Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Castle Artic & StoryMaker {app reviews}

My favorite thing about Super Duper Publications is the way they listen to SLP’s. When SD first released their Fun Deck sets as apps, SLP’s responded asking for more. The new line of apps they are producing is exactly what we asked for! Interactive apps that are well thought out. Today I’mreviewing two of the new apps for you.

First up is the Webber Photo Articulation Castle App. The articulation app takes the photos from the Jumbo Artic Drill Book (Volume 3). Those of you who have students who need photos rather than drawings, will love the real-life photos.

The Basics: The app targets 24 phonemes at the word, phraseand sentence level. It can also treat phonological goals.

Start the app by either entering students to collect data,or using the quick start option to get going without the option to savedata.  This quick start option is greatif you don’t have time to input different players.

For groups or students who will continue to use the app, select the Players option. Click the add button and enter your students information.  When selecting the target you can choose a specific sound or an entire class (ie: fricatives).  This sets the Castle App apart from others on the market! I can use it for articulation or phonological kids in mixed groups with ease!

The next time you start to play, your students ‘goal’ information will come up. You can choose to edit the goal or target the same information. You choose from the following settings: response type, position, syllableness, level, and accuracy target. 

Next select the game. The Photo Fun activity is a traditional flashcard activity.

The Matching activity comes with two different levels. Each student has their own ‘board’ so working on different goals is not a problem.

The Arcade games include: Balloon Pop, Duck Derby, Fishing Rodeo, Hidden Treasure, Raceway, & Space Explorer.  Each game includes icons that appear. The player taps on the items (ducks, fish, race cars etc.) and is awarded randompoints. 

A target picture appears for practice, and data is taken at the bottomon the picture. The option to record is also available at the bottom of theapp.

One of the features that I LOVE about the app is the abilityto switch between games without restarting the app. For example to switch fromRaceway to Space Explorer, just click to the menu and select switch games. Noneed to reselect players or goals. Huge timesaver for SLP’s with clients whoneed frequent change!

Throughout the app data is taken on each target word. Thedata can be sorted by date or sound. 

Try out the /b/ sound for free before you buy! Don't you love when you can test it out with one free sound? I do! 

The Story Maker app is another super duper app focused on interactive learning.  StoryMaker was designed to target skills including reading, sequencing, vocabulary, sentence building, following directions, grammar and storytelling/narratives. 

StoryMaker uses two activities. Create a Story or Tell a Story. Tell a Story has student read, tell and talk about stories. Create a Story lets students develop their own story. 

The StoryMaker program lets you choose form 800 places, people and items. Creating the story was intuitive and easy for students to figure out.  Add pieces to the story from the categories at the bottom of the screen. If you can't find what you're searching for, try the search button. You can even add your own photo as a background for each page. This would be perfect if you need to  add pictures of your classroom or the playground to make social narratives! 

As you create each story page, select Save. You will see your completed story pages at the bottom of the screen. 

Once you save your final story, you will be prompted to give it a title! Next decide to make a new story or tell the story you just created. 

Here you can have your students record their own voice into the story! Great for expressive language goals! Then sit back and listen to your story! To get the most value for your time, use this app with small 1-2 student groups. 

You can try out the app for free with the lite version! You'll be able to try out the app with all the features, but are unable to save stories unless you purchase the full version of the app. 

Whew! That's a lot of information. Here's the take away:
Castle Artic - LOVE that it lets me select artic and phono targets. 
StoryMaker - Perfect for expressive and receptive language. Best for small 1-2 student groups. 
Grab the lite versions today and test them out!