Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thank Goodness for Speech4Good App

I was contacted by Jack over at Balbus Speech to be the first blogger to premier their newly revised edition of the Speech4Good App! I was looking at previous editions of this app and other reviews of this app by previous bloggers here and from seeing the older version and looking at this newer version, you can tell that everyone over at Balbus speech has listened to feedback. I think that is a great quality of an app provider because all in all, they are trying to make apps to best help US as SLP's (the best and coolest profession in the world) serve our students. So props to Balbus Speech (clap clap clap). It is totally revamped! =D

This app can be used in a number of ways: 
-Misarticulations. (voiceless vs voiced sounds or just as auditory feedback)
-Easy Onset in fluency
-Vocal quality including pitch and intensity in voice
-Prosody features of voice
For voice, you could use the oscilloscope for the students to see the amplitude of the wave (depending on the students age you would have to describe it accordingly). For articulation, you could use the app for auditory feedback by using the record function. And for fluency, you could use both the auditory and visual functions of this app. That is a lot of variety for 1 app.

So here we go.....

This is the screen you see when the app is starting up =) 

This is the home screen where you have different places to go. I chose the speech center first to demonstrate. I used this with my student for a while at school. The time says 9:41 pm as this was when I took screen shots of the app, so I could show you exactly how it works =)

This is the account screen. You see there is a user forum, a FAQ's section and an option to email the very nice people at Balbus speech.

This is where the magic happens:

Basically you have the student speak into the app and the app demonstrates a speech graph (oscilloscope) that allows the student to visualize their speech. There is the option to turn off the speech graph too if it is too visually enticing for your student(s).
Here are a few examples of the speech graph in use:

When you are done completing a recording, a screen pops up with the options to save the recording to the library on the app, add notes to a session or discard the recording. I saved mine as Test Trial. This is what it would look like in the app as a saved session. This is located in the library portion of the app.
If you happen to try to use the delayed auditory feedback function with your headphones not plugged in- you will see this screen.

Once you have the headphones hooked in, you can adjust the auditory feedback delay from 20ms (milliseconds) to 300ms.

When you have a saved session, you can go back and add notes to the session. This would be handy if you were sending a recording back home to parents to get your tips on productions. At this point too- you can email the session. See below.

After you have a saved recording, you can send the recording to whomever you would like! So I sent a recording to myself to see how this would work .Obviously for HIPPA reasons, you would need consent to send any recording to anyone. A great idea that I read somewhere on their website was to have the parents purchase the app and have the students practice fluent speech at home. THEN the student can email the SLP the results from their practice session at home. If you remember from previous versions of this app, there was an option to share on Facebook and other social media accounts. That feature is not included in this version and I'm glad because there is no reason I could possibly think of to do that. I think the email option is best and I would feel ok corresponding via this medium. This is what the email screen would appear like:
It then shows you a screen, letting you know the email was officially sent. Now the next part is what I like best!
After the recording is shared, you can go to the shared spot on your home screen and you can see who you shared various recordings with already! The only thing I found odd was I sent the email at 09:37 and it the time kept showing up as WAY later. I wasn't sure how to fix the time. Not a big deal- just odd haha.

This is how you can add notes to the session.

Even after the session is over and saved, you can go back and add additional notes. This is a neat option for if you need to listen to the recording more than once.

You can delete a session or a shared session at any time by swiping your finger across and a delete button should pop up.
Overall, I think the app is really easy to use and would be a great too to have on your speech Ipad if you have students working oin fluency or articulation or voice. I think it provides a great visual for students and direct feedback while they are speaking. You could easily use some of their recordings in an IEP meeting to show progress. I have proposed that some of my parents get this app on their home device so their son/daughter can utilize the extra help at home. I happened to have one student's parent that immediately thought it was a good idea, so they downloaded the app and sent the app back and forth from home to school. I would add my comments in the notes section of the students session at school then mom was able to use the same cues as I did at home! It was a great tool for SLP-parent involvement in the student's education. This could easily be done with voice, fluency, articulation, expressive language as well.

I really like all the updates from the previous version of this app and I feel now it is very user friendly and it makes it harder to "accidently" share a session with someone. I think that is very important because so many of my students are button pressing genius's =D I will continue to utilize this app in my therapy sessions and it would be a great tool for you all too!

You can read more information on the app on their website 
Here is a video on YouTube that talks about the app. Both of these videos feature the old edition of the app, so remember that the social media sharing is not on this update. I just wanted you all to have yet another way of learning about this app.


Here is another video by Jack, the owner and creator of the app.

This app is currently available for 14.99 in the app store. Thanks again for Jack and Balbus Speech for the opportuntiy to preview, use and review this application.

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