Articulate it! in Action

by Cindy Meester

I’m sure most SLPs have tried a variety of techniques to improve articulation sound errors. My iPad has not only helped to improve communication but it has opened up options on where I provide therapy.  I am now able to move out of my speech room and work in a classroom or even a hallway. What a hallway! Wasn’t that what we used to do in the “olden” days. Well maybe but now it is a very functional option for some of my articulation students.  Here’s how it works for me.

Scenario 1: I often have several students who are close to using sounds in carryover. I found that working twice a week for 20 minutes or so was not that effective especially as my caseload grew and grew.  I started with the first 30 minutes of the day and called this my Articulation Rounds.  This worked well as I moved from room to room and worked with each student for 5-10 minutes. I would take with a binder filled with word lists, pictures, reading passages plus my data sheets. But it did get cumbersome. Then I got an iTouch and my tired arms relaxed and when I showed up at a classroom and held up my iTouch the “coolness” effect take over.  The speech student came willingly and all the other kids wanted to join in too.  Now with my iPad I have a bigger screen and more kids that want to join in! I now have started using this model with some of my students who have multiple sound errors and poor overall speech intelligibility.  This gives them the opportunity to practice more often and I am finding they are able to focus better with these shorter bursts of service.  I love using Articulate it! in my Articulation Rounds. I can have all the materials necessary to meet my students’ needs. The school I work at even has benches in the hallway that I use. And BONUS it keeps track of the data too! Scenario 2: I use Articulate it!  with students in my speech room too.  The app allows you to have more than one student practicing at a time. There is an option to choose to take a photograph of the student and a newly add option of an avatar.  My students were excited about this new choice and all have changed their image to avatars. Who wouldn’t like being a smiling face with blue hair! I use the app just like using traditional articulation cards.  I can have them practice at the word level or make up sentences for each picture.  The record option allows each student to work on self-correction.  And BONUS it keeps track of the data too! Scenario 3: I use Articulate it! for my fluency students (stutterers).  I have them practice easy speech in words and sentences.  I use the record option so the students can help analyze their own speech or practice a technique and hear it in their own voice.  And BONUS it keeps track of the data too!   Scenario 4:  I have a student working on vocabulary or expanding their descriptive language skills.  Each student is assigned a phoneme and they take turns giving two clues and receive can push the green check mark if the other student(s) guess correctly. It’s about providing good clues and not trying to be tricky! And BONUS it keeps track of the data too!   In all these scenarios I can add a note to each student’s data. This allows me to note if we practiced in words or sentences or if they needed models etc.  I can then e-mail the data to myself or upload it to iTunes.   There have been some issues of the buttons disappearing. It has happened to me too. Thanks to Smarty Ears team they figured out the problem.  If you use the lock button on your iPad the control area buttons will disappear.  Here is a video link to fix: An update is coming so stayed turned for the new exciting features!!!

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