Friday, April 19, 2013


Today we are reviewing the new 3.2 version of the Articulate It! app by Smarty Ears. It is currently available in the iTunes store for the price of $38.99 which is comparable in price to other articulation apps like ArtikPix by Expressive Solutions LLC for $29.99 or Articulation Pro by Little Bee Speech for $49.99.

Articulate It! was recently revised and it has improved from its older version by adding some cool new features like; varying degrees of complexity and number of syllables, the ability to import students from the awesome Smarty Ears Therapy Report Center, and one of our favorite features: the ability to record productions, store, and send the recordings via email! We already have parents thanking us for those cool email attachments!

You should know that Articulate It! was designed and developed by a Speech-Language Pathologist.  That is apparent when you start using it and find out that it includes all of the phonemes and words a SLP would like to have when addressing articulation and phonological goals with their students.  The app provides phonemes at the word, phrase and sentences levels, digraphs, and consonant clusters.  The app can also target individual phonemes, a certain phonological process, and even manners of articulation for one or 6 players at a time (great for group therapy situations).

Choice screen: Choose your therapy focus here: phonemes, phonological processes,
manner of articulation or number of syllables.
Phonological processes choice screen: Choose from fronting, stopping, deafrication, initial consonant deletion,
 backing, gliding, final consonant deletion, and consonant cluster reduction
Select the phoneme choice screen: Choose one or more than one phoneme.
 Choose from p, m, h, w, n, b, d, j, y, t, k, g, ng, f, ch, r, l, v, th, s, z, sh, r/l/s clusters.
The ability to choose, "Quick Play" exists on the first page. This option is nice if you want to play without having to have to select a player. I chose this method with a client when I realized that I only had five minutes left of our session.  Thus, we had just enough time to do a quick play!
One would be encouraged to, "Select a Player" if they wanted to track therapy progress for a student. After selecting your player or players, then choose the therapy focus: phonemes, phonological processes, manner of articulation, or number of syllables.  The options are illustrated in the screen shots above. The amount of choices are amazing! There are 26 phoneme options, 8 options for phonological processes, 7 options for manner of articulation, and 4 options for number of syllables.  

When the session begins, you will find a wide variety of words to choose from. A list to check and un-check words to be presented is given. Then, one will notice that the therapy pictures will immediately follow and the student will be presented with colorful pictures that clearly illustrate the targeted word. A clear audible production of the word can also be heard by pressing on the picture. This picture was taken from the "TH" phoneme initial position at the word level shown above.

While using the app, you will have therapy data tracked for the selected students by clicking on the correct (a check mark) or incorrect button (X)  provided at the bottom of each screen.  The ability to record the student is also available by pressing the "Record" button.  The recordings can be stored into sound files that can be later found at the report cards or heard back immediately for feedback during your therapy session by pressing, "Play."

Please note: The settings can be changed on this app.  For instance, one can turn off the sounds made by correct and incorrect production tracking, the tally marks can be turned off, the written word can be taken off, and pictures can be moved by swipes instead of by making check or X response.  These options are nice for children who get a bit too concerned with their performance numbers.

When at this screen, you can access scores for each activity and level practiced. If you click "Notes" you can see all of the notes documented during the activity. If you click "Words" you can see a list of the words that were presented during he therapy session. If you click "Recordings" you can hear all of the individual recordings made during the session. Lastly, if you click "Share" you will be given the option to immediately print out results on an air printer, or to have the results emailed to you.

Are you a visual learner?  If so, view the video tutorial provided below. 
. Video Tutorial:

Our overall thoughts:

Overall, we really like this app.  It is comprehensive and easy to navigate through.  We can target every phoneme and phonological process under the sun!  I can’t think of an articulation or phonological process goal that we have for our students that wouldn’t be covered by this app. 

This app is complete in that it provides many sounds, phonological process targets with the additional features of getting to target words at the phrase and sentence level and the choice of choosing one to four syllable words.  We often work on the verbal production of multi-syllable words with our students, so those word lists are quite valuable to us!
We think that this app elicits a lot of verbal productions from each student without a lot of feedback or reward given after their productions. For instance, a reward sticker or game is not provided after working hard on a list, or a button for the SLP to indicate close approximations is not provided.  A verbal affirmation is not even provided like, "That was close" or "Good work." As a result, the students who do not like "drill work" can grow tired of this app after only a couple of word list presentations. A short reward for hard work world be nice for the students.  They all love games and the games or reward pages do not have to be hard or long, just simply something to look forward to after all of their hard work has been completed.

We find the data collecting feature on this app priceless.  The data is collected easily and stored for a later download that could be put in the student’s therapy file or even emailed to a parent who is always happy to see the progress being made by their child.  Of course the data can also be stored on the Smarty Ears Therapy Report Center app location too.  That's where data from this app and all of the other great Smarty Ears apps can be found for the students that you have entered in there.

We don’t often work in groups at our clinic, but we can imagine that the feature of being able to add up to six players and to rotate the screen by a push of the button so that their target is in front of the student while seated at a table would be super cool for school speech therapists who often work in groups! In addition, the option to have student progress saved at the Therapy Report Center must be very nice for SLP's with large caseloads.  All of the students on their caseloads names and therapy session data can be stored there.  That makes for a nice summary and a written report that can be read for report writing later.
We think that the wide variety of pictures provided are colorful, clear, age appropriate and easy to interpret.

We think that therapists should still provide a mirror and the visual production models on how to produce the sounds while using this app. Video visuals of where to put the articulators are not provided on this app. The students are not able to look at themselves produce the sounds either.

We are super excited to have this comprehensive articulation app in our therapy tool box and I just know that we will use it every day!  If you would like to buy one, please head on over to the iTunes store.  We think that you won’t regret the decision!  If you are feeling lucky, why don’t you go ahead and enter our Rafflecopter drawing below.  We’ll cross our fingers for you!!
Best wishes,

Manda & Shanda, SLP’s
a Rafflecopter giveaway


AngieSLP said...

I love that you can choose syllables. Nice feature!

Vicki said...

Yea! I always love it when I have a way to get an entry without having a Facebook account! This looks like a great app. The ability to use it with so many students at a time will be a great time saver.


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