Google Blogger Rant

Google shut down (for the second time) and completely locked me out of my rwslp.blogspot.com blog over a month ago (2/16), because it thought it was spam.  Luckily I just happened to have backed up my blog the night before, so I could copy to WordPress.com.   I requested that they review it at least 8 times.  Each time I got a email saying they would get back to me about the blog within 2 business days.   I never got response explaining why or what I could do to get the blog back.  Two days ago, I requested they review my blog again, and yesterday they finally unlocked my blog, sending me a “no-reply” email apologizing for the mistake.    In my opinion an apology with a “no-reply” email is not really an apology.

I am sorry if you are one of the many people viewing my BlogSpot blog and lost me during my switch to WordPress.com.  After all the fun (I could use other words but they wouldn’t be professional) I have had with Blogger, I think I will stay here at rwslp.wordpress.com.

Security and In-App Purchasing

I work on a Native American reservation.  Last week one of the special education teachers I work with had her iPad stolen by a student.  Fortunately, she was able to find out which student took it.  She took the student home announcing “I am here for my iPad”.  She then got it back, but all her photos etc., had been removed.  I think she was fortunate that they didn’t purchase any apps using her account.   It probably helped that a lot of Navajo don’t have access to internet at home.

After seeing this story unfold first hand, I realized I need to beef up the security on my devices.  I added pin codes to all my devices to prevent a thief from purchasing apps on the device with my money.  Here is a link of how to add pin codes on Android, iOS, and Windows phones/tablets.   The pin code will be required for all app purchases after it is added.  If you have the Amazon Appstore on your device don’t forget to set up pin codes for it also.

Not only does using pin codes provide an extra layer of security if someone steals your device, it prevents accidental in-app purchases as well.  There are some great (freemium) apps that use in-app purchasing like  Puzzingo.  With pin codes, it is much safer to use these apps with children.

Lock screens also can add a layer of protection.  The Android lock screen even stumped the FBI, so it should make it hard for a thief also.

Lookout

There are some great security apps that can help find a lost device and lock it from use if stolen. I personally use Lookout Mobile Security.  It can help you locate a device by making the device scream, send you a picture of the person using the device,  and showing you where it is located on a map.   It can also lock your device remotely. I have heard  avast! Mobile Security is  another good security app.  Both of these apps are free.

Little improvements in My Evaluation Performance Graph (DxGraph) files and Caseload Data Tools

I recently noticed that there was a few formatting issues (e.g., bold cells) from my personal use in my some of my files.  A user also brought to my attention a problem with the Highlighted Evaluation Performance Graph file. The age calculation didn’t work in a previous version and the highlighted region wasn’t adjustable.  All of these problems have been fixed in my new version you can download below  (My Microsoft Office Files post, ge.tt and Google Drive have the updated files also).

Evaluation Performance Graph

Click here to download my evaluation performance graph (dxgraph)

Highlighted Evaluation Performance Graph

Click here to download my Highlighted Evaluation Performance Graph

Caseload Data Tools (with macros): find and download CaseloadDataTools.xlsm from ge.tt when you click the picture

Click here to download Caseload Data Tools from ge.tt

Website Wednesday: FunBrain

Funbrain.com

Many speech language pathologists who work in the schools have probably heard of FunBrain, but did you know it has stuff you can use in therapy.  I use some of the games from the Word Games section during therapy.  All of these games keep score and the kids enjoy them.  Below is a list of the ones I have found useful.

2Bee or Nottoobee – works on the “be” verbs

The Plural Girls – works on regular and irregular plurals; two levels in both multiple choice and fill in the blank

Vocabulary – works on making words (text) to pictures in the areas of alphabet, animals, fruit, tools, machines, and shapes

Word Confusion – works on homophones in two levels

Scramble-Saurus Game – works on unscrambling words with a provided clue with three levels and multiple topics

Grammar Gorillas – works on identifying parts of speech within sentences

There are also Mad Libs a and spelling games.

I apologize for anyone who checked out my blog last Wednesday expecting a website.  Amazon had a free app that could be used in therapy so I posted on that instead.  I will try to keep my Wednesday posts on websites (except for when Amazon has good therapy app on Wednesday).  Next week will be a great resources for both online and offline (app) use.  Be sure you check back next week!

Android Articulation Apps

I have tried 3 Android flashcard articulation apps and thought I would compare them all in one post. All of these apps are set up for individual therapy. None of them work well for doing articulation therapy within a group, unless you are crazy like me and have two tablets and a phone.

Name Pocket SLP – Articulation Quick Artic Sly F & V
App Store Google Play; Amazon Android Pit Google Play
Developer Synapse Apps Virtual Speech Center SlySpeechApps
Price $14.99; $14.99-Kindle Only Free w/ Registration Free
Size (MB) 44 93 11
Minimum Operating System 2.1 2.2 2.2
SD Card No No No
Data Track & Email Track Track & Email
My Rating 4/5 3/5 4/5

PocketSLP

Pocket SLP – Articulation

Pocket SLP – Articulation is currently my go to app for articulation therapy. First you type in or select the client’s name and then you can select the phonemes you would like to work on. This is the only app of the three that allows you to select more than one speech sound. It has 30 different speech sounds. Once inside the flashcards you can select which the desired target position for the phoneme: initial, medial, final, or mixed. Speech sounds can be worked on at the word or sentence level. The photographs are good quality. There are also model sounds as well as side and palate pictures available showing how each sound is produced.

You have a choice between correct, incorrect, and approximation when tracking the client; a normal or silly sound can be made with this choice or no sound if desired. The app auto advances to the next card after the choice, but you can swipe forward or backwards. Data from each session is saved into summary page and this combined data can be emailed. While using the flashcards correct, incorrect, and approximation totals are tracked, but when you finish and go to the summary page the data is separated into the different sounds and positions. The overall total is not available in the summary page. I find this annoying when making my session notes. If I want to report on the combined sounds (e.g., velars or final consonants), I have to add it all together again. It is nice to have the summary, but I have found it sometimes difficult to work with this long list of data.

This app does have a few problems. Most of these are typos within the sentence level flashcards, but some of the model sounds don’t work well either. I have contacted the company multiple times over the past year about these problems. They have thanked me for the emails, saying they would work on them, but I haven’t seen any changes. My latest email to Pocket SLP, detailing all the typos, can be seen here.

Synapse Apps recently upped the price of their Kindle Tablet version available on Amazon from $4.99 to $14.99. This version only works on Kindle Tablets. Pocket SLP newsletter frequently advertises that all their apps are under $5.00, which is true for their apps on iTunes. The app has a lot to offer for $14.99, but I feel like this price is inflated when I look at their stuff in iTunes.

QuickArtic

Quick Artic

Quick Artic is a very basic flashcard app with high quality photos. The flashcards are separated into final, initial, and medial of the phonemes “ch”, “f”, “g”, “k”, “l”, “r”, “s”, “sh”, and “z”. It also has medial “th”, initial voiceless “th”, as well as the blends “f”, “fl”, “fr”, “g”, “gl”, “gr”, “kr”, “sk”, “sm”, and “sn”. Only one set can be used at a time. Data is kept by clicking “Correct” or “Wrong”, but the data isn’t saved when you exit the set. The cards have to be manually changed. The app is free after you register on the developers website and login when you open the app for the first time.

SlyF-V

Sly F & V

Sly F & V has auto advancing cards and email options like PocketSLP-Articulation. It doesn’t have an approximation button or save each session’s data into a summary page. The app has initial, medial, and final sets for both /f/ and /v/. Only one set can be used at a time. Each flashcard has a picture (not photo), written target word, and sentence. The pictures are not the highest quality, but they are not terrible either. This app is the only one of three that has a voice recording of each target word (if card is tapped). You have a choice between correct and incorrect. Swiping to another card is not available. The emailed results include a total score and a chart showing whether each target word was correct or incorrect. Sly F & V is SlySpeechApps’ only free app, but they have 11 other speech apps ranging from $3.99 to $29.99. The developer’s articulation screening, apraxia, and final consonant deletion apps look promising, but I haven’t had a chance to try them yet.

Overall Impressions

All of these apps sized properly on both my phone and tablet. None of them store on SD cards or track multiple students at the same time. Currently, I find myself working on more than one sound at a time, targeting phonological processes with my younger students. Pocket SLP – Articulation has worked well for this, but I find its data summary cumbersome. It is currently the only one of the three that is available on Amazon.  SlySpeechApps’ pictures are not as good as the other articulation flashcard apps, but its data summary is superior.  I recommend Quick Artic for any novice app users, SlySpeechApps for slps who work with one sound and position at a time, and Pocket SLP for slps who work on multiple sounds and positions at a time (e.g., phonological processes).

Amazon App of the Day: Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

Catterpillar

Amazon’s free app of the day is Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar. This app works on counting, vocabulary, quantity, and addition within five levels.  Kids are asked to select the food items  that the very hungry caterpillar eats within the story, quantities are of the food items are also targeted (e.g., “Please eat two apples”).  I tested this app and  would recommend it to speech language pathologists and parents with preschool and early elementary kids working on labeling food and quantities.

The Amazon Appstore can be downloaded on almost any Android Device.  Find out how to install it here.

Website Wednesday: www.Freerice.com

I have decided to add a weekly post on a website I am using in therapy. There are so many great websites for speech therapy. I seem to find one or two every week.

One of my favorite language websites for upper elementary to high school students is Freerice.com. This website is great for working on vocabulary and grammar. In the vocabulary section it works on identifying synonyms of a target word from a choice of four, and the grammar section works on selecting a grammatically correct sentence from a choice of two. There are many other subjects, but I haven’t found them as useful for therapy.

As the student answers several questions correctly they advance to the next level. If they get a question wrong it moves back a level. This provides a general way to track progress; unfortunately it doesn’t track wrong answers. The levels can be adjusted to a desired starting point. All correct answers provide 10 grains of rice to the Word Food Programme, helping to feed those in need. Ads are used on the website to get money for the donations, but I haven’t found these ads too bothersome.

I like to use this website with students if I have a few minutes left after completing my main activities. It is also a great website to recommend to other teachers. There is an app for this website in Google Play, but it is basically just the website, with quick access to the different subjects. It requires an internet connection.

freerice

Check Out My New Facebook Group: SLP Files and Freebies

 

If you are on Facebook, I have created an group for SLPs to share files they have created.  You can promote something you have made on http://www.teacherpayteacher.com or just share a self-made data tracking sheet for free.  Please make sure that you don’t violate any copyright laws when sharing.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/SLPFilesAndFreebies/

There are some excellent resources on Facebook for SLPs.  One of the best is SLPeeps.  Check out their files tab for some great lists.

Auditory Analysis

AuditoryAnalysis

Name Auditory Analysis (USA Version)
Creator Talking Talk
Marketplace Google Play & Amazon Appstore
Category Phonological Awareness
Price $   4.99
MB 33.1
Operating System 2.3.3
SD Card Yes
My Rating 5/5

Auditory Analysis is one of the more interesting and engaging apps I am using in speech therapy.   It uses the built in microphones (in phones and most tablets) to record and repeat audio clips. This allows students to compare their answers to the target answer then choose if they got it correct or not.   All of the students I have tried this with love this feature. They enjoy the ability to hear themselves.  My students also like the two fun games which can be used as rewards.   It has worked well with groups of students or a student using it by himself.

This app works on phonological awareness in 7 different levels: omitting part of compound words, omitting part of a two syllable words, omitting the initial phonemes, omitting the final phonemes, substituting initial or final phonemes, omitting part of consonant blends, and substituting part of consonant blends.  The data is tracked and can be emailed.

This app is currently only available on Android devices. The creator has made a video. Check it out here:

Amazon Appstore: Free Timer/Stopwatch Today and Discounts on Dr. Suess Books until March 11th

Click here to see StopWatch & Timer  ProClick here to look at The Foot Book.


The app of the day in the Amazon Appstore is StopWatch & Timer Pro.  Amazon is also running a even bigger sale on Dr. Suess books, including one of my personal favorites The FOOT Book.  I frequently use this book to work on /f/ and opposites in therapy.  The Dr. Suess sale will end March 11th.  They are also discounting lots of children’s apps today.  Check out all these deals here.

The Amazon Appstore can be downloaded on almost any Android Device.  Find out how to install it here.