The iPad and apps are here to stay and have the potential for dramatically altering the manner in which we provide services. The interactive ability of apps is one feature that makes it stand out from the traditional materials we have spent a small fortune accumulating. Another feature is action or moveability. Figures can move across the screen to demonstrate concepts or ideas.
What we do not need is more of the same old same old. By that I mean, apps that transfer pictures from our standard manuals onto a screen. I looked at a company that promotes itself as designing apps for our profession. The standard manual/card pictures appear on the screen. They are uninspiring and unimaginative with minimal to no interactivity and no intriguing animation. I viewed their tutorial for articulation. The apps are as boring as the manuals we have used in therapy for years. Plus, they cost as much. Fortunately, there are free or cheap apps, that for now can be adapted to our language therapies such as opposites (see my earlier posts), prepositions, categories, associations and more. Unfortunately, there are none yet for articulation/phonology.
If you are a creative speech path who is interested in doing things differently, now is the time to bring your ideas to fruition and stand out. Here are some questions I feel are worth asking:
1. How will the app appeal to students?
2. How do I make the app a learning experience without boring and useless drill (something speech paths use way too much)?
3. How do I present material that is not the same old stuff I’ve bought in card and manual form?
4. How can I make my app inspiring?