Keeping Children Learning Between Sessions with Apps

by Tom Kloiber on May 17, 2013

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Many parents and therapists are embracing new technology when it comes to outlining their child’s speech therapy plan. Today’s tablets aren’t just for playing Angry Birds anymore–they can be used for a wealth of educational apps that teach children everything from colors, write stories, and even have conversations. The educational app market is quite large, and the choices are many. Here are a few apps that would be a great addition to any lesson plan for continued learning between therapy sessions.

 

Conversation Builder is an app that allows children both of a younger age and teenage years to master the skills of conversation. Teens learn when it is appropriate to introduce themselves in conversations, make observations, and even change the subject through a virtual discussion. For many children with language and social differences, these nuances of having a conversation can be difficult to master. The developers of Conversation Builder have taken great care to put a variety of features into their programs, including multiple conversation choices such as Relationships, Entertainment, Sports, and more. Students have the opportunity to record their part in the conversations, giving them (or their therapist) the chance to play the dialog back and see what could be improved, allowing for many ways to improve a child’s language skills as they master more conversational pieces. Being able to effectively communicate with peers is just one way that children can build successful relationships.

 

Articulation Scenes is another outstanding app choice that was developed by a speech language pathologist, itself. In addition to being voted “New and Noteworthy” by Apple in 2013, Articulation Scenes provides opportunities for children to learn to pronounce sounds more clearly, while its accompanying theme of the cinema is sure to amuse children of all ages. Articulation Scenes offers features such as “Find the hidden item,” which allows children to listen to a word and then find it on screen. Tap it and say it allows students to tap items and say them, which allows a therapist to track their progress as they move through the module. Other features include a “production room” where children can create their own story, and a “movie theater” where children can listed to a story which includes targeted words they are trying to learn. This app also targets parts of vocal inflection specifically, including a lesson based around the phoneme the letter ‘r’ makes. [Air, ar, ear, ire, rl] are all sounds that are included in the module to enhance children’s success rates at learning phonetics.

 

Making speech and language learning fun can indeed be done with these apps. There are many, many more available on the iTunes App store, or the Google Play marketplace. Finding the right app to teach your clients is just a tap away. Have you had success using apps to teach children language and speech? Or are you a traditionalist that relies on more face to face teaching methods without the use of technology? Whichever you choose, technology has come a long way in terms of educational apps, and these selections are a sliver of what is out there to choose from.

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