Saturday, May 23, 2015

App Review and GIVEAWAY (Part 1)

I just love trying out new apps!  I have several app reviews to share with you, but I want to space them out a bit, so this is Part 1.  I recently heard about Teach Speech Apps and was provided with copies of some of their apps to try out and review.  I also have codes to giveaway 2 FREE copies of the apps (enter below)!  I love giveaways, don't you?

Teach Speech Apps works with SLPs to develop their apps.  The apps are designed to be used by a child working with an adult (such as an SLP during therapy).

This app review is for Pronouns by Teach Speech Apps.  Pronouns are one of the most common language goals for the students I work with.  At any given moment I have at least 2-3 students who have goals for pronouns.  As a traveling speech therapist, I am always looking for good apps to use, so I don't have to lug around a heavy bag full of cards/supplies.  The Pronouns app by Teach Speech Apps will be an excellent tool to add to my toolkit.  I will provide a detailed explanation of the activities in the app and a summary of pros and cons at the end of the app review.

The app targets pronouns in four ways: 
1. Identify the pronoun that goes with a picture (targets he, she, they, it)
2. Identify the picture that goes with the given pronoun (targets he, she, they, it, his)
3. Drag the item to the correct person/people (targets objective pronouns him, her, them)
4. Identify the pronoun for the sentence (targets a variety of pronouns)

 1. Identify the pronoun that goes with a picture.  For this activity, the child is shown a picture and needs to select the pronoun that matches the picture.

If the child selects correctly, the pronoun they selected lights up in green and a voice provides a positive reinforcement statement (such as, "Fantastic" or "Good job").  If the child selects incorrectly, the pronoun they selected lights up in red and no feedback is provided.  This is when the adult working with the child could offer feedback and allow the child to select a different pronoun.  The app only allows one selection per picture, but doesn't move on to the next item until the NEXT button is pushed.  This allows plenty of time for the SLP or parent to discuss the correct answer with the child.  The pronouns targeted during this activity include he, she, they, and it.

2. Identify the picture that demonstrates the pronoun.  For this activity, the child is provided with a short sentence using a target pronoun and two pictures.  They are to select the picture that goes with the pronoun in the  sentence.  For non-readers, the app will read the sentence, or the adult working with the child could do so.

The same positive feedback mentioned in the first activity is provided for correct answers, while no auditory feedback is provided for incorrect answers.  The incorrect answer selected will light up in red, while the correct answer will light up in green.  This activity targets he, she, they, his, hers (although he, she, they occur most frequently).

3. Drag and drop the item to the correct person/people.  In this activity, the child is provided with one picture on the left and two pictures on the right.  The child is prompted to "Give the ______ to _______." They will then drag the item to picture that goes with the pronoun used.

This activity provides the same feedback mentioned in the previous activities and targets objective pronouns him, her, them.

4. Identify the pronoun for the sentence.  This activity is a cloze activity in which the child will select the pronoun that fills in the blank to complete the sentence.

Each item presents a picture with three pronoun choices.  The app will read the sentence when tapped on.  The child selects the pronoun they think best fits into the blank.  Positive feedback is provided for correct answers.  No auditory feedback is provided for incorrect answers, but the selected answer will light up in red and the correct answer will light up in green.  This activity targets he, she, they, it, his, her, their, that, these, those  (although he, she, they come up the most frequently).

The settings screen allows the user to turn the verbal reinforcement, sound buttons, and written words on/off. 

Overall, this is a great app for working on pronouns.  I really like the following features of the app:

1. Professional photographs for each stimulus item make it clear and easy on the eyes.
2. Each page is kept free of distractions.  Only the picture and target words are provided.  This allows the child to focus on the target skill.
3. I love the different skill levels the app provide allow it to be used with students with a variety of pronoun goals.  There are activities for receptive and expressive use of pronouns, as well as subjective and objective pronouns.
4. I really like that the app does not automatically move on to the next target item after an answer is selected.  This allows the adult to talk through the child's selection and give them any additional feedback that may be needed before moving on.  While the app itself does not allow second answer selections for wrong answers, the adult could allow the child to verbally state their new answer before moving on to the next item.
5. I also like that the app offers visual and auditory prompts for each stimulus item.
6. The app tracks data for correct/incorrect responses and provides a score after every 10 trials.  

Here are my suggestions for ways the app could be improved:

1. I would really like it if the user could select which pronouns to target during each activity. I have some students that are working on he/she, but are not quite ready for they yet.  It would be great if I could select which pronouns to include in each session. For the time being, I just skip over the ones I don't want to work on and take my own data on a notepad. 
2. The voice used in the app sounds like a computerized voice.  While it is clear and easy to understand, I would prefer a more human sounding voice.  Though this does not affect the overall value of the app since it still provides great practice for pronouns.
3. Since verbal feedback for correct answers is provided, I would like to also hear some kind of verbal feedback for incorrect  answer choices (such as, "Oops, try again" something along those lines).
4. During the second activity, in which the child is to select a picture that goes with a pronoun, the target pronouns include he, she, they, and his.  I think his should be removed, since it does not fit with the other three pronouns.  I would prefer his/hers/theirs to be targeted in a separate activity on their own.

So, there you have it.  Pronouns by Teach Speech is a wonderful app for working on a variety of pronoun goals.  I know I will use it frequently. You can find it in the app store for $2.99 or you can enter the GIVEAWAY below to try and win a FREE copy of this great app.  I will have 2 FREE copies to give away, so be sure and enter!

Disclaimer: This app review includes my personal opinions.  I was not paid/compensated in any way, but I was provided with a free copy of the app in order to review it. 

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  1. Most definitely... always working on pronouns!!

  2. So many of my kids are working on pronouns as well! I work in home health and love being able to utilize my iPad instead of lugging tons of materials. This would be great!

  3. This definitely looks like an app I could use!! thank you for the giveaway :)

  4. This DEFINITELY something I could use. I see multiple ways to use it with a variety of clients on my caseload!

  5. Your review was very comprehensive and makes me really want this app to use with my students who have pronoun goals!

  6. I think it would be a great app to use. It scaffolds learning of pronouns and makes it fun to learn!

  7. I would love to use this app with my students!