It’s nice to know that we have a number of options to choose from when picking an articulation app to download onto the iPad. As one might expect, each of these apps has its own pros and cons: some use great pictures to support the words/phrases/sentences, others give more opportunities for the production of particular phonemes in various contexts, while others still have flexibility to switch between word position of the phoneme and complexity level of the utterance (word vs. phrase vs. sentence) during practice. Although options are great, sometimes they make it tough to choose which app to buy. Here’s my review of an articulation app I have found to be a FANTASTIC resource for any SLP or grad student in the field!
Pocket Artic (currently $9.99) is a do-it-all articulation app. When adding a new client, you are prompted to type in their name, preferred level of practice (word, phrase, or sentence; you can easily switch between levels in the midst of practice if desired), and preferred phonemes (choose from 30 options, including blends and post-vocalic /r/ sounds).
To begin your session, choose the student(s) who will be participating, and start! The app automatically switches between participants, changing the cards appropriately to align with their specific phoneme(s) and complexity level. If at any point you wish to increase or decrease the complexity level, you can do so mid-practice with the click of a button. You can also indicate whether you want practice to occur in word-initial, medial, final, or mixed positions!
If the client benefits from visual support, you can click the “i” button during a given turn and get a visual representation of where the tongue should be in the oral cavity for that particular phoneme. Additionally, you can click on the microphone button to hear an example of the sound when produced correctly. Since these images are the same as those in the Speech Tutor app (currently $4.99), these 2 apps really compliment each other well!
Like many apps on the market, Pocket Artic allows the SLP to mark each opportunity as correct, approximated, or incorrect. The app keeps track of all the results and transfers them into easy-to-read data sheets (which you can save and/or send to yourself).
So, here’s a summary of what I like:
- You can input individual goals for each client, but incorporate multiple clients into a single session
- You can easily and quickly change the phoneme position within the word AND change the complexity level (word, phrase, sentence) during a single turn
- You have control over whether the correct/approximated/incorrect buttons make noise when pressed (some client like that feedback, while others might find it distracting)
- During a particular turn, you can click the “i” button to get a visual of where the tongue should be in the oral cavity for that specific phoneme.
- Lots of great data is collected and organized by the app
- The images are REAL! This helps to contextualize them for kids who might otherwise have trouble, AND makes them applicable for adults to practice (yup, I actually eval’d a 28 year-old for artic this past week with this app)
I wish that Apple would invent a little clicker that wirelessly connects to these kinds of apps which would allow the SLP to remotely mark whether the response was correct/approximated/incorrect. I think that watching the SLP “take data” on the app is really distracting to many clients, but until that invention exists (COPYRIGHT, haha), I suppose we always have good old pencil and paper if using the app to keep track of responses causes issues. All in all, I think this is a great choice for SLPs looking for a do-it-all articulation app for their iPad!