Wednesday, June 19, 2013

{Review} Phono Learning Center by Smarty Ears Apps

Time to throw a phonological processes party, Smarty Ears style!  (Translation: Check out this fun, new app called, "Phono Learning Center" from Smarty Ears Apps!)

This app is based on the cycles technique, developed by Barbara Hodson, and is useful for children who are highly unintelligible.  It takes into account both primary and secondary targets through auditory bombardment, as well as four unique games.

The app comes with a helpful tutorial that can be accessed by touching the "support inner tube" at the top of the screen.  Spend just a few minutes to watch the video to make using the app super easy!

First, start by adding all of the players that you would like.  Simply click on "add player", type in the player's name, and choose an avatar.

Here, I have just one player ready to go, but you can add additional players if you would like to.

Next, determine your primary...

and secondary targets.  In the settings, you can also decide on the appropriate level for your student(s) - words, phrases, or sentences.

I've decided to start with auditory bombardment.  Here, students pop balloons and listen as each word is verbally presented.

Next, it's time to take a look at all of the fun games that can be played with this app.

In this puzzle activity, students must say their word (with the picture provided) and then drag the puzzle piece toward the puzzle.  Once the flashcard puzzle piece is laid on the "board", it turns into an illustrated piece.  You can keep track of each student's attempts on the top, right side of the screen.

Here, the puzzle is almost complete!

When you are ready to switch to another activity, simply touch the "done" tab at the top of the screen. A box appears that allows you to choose between terminating the session and switching to another game (and retaining all of your data).

The matching game allows students to say their word and then match the picture card with one of the other cards on the screen.

The balloon activity starts with a deflated hot air balloon.

As the student says their words and drags the cards to the hot air balloon, the balloon starts to get bigger!  Once it is big enough (approximately 12-13 cards), it floats into the air!

In addition to collecting data in a "missed/almost/got it" format, you can also keep track of data in a "prompted/imitated/correct" format.

Last, but not least, is the "basketpaper" game.  In this activity, students receive a piece of "paper" with a picture of their word on it.

Once the child says their word, they tap the piece of paper to crumple it up.

Then, they can shoot the piece of paper into the hoop!

Once the student's session is complete, you can access the data and even email or print it, if necessary.

What I love about this app:
- it incorporates Barbara Hodson's cycles approach, which is a wonderful component of this app
- it includes auditory bombardment, which is often left out of other phono apps
- it allows for easy data collection
- the games are very fun, and since there are four of them, they easily hold a student's attention

What I would like to see in an update:
- the auditory bombardment words seemed to pop up really fast, so I would like to see these words come up a little slower so that students can get the maximum effect from this part of the app

You can check out more about "Phono Learning Center" at the Smarty Ears Apps website or you can find it in iTunes!  The app will be $14.99 through the end of June, and then it will be $24.99.

Disclaimer: This app was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.

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