Summer Reading Part 2: Interacting with ASHA Journals on iPad

In last week’s post, I discussed how to access ASHA Journals on the web and how to stay connected to current publications by viewing abstracts in Google Reader.

The iPad is obviously a hugely popular device whose potential, I think, we are just beginning to glimpse.  So when the iPad is added to this mix, what do professional development and research look like? How can the iPad move us past printing and marking up journal articles (for me at least, I haven’t really processed something unless I have marked it up) and into digital learning and collaboration?

In the following video, I demonstrate on the iPad how to:

  • Use Safari to browse and read journals (pretty much the same steps as our last post, but more fingers-on)!*
  • Save journal articles to iBooks for later reading and organization into collections.*
  • Annotate journal articles in iAnnotate PDF using the highlighting, underlining, drawing, and text annotation tools.
  • Share your annotations with colleagues for collaboration and research.

*Note: these two steps work the same way for iPhone/iPod Touch!  iAnnotate PDF is iPad-only, but GoodReader is a similarly well-regarded (and a bit cheaper) app that has different versions for all iDevices.

View the video on YouTube

This has been a fun process for me, learning about Journals 2.0. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have!

 

Sean J. Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and instructional technology specialist working in the public school and in private practice at The Ely Center in Newton, Massachusetts. He has presented on the topic of technology integration in speech and language at the ASHA convention and is the author of the blog SpeechTechie: Looking at Technology Through a Language Lens.

Calling all SLPs and teachers to update the iOS system on their iPads & iPods

(This post originally appeared on GeekSLP)

The iPad, iPhone and iPod touch run an operational system called the iOS system. This is the system that allows you to run apps and perform all functions on your device. It comes pre-installed on your devices when you purchase it from the Apple store.

It is very important that you keep your iOS system up to date in order to have apps run smoothly and also take advantage of the enhancements  and the possible bug fixes provided by Apple.

Updating your iOS system is FREE

While most apps will work on older versions of the iOS system, keeping an up-to date update will guarantee you best performances.

In fact, some apps also do not work on older iOS versions (e.g 3.1); therefore you will not be allowed to purchase the app from the app store. First let’s learn how to identify which version of the iOS system you are running on your device.

1. Identifying the iOS system on your device:

1st. Go to the setting area on your device and click on “General”:

2nd. Under the “General” menu, click on ” About”:

3rd. Under the “About” menu you will see the information you are looking for under the “Version“.

On this example you can see I have the Version 4.3.2 of the iOS system; which is the most most up to date version as of 4/23/2011.

2. Understand app’s iOS requirements

Now that you know how to identify which version you have, now let’s learn about the fact that some apps do not support older version of the iOS system.

When you are purchasing an app from the app store you will notice that the app has several requirements, one of them is compatibility with iOS systems. Take fore example the number one, best selling educational application: Star Walk for iPad ; it requires that you have the iOS 3.2 in order to run this app. See image below:

Notice that the app requires that you have iOS 3.2 or later; if you have anything older the app will not install. Another example is an AAC app called Expressive:

As you can see, Expressive requires that users have the version 3.1.4 or older in order to run the app on the devices.

Now that you know how to identify your iOS system, and understand that some apps will not run on older versions of the iOS system; you will need to know how to update it. This is the easy part of the whole story.

3. Updating your iOS system

You will need to connect your device ( iPhone, iPod or iPad) to your computer to update it.

1. Plug your device

2. Open iTunes

3. Select your device and make sure you are under the ” Summary” section.

4. Click on “Check for Update”.

You are all done!

I hope it helps… Now go update your device

Barbara Fernandes is a trilingual Speech- Language pathologist, a geek  and an app developer. She is the founder and CEO of Smarty Ears Apps , a company that creates apps for speech therapy. Barbara is also the face behind GeekSLP TV, a blog and video podcast focusing on the use of technology in speech therapy. Barbara has also been a practicing speech therapist both in Brazil and in the United States. Barbara has created over 21 applications for the mobile devices for speech therapists.

AAC and the Digital Divide. Access and Money

Old fashioned census device

Photo by Pargon

(This post originally appeared on the SLC Therapy blog)

I am the first to raise my hand or nod in agreement when and if the question “Do you think current top of the line AAC devices are cost prohibitive?”

Absolutely they are! They have always been. A lot of things are expensive…

As a consultant and evaluator of Assistive Technology, I was and still am excited about how the world is moving to create technology devices for people with disabilities. I am impressed with the Apple iPad, iTouch, and iPhone products. I am excited about the Android apps. I am thrilled with Tablet touch screen computers. I am enthusiastic about the technology reaching the consumer level.

I just wish someone would just say that the iPad, iTouch, and iPhone were created for all consumers. If they were completey geared towards people with special needs..challenges seen in Motor Access, Visual Access, and Hardware flexibility would not be present. Do I own Apple products? Yes! Do I use them in assessments? Yes Do I recommend them? Sometimes.

I am glad that so many useful apps are being created. I am saddened that training is not a component. The apps for AAC seem to present to consumers as a magical button to families and make the non-tech SLP an AAC expert. It looks visually welcoming and more socially acceptable than a larger dedicated speech generating device. The apps meet the demand without quality assurance or review…consumers are screaming for the tool that will work for their family members with communication impairments. It is our job as a profession to impart knowledge, training with whatever tool is being recommended.

Along with challenges of motor and visual access is the economic access. Insurance is nonsupportive in reimbursement or paying for non speech generating devices. Most people want and should be able to use their medical benefits. Not every family can afford to purchase with experimentation and hope that this new app will get Johnny talking!

Sure the medical insurance panel community should step into this century. At the same time, we need to have more reasons for recommendations than “it works”. They need data…and so should SLPs and other AAC Consultants. I’m amazed at the number of professionals abandoning sound analysis and sacrificing that last $700 a family has to use an iPad. Let’ make our analysis look like a true evaluation with a process map that will actually get the person talking. If the iPad is the recommendation, so be it! But give them a plan to actually get talking.

Last Christmas the Hollyrod Foundation accepted donations for the iPad and the Proloquo2Go. It was/is a wonderful program. I gave and was happy as an SLP that the child’s SLP had to be listed and actually be part of the planning of the device.

Here is a link to a white paper by AAC-RERC discussing AAC apps and mobile devices.

My utopia wish:

  1. Develop an affordable AAC device using the One Child Per Laptop mode.
  2. Insurance Panels allow people to use their benefits for durable medical equipment suitable in this century.
  3. Stop the cool AAC app and focus on quality control and letting parents know what the apps are capable and incapable of doing…and asking parents “Does this app work with the communication vision you have for your child?”
  4. Apple donates iPads to families as learning tools as a way of saying Thank you to a market they did not think of when they created the iApple family products.

Landria Seals Green,M.A., CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and Executive Director of SLC Therapy. Mrs. Green enjoys her work as an assistive technology consultant.

Mobile Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) – New Tools for the SLP

iOS tablets in various sizes

Photo by Kevin Marks

The iPad, iPod, and the competitors of these products that will continue to emerge in the next months provide SLPs with unique and flexible additions to their “toolbox”. In particular, the applications for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) have been widely embraced by SLPs as a low-cost alternative to expensive, purpose-built “dedicated” speech generating devices (SGD). Third party payers from schools to private insurers are jumping on the “least expensive alternative” bandwagon (although it is unlikely that Medicare or Medicaid will ever consider an iPad as “durable medical equipment”). These tools are generally affordable solutions to individuals with disabilities and their families (even if it takes a little saving up for…). The available “apps” range from automated flash cards to well-developed, evidence-based software conducive to the development or re-acquisition of language.

Here we have a classic good news – bad news situation! The good news – we have another tool that will be effective for some individuals as their primary AAC device, or as a scaffold to more complex systems, or for some, for use as a back up device or part of a multi-modal system that includes a dedicated SGD, signs/gestures, vocal approximations, etc. The bad news – practitioners may be pressured to abandon what they know about appropriate practices in matching technology to the individual’s needs in favor of the inexpensive (and perhaps, more readily obtainable) option. So – the bottom line is to remember all we know about appropriate practices in assessment, advocate for those practices, and remember that AAC includes both devices and, importantly, the services to SUPPORT the use the of device in order to obtain effective and efficient communication.

SLPs and others interested in this topic should also review the “White Paper” recently issued by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement. The White Paper is based on interviews with more than 25 AAC “thought leaders” between January and March, 2011, representing multiple stakeholder groups. In addition, I encourage you to join SIG 12, to be part of ongoing discussions on these technologies on the SIG 12 listserv!

Amy S. Goldman is an associate director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University where she directs Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology. Amy has specialized in AAC throughout her long career as an SLP and is chair of the steering committee of ASHA’s Special Interest Group on AAC (Special Interest Group 12).

Should You Buy an iPad Now?

(This post originally appeared on SpeechTechie)

Probably, yes.

We have all been witness to the flurry of blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates, and news stories on the potential of the iPad for teaching and learning. Though I was initially a bit delayed in drinking this particular flavor of Kool-aid, I am definitely a convert to this device’s portability, versatility, interactivity, and the instantaneous student engagement that results whenever it is pulled out (see Heidi Hanks’ post for a second on this, and Barbara Fernandes’ for a third). My one reservation is in the “versatility” area- the iPad still has its limitations with regards to producing work, especially written work, and though it contains a web browser, it cannot access many of the wonderful educational interactives out there that are Flash-based (and therefore should not be thought of as a replacement for a laptop). However, all that said, the iPad and the cornucopia of apps available for it have proved an essential addition to my therapeutic toolkit since I bought it last Fall (and keep in mind that I say that as a part-time SLP currently- if I had a more diverse caseload I think I would be even more enthusiastic about the iPad).

Why now? I have had a number of inquiries in the past months about the iPad, and my response has been that waiting for the arrival of iPad 2 would be wise. iPad 2 was just announced this week for release on March 11, and as expected it is faster, thinner, and equipped with dual cameras for FaceTime, PhotoBooth, and video creation. The pricing structure remains the same, with the 16G WiFi model (my recommended starting option as long as you know your district will let you put the device on their network- ask!!!) at $499. Now is also a good time to consider whether you would be happy with a first-generation iPad at a greatly reduced price, as many fanboys (probably me too) will be selling theirs and Apple is offering refurbished models for pretty cheap.

So, I’d say go for it. Before the buzz around iPad 3 starts (probably in 2012) and kills our buzz.

Check out this snippit from the video used at the iPad 2 announcement on Tues, featuring Howard Shane’s (of the Children’s Hospital, Boston- Communication Enhancement Center) thoughts on it being a “game-changer” for kids with autism). It actually made me a little verklempt.

Sean J. Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and instructional technology specialist working in the public school and in private practice at The Ely Center in Newton, Massachusetts. He has presented on the topic of technology integration in speech and language at the ASHA convention and is the author of the blog SpeechTechie: Looking at Technology Through a Language Lens.

How I became the speech guy with an iPad

iPad Screenshot with Monkey Business App

Photo by Eric Sailers

(This post originally ran on http://slpsharing.com/)

As a kindergartner in the mid 1980’s, I saw a speech-language pathologist (SLP) for speech delays. I don’t recall the experience with much detail, but I have been reminded by those closest to me. Once I became an SLP, my mom informed me that I said “Dada Da” for “Santa Claus,” and my SLP (who continues to work in the same district that I attended as a student and now work in) told me that I called myself “airwit.” Evidently I had errors of stopping, cluster reduction, vocalic r, and t/k substitution. I was also told that I did drill work with traditional flashcards to practice sounds. Although I graduated from speech-language therapy, I wonder how my experience would have been different with the wonderful technologies available today.

Back in the winter of 2008, I purchased my first iPhone and started beta testing for Proloquo2Go, an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app. I was so impressed with how a cool, mobile technology could be very sophisticated at a reasonable cost. I started looking at other applications that could be used in speech-language therapy. One of the first apps I discovered was Wheels on the Bus, an interactive music book that plays the song. My students loved the interactions like moving the bus and popping bubbles with the touch of their finger. I loved how my students were so engaged by the interactions that didn’t require a computer mouse (which is challenging for many of my students); plus, they sang to repetitive lyrics and heard their voice recording in the app.

In 2009, I thought about developing an app. I didn’t have a background in software engineering, so I began a conversation with my friend Jason Rinn who did. After several discussions and time spent learning the iPhone programming language, Jason was on board. Jason and I decided to create solutions that involved a strong component of tracking progress. We created a data collection app (Percentally) and an articulation app (ArtikPix) with integrated data collection. ArtikPix is an app that allowed me to include modern technology in a tool for speech articulation difficulties that I personally experienced some 25 years ago. It means a lot to me that I can share such a personalized solution with children who I now serve.

I currently use iOS devices (iPod touch and iPad) in speech-language therapy sessions. I have five iPods that are primarily for individual use, and one iPad I incorporate in group activities. There are apps my students use individually such as iColoringBook and Sentence Builder. For both apps, my students show their screen to the group as they produce sentences. Optimized iPad apps for my groups include a book app called Zoo You Later – Monkey Business and BrainPop Featured Movie. During Monkey Business and BrainPop, the students take turns listening, touching, and talking about the content. A book app like Monkey Business is very enjoyable and beneficial for children because of the features including interactive text and illustrations, painting, recorded audio, voice recording, and highlighted text. I imagine I would have enjoyed using apps like interactive books and games to practice my sounds.

My students are drawn to the iOS devices, and general education peers are interested in how they use the technologies for communication. My students favorite part about iOS devices is the touching aspect. Even if they are not skilled with a computer mouse, most of my students can tap, flick, and drag elements on the screen. I see this as a great source of initiating and maintaining their engagement during activities.
I think that apps offer great features for visual cues and auditory feedback that aid children with special needs in the learning process. I also am very pleased to have my students using mobile technologies that they might not otherwise use because of various factors. Finally, it brings me great joy to hear students asking, “Hey speech guy, can we use the iPad today?”

Eric Sailers, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist who serves children Pre-K to 5th grade. He has co-created two iOS applications: Percentally and ArtikPix. He is also a blogger at slpsharing.com.