Hi everyone. Wow, this time of the year has been busy, busy, busy. Those of you who work in the schools or have kids can probably relate. Sadly, the busier I become the less time I have to write and so I post less. While I haven't been posting, I have been spending some time working on the SLP apps spreadsheet, so if you haven't stopped by lately, make sure you take a look. I added in a couple of new columns: games, visual perceptual skills and auditory processing/hearing. I have also been trying to add apps into the columns that contained the fewest apps, such as the middle school, adult and executive functioning columns. I have also made some updates to the apps page on this blog.
In today's post, I want to talk a bit about how to find speech/language therapy apps. I own hundreds of apps and I have used a variety of sources to help me find these apps.
Since developing the SLP apps spreadsheet, some people have asked me how and where I find apps to use for speech therapy sessions. Since I have taken the time to create the spreadsheet, that is certainly one place you can look for apps. But where do I find new apps to add to the spreadsheet or to use in therapy? I really have quite a few ways that I find new apps.
1. I use social media a lot. I follow developers and other SLPs on Facebook and on Twitter and on Pinterest. Frequently when new apps are released, I get a notice right in my FB or Twitter stream. This makes it easy to find out when something new hits the iTunes Store. Many people also post about apps on the SLPeeps on Facebook group. A new Facebook group has also recently formed, called SLPs Talk Apps.
2. I read SLP and educator blogs. I have a huge amount of blogs in my Google Reader so that I can quickly scan through new blog posts. When someone posts about a new app or a new app review, I always try to check it out. At TherapyApp411.com, we try to post as many of those therapist and educator app reviews as we can. So, of course the TherapyApp411.com blog is a great place to learn about speech/language apps. We try to post new app reviews weekly and we have a page that lists all app reviews that are on the site.
Another great way to learn about apps is by following the blogs of the other TherapApp411.com editors as we all blog about technology and apps. You can find my co-editors at the following blogs: SpeechTechie, TheSpeechGuy, and TiPS. There are also a few of other SLP bloggers who have been writing about apps. You can find them here: SpeechRoomNews, ConsonantlySpeaking, SpeechLanguageNeighborhood, CindyLMeester.
I also like to follow non-speechie blogs that talk about apps. My favorites are the following: iEAR.org, SmartAppsforKids.com, TeachersWithApps.com, inov8-ed.com, momswithapps.com, Apps4kids.net, TheiMum.com, TechInSpecialEd.com, Digital-Storytime.com
3. I use the AppShopper website to search for price drops and newly released apps. The great feature of AppShooper is you can search for apps by categories. They also have a price drop and free RSS feed. If you sign up, you can have the going free and price drops sent to your Reader.
4. I visit 148apps.com to search for new apps and price drops. You can sign up to get emails about new price drops. The down side is sometimes you have to weed through a bit of "stuff" to get to the "good" apps, but hey if it means you get a free app or a great sale price it can be worth the time it takes to sort through the apps.
5. Appolicious.com is a great place to search for new apps and lists of apps that others have created.
6. Sometimes I just hit the app store and see what I can find. I always check out the new and noteworthy apps and the editor choice apps. You can also check out apps by category, such as education.
7. When I buy an app, I usually check out the bottom of the app page where it says "people who bought this also bought..." You can also click the link to see other apps from the developer.
8. We are now starting to see more information come from ASHA about apps. There are more posts on the ASHASphere blog about apps and Sean Sweeney is now writing for the ASHA Leader about apps and technology.
9. I like to talk about apps and iPad use in therapy and so I learn about apps by word of mouth. Sometimes I have learned about apps from other SLPs or teachers at work or from parents of clients. Sometimes, believe it or not, I have learned about a great new apps from students at work and from my own children. I love learning about technology from kids. If you want to know what will motivate kids, go to the source and ask the kids.
10. Another way to find apps is through searching by key word on the iTunes Store. Sometimes I will search for "speech therapy" or maybe a specific skills such as "following directions." This is not the best way to find apps because sometimes it is just a stab in the dark and often times the apps that come up are ones that I already own. If you don't own a lot of apps, searching by key word can be a good place to start.
How do you find your apps? If you have any suggestions we would love to hear from you. Also if you review speech/language apps and I didn't mention your site above, feel free to mention it in a comment below.
I hope everyone is getting ready to enjoy their summer. I am going to try to keep writing over the summer, but I have a feeling you might "hear" from me less frequently. I plan to enjoy the fact that our new house is a mere 45 minute drive to the beach (much shorter than 8-10 hours that we had to drive last summer to hit the nearest beach). That's all from me for today. Until next time...