch Interactive

Target Population: toddlers and young kids

Awesome if you want to work on:

  • auditory discrimination and recognition
  • word retrieval and picture identification
  • building concepts
  • stating similarities and differences
  • divergent and convergent naming
  • associations

Customer Ratings (iTunes): 3.5 out of 5 smileys

SPeak App says: 4 out of 5 smileys

First, a bit of eSPlaining to do… Why SPeak App?

iSPeak App is actually an excuse to avoid the paperwork us therapists are known to drown in.

No. We’re kidding!

After years of working as a speech-language pathologist, one does run out of ideas and creativity.  You know what I mean:  you know the exact page number of the exact workbook for the exact problem your kid client has.  The moment an adult client walks in and you hear him talk, you probably know what the problem is and what can be done.  Heck, you may be able to SMELL aphasia a few feet away.

Salvation came in a little brick of a phone called the iPhone.  For others, it was a thinner brick called the iPod Touch.  For those who like to super-size things, the iPad.  Suddenly the geek in this SP woke up and started downloading and chomping apps.  Ah APPS…  iTunes finally showed what it was for.

While I admit that 70% of my iDevice is composed of games, I have a select handful of work-related apps.  Some were gotten for free, some were not, some were bought on sale, some…well, were free once. These have been a joy to use with both kid and adult clients.  And you know what happens when an SP is happy with something.  He/she does what he/she does best:

SPeak.

And SPeak.

Over and over and over again.  SPeak of one “in” thing to one SP, you’re guaranteed to have that tidbit passed on.

Really, Steve Jobs should hire SPs to do his marketing campaign.  App developers should snap up us therapists to market their work.  We are walking commercials and are natural marketing agents.  We never get tired doing what we were trained to do: TALK.  In return, all us SPs want are SP APPS!  Right?  C’mon, admit it (yes, yes, AND a free game or two especially made for destressing).

Many of my Facebook posts were all about Mac and/or the iPhone.  When the App Store announced that it has finally created a Special Education section, my good buds Loumel and Trina suggested that we recommend apps that are eSPecially useful for SPs and kids.  When I posted that thought on Twitter and asked the lovely #tweeSPs for suggestions, Sandy of Davao said, well, what about “SPeak App”?

The name SPeak App was uncontested and, within Blogger.com, was untaken.

So here we are =)

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SPs gadgeteers UNITE!  SPeak App will be serving you with recommended apps, iDevice accessories, even app usage strategies that gives you EVERY excuse to tap-tap, swipe-swipe, shake and tilt while doing your work.