April 3, 2012 Features

Internet: In Search of the Perfect Speech-Language App?

Interest in using applications (apps) for smart phones and tablets in speech-language treatment has exploded. State and national convention programs, as well as continuing education offerings, reveal wide interest in apps for professional use. But how do speech-language pathologists find good apps that are free or relatively inexpensive?

First, some words of caution: Downloading apps can be expensive. Some are free, most are reasonable, but there is one app for stuttering, for example, that runs almost $1,000. Also, Apple apps do not support Adobe's Flash products, a program that provides freely available interactive material online. This situation may be remedied in the future. Also, some school districts heavily invested in PCs are reluctant to support Apple products, including its many useful apps.

Searching for Apps

Nevertheless, there are many helpful, low-cost apps out there, so how do you find them? These sites are a good starting point for seeing the range available:

There are even apps for finding apps.

  • 10 Apps for Finding Apps claims to "help you find the best deals, the best within specific categories, the best for different genders, the best for moms, the best your friends like…. But what’s best about these best-of apps? They’re all free."
  • KinderTown claims to help find the best educational apps for kids ages 3 to 6 or download it free.

Finding Recommended Apps

Many SLPs, early childhood specialists, and special educators maintain websites that review and recommend apps for professional use, and their ideas can save you time. A few of the many available include:

Other Resources

Apps are exciting! And remember that any device that accesses the Internet can find many freely available materials that don't require Flash. One good listing is "Non-Flash Things for ESL Students" that lists apps that don’t require Flash or Java. Find more ideas at "Examples of Materials That Can Be Adapted For Therapy."

Judith Maginnis Kuster, MS, CCC-SLP, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her at judith.kuster@mnsu.edu. An archive of all of Kuster’s columns can be found at www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster4/leader.html.

cite as: Kuster, J. M. (2012, April 03). Internet: In Search of the Perfect Speech-Language App?. The ASHA Leader.

  

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