As a new SLP I have been planning and thinking abut what tools I have to use during therapy when I end maternity leave and start my new job this fall. I have made several must haves but I'm still going to need to accumulate materials over the next year and beyond. So, when I was on instagram and saw that Little Bee Speech had a new app that they wanted SLPs to review I jumped on it! I am already very familiar with their app Articulation Station since it was my go-to articulation app during my graduate school clinical. I love how I could slowly buy the phonemes I needed (as a poor graduate student this was great) and eventually worked my way up to owning most of them. It also helped that I didn't have to remember to bring my articulation cards when I traveled since they were all stored in my iPad and my kiddos also thoroughly enjoyed using the iPad as well. I think you get the point that I love Articulation Station and after trying Articulation Test Center I have to say that Little Bee Speech knows what SLPs need!
As a teacher I have had to assess kiddos using iPad apps (mClass Reading 3D anyone??) many times and they always fall short somehow. They are either too confusing to figure out, they don't run smoothly, they lose data or I wish they gave me more data in the end. I have to say that even though this app was created for SLPs it could easily be used by teachers without all the headache of the assessments I have used on the iPad in the past. It is also a great tool for parents who are concerned for their kiddos intelligibility. I have spoken to many teachers and parents about their own kiddos or kiddos in their classrooms and often get asked "Do you think they have an articulation problem"? While a consultation and a possible full evaluation by a speech-language pathologist is definitely recommended if a parent or teacher has a concern, this app could easily give a great an idea of what the child is having difficulty with so that the parent/teacher could seek out an SLP evaluation fully informed. Often parents and teachers know the child isn't speaking correctly but they have a hard time pin pointing the exact phonemes, this app clearly defines errors.
In short, this app is AH-MAZING! I already had high hopes because of my love for Articulation Station but it surpassed all my expectations.
After giving the screener and full test to my husband (who is also now an SLP, check out the All About Me section for an update!) I made a list of what I loved and because they wanted me to really give input on what could improve an already awesome app I added what I thought they could maybe add in the future. Here's a breakdown of what I believe are the strengths.
And in a perfect world here are my wishes for what I would like to see added to the app. (I am by no means an app designer so I'm not even sure the first one is possible outside of my imagination)
I mentioned that a parent/teacher printout would be helpful. To be fair a review of the results is generated which makes writing up the eval. report very easy and could be given to parents. But from my teacher/parent stand point I can see how parents like a quick review of the results using parent friendly language and ready-to-use activities they can do with their students at home. Also, there is a link to Articulation Station in that the app will give you the recommended phonemes to work on using Articulation Station but I was thinking maybe the student data could just be imported automatically into Articulation Station? I know nothing about app design so I'm not even sure this is possible but it was just a thought. Anyway, that's what I had in mind when I added those as a "wish" : )
If I hadn't stumbled upon their instagram post I would have bought this app in a heartbeat. It is so much cheaper than many other articulations screeners/assessments and it's all packed into my iPad. No lugging around materials! Check out their video tutorials and a run down of all the cool features by clicking HERE!
After all is said and done I would highly recommend the Articulation Test Center to fellow SLPs, teachers and parents. What's even better is that Little Bee Speech is putting ALL their apps on sale for 30% off for Back to School from August 12th-August 14th! You can check out their website or from the App store on any iDevice. I am still a few phonemes short on Articulation Station so I'm planning on snapping up the last few during this sale since it only happens once a year!