I would guess that most speech-language therapists who use phones or tablets in therapy will have already purchased an articulation flashcards app. This post, however, will hopefully help anyone just starting out with this technology to make an informed decision. Unlike my previous posts, where I have simply described my point of view on a single app, I want to engage others who use similar apps and allow them to compare and contrast. Since these articulation apps tend to be on the pricier side, reviewers typically only purchase one, and it is difficult to discern how various options “match up.” With this post, I’ll start by reviewing the articulation flashcard app that I use most frequently, but then I am calling on you (fellow #slpeeps!) to share with me how the artic flashcard app(s) you use measures up. This is a bit of an experiment in #slpeep interaction that was inspired by a recent Twitter conversation with Dr. Bronwyn Hemsley (@bronwynah). If you are an SLP using a similar app, participate and let us know why your app should (or shouldn’t) be downloaded by the next curious SLP!

What It Is: Articulation flashcard decks by RinnApps, arranged by phoneme.

Price: $29.99 (full version); $1.99 (most single-phoneme decks–e.g., /s/ blends); Free (“th” deck only)

How It Works: Entering the app, there is a choice between flashcards and matching. Choosing the flashcards option, the user may then pick one or more of 21 decks, separated by phoneme (or phoneme blend). The user then has the option to choose in which position of words the target phoneme(s) should be addressed (e.g. initial only). For some decks, this may be specified slightly differently (e.g. the /r/ deck is broken down into various post-vocalics such as /air/ and /er/ as well as the prevocalic /r/ and the /rl/). Once the phonemes and positions have been specified, the app produces a customized deck of cards to be scrolled through. Data can be collected for each card and summarized at any point. There is also an option to record the user’s productions and play them back for self-monitoring purposes. The matching option has many similar features such as recording and data collection. Again, the user chooses the desired phonemes and positions in words. Then, the user can pick the level of difficulty/number of cards (easy=8, medium=12, hard=20) and a matching game is created. All data from sessions with flashcards and matching is saved by student for future reference.

My Therapy Applications: Obviously, I use this app to address articulation goals. Occasionally, I will use it 1:1 with a child who simply enjoys scrolling through it, practicing the words, and listening to the recording of his or her own voice. More frequently, however, I find that I use this during board games such as  Candy Land or Checkers, with the child practicing the word (in isolation or phrases or conversation) before each turn. I may also incorporate it in physical activities (e.g. ball toss), depending on the child’s preferences. In addition, I may have this app on my phone while we engage in play on the tablet.

Pros: 1. Price. Typically, I count this as a “con” for apps that are in this price range. However, considering the rate for traditional paper decks, this really is a good deal. I will be interested to hear what other SLPs/SLTs paid for similar apps.

2. Non-ambiguous pictures. This app’s images are relatively easy to match with the appropriate words.

3. Data collection options. Data can be collected on up to four students during one session (and more overall). It is also easy to review previous data and forward it when necessary.

4. Transitioning between flashcards is easy and natural. It only requires a flick of the finger but is not too sensitive. (Compare this to apps that have a cumbersome arrow at the bottom or those so sensitive that an accidental touch of the finger will skip three flashcards.)

5. There is an option to shuffle the order of the cards or have them transition in order. For example, the cards could randomly alternate between /f, v/ phonemes in random order, or it could begin with /f/ in the initial position and transition to the medial and so on.

6. It is possible to end the session at any time–no need to go through all of the cards in order to get the data summary.

7. It is also possible to return to the place you left off–no need to start a brand new session if you had to momentarily close out of the app.

8. There is an option to take notes during or at the end of the session.

Cons: 1. Some phonemes are lacking an adequate number of flashcards. For example, the post-vocalic /r/ options are rather limited.

2. The app is missing some important phonemes, such as /w, h, ng, y, zh/. It combines voiced and unvoiced /th/.

The Take-Away: Overall, this app has been better than satisfactory for my purposes. I am disappointed in the lack of certain phonemes (particularly /w, y/!); however, I do believe I have gotten my money’s worth with this purchase.

My Questions for You: So, time for you to tell me about your app. How is it similar/different? Are you pleased with it? Was it worth the cost?

*Please, if you are an app developer or otherwise invested in a similar app, disclose this in your comment/review (good or bad). Thanks!*

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6 thoughts on “ArtikPix

  1. I have bought several articulation apps in the two+ years I’ve been using apps in therapy. My “go-to” articulation app is Smarty-Ears Articulate it! I have published apps with smarty-ears; however, I am not involved with the development of Articulate It.
    What it is: Articulation Flashcards with words or sentences and a record feature
    Price: $38.99
    1) Can have multiple students (up to 4) all working on different targets.
    2) 2) Price. If comparing it to Super Duper’s fun decks ($114) or the Jumbo Book of Articulation ($69.95) it’s very comparable.
    3) 3) Can choose target by phoneme, manner, or phonological processes in the various positions OR you can choose to “repeat previous items” for ease of remembering what was worked on last.
    4) 4) Within each “deck” the SLP can choose which words to use/not use so can tailor session for child’s optimum productions.
    5) 5) Can take notes for each session with each word.
    6) 6) Can end at any time – app will ask if you want terminate or not…so no problem if happen to hit the wrong button
    7) 7) Can rotate picture for child’s viewing ease – particularly handy when working with multiple students around a table
    8) 8) Settings within the picture page – so can change settings easily without exiting student
    9) Can “backup” data to allow full recovery if there is any need to delete the app
    10) Can be played with board games
    1) When working on the “Cluster Reduction” tab, all consonant clusters are together (R and S). You can still choose which words you want, but it’s an extra step. However, if you choose targeting phonemes you can choose either /s/ clusters or /r/ clusters.
    2) Just flashcards – no “game” feature. However, this is easily resolved by using the picture stimuli while playing a board game, etc.
    Take away: This is a great app. No articulation app is 100% perfect for all students. However, this one is great for articulation therapy. It can be adapted for work with Cycles or other phonological approaches, but extra care needs to be taken to account for co-articulation and/or facilitation errors. This app is definitely worth the price.

    • Thanks for sharing so much about it! So it sounds like it’s just a little pricier ($9 more) than ArtikPix but has more options in way of choosing the target (by phonological process, for example). It does not have a game feature like the matching game, but it has more customization options (e.g. settings within the picture page, choosing exactly what words you’d like to use). Great comparison!! Thanks for taking the time to tell us about it.

  2. Pingback: iASL | speechie apps

  3. gFlashcards for iPhone/Ipad is very good flashcards app. I use it for my art classes. It’s really helpful.

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