The main page shows a cute little panda bear in front of a carnival game holding a sign with the name of the application. There are six different buttons to choose from to begin application play - Users, Settings, Info, More Apps, Demo, and Play.
Pressing the "Info" button will display a Question and Answer section about the intended population to use this application with, age levels, purpose of the application, how to use the application, various settings, upcoming applications, and the developer's website.
The "More Apps" button brings you to the iTunes App Store to share other applications created by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language and Auditory Development.
Pressing the "Demo" button will bring you to a YouTube video by the developer of how to use the application. You can view this video on YouTube on your computer as well and I have posted it below:
This application allows for up to five players to play at a time. To create a new user, press in the white box that shows the text "what is your name?". Then, use the keyboard to type in the student's name and press the green "Add User" button. If you wish to delete a player at any time, press the red circle with a "-" button followed by the red "Delete" button next to his or her name. To view data from previous sessions, press the "Previous Data" button next to a user's name. Finally, to select the user(s) to play the application, press on their names and they will be highlighted in red. Then, press the "Play" button to begin. You can adjust a user's settings by highlighting the user and heading to the "Settings" menu.
There are five different settings to tweak on the "Settings" page for a student. The student's name will appear at the top of the application screen.
- Objects - choose entire categories of objects or individual words to be used for a given student. There are 50 words total in 9 different categories.
- Guess Boxes - choose the number of guess boxes/salient facts to be shown per object (3, 5, or 7); You can also toggle the "Guess Box" on or off as well as whether or not the student will receive "Guess Box" feedback for incorrect selections.
- Recording - You can choose to turn on and off the Talk About It/Recording Screen and determine whether or not Clues should be shown.
- Reward Game - There are three different types of reward games to choose from - Bottles, Cans, and Glasses. These objects are all stacked up in a "Knock 'Em Down" game. Pressing the "Go" button throws a ball at the stack. Pressing "Play Again" will allow the student to keep playing the reward game. Once a student reaches twenty-five points, he or she "wins a panda" and an animation will play. Then, the student is directed back to the application play. You can choose to have all three of them available to a student or select/deselect the ones you do or don't want to be played; Next, you can select how often you would like the reward game to be accessed (after every object, after 3 objects, after 5 objects, or not at all).
- Track Progress - You can turn on and off the Progress Tracker and the ability to Display Scores on this drop-down menu.
First, choose the student(s) you wish to play the application. Then, press the green "Play" button. The narrator will then state, "Touch Play to start the game" talking about the green "Play" button underneath the question mark. Images will then spin until one stops.
The narrator will then state, "Look at the sentences below in the guess box. Touch the box next to the sentence that tells something important and specific about the object that is shown in the picture. Remember, think about all of the important information that we should know about the object. Tell us all about it!" Then, he will state, "Which sentence tells us the most specific and important information about a [word shown in picture]". Have the child press the most important/specific sentence to the right of the image by pressing on the square next to the sentence. If the child would like to hear the sentence read aloud, he or she can press the microphone button next to the sentence. If the child chooses an answer incorrectly, a red "x" will appear in the check box and the narrator will explain why that choice is not correct or specific enough in a positive manner. If the answer is correctly chosen, a green check mark will appear in the check box next to the statement and the statement will move into the "Talk About It" box. A sound will also play and the accuracy score will be updated at the top of the application. A new set of sentences will then appear for the student to choose the most important/specific sentence again. You can show or hide the "Talk About It" sentences by pressing the button underneath the curtain.
Once all of the sentences that best describe the picture are chosen, the application will move on to the "Talk About It" screen. The narrator will state, "Take a look at all the important facts we found. See how many you can remember. If you want to hide the sentences, touch hide. Try to see how many you can say without looking before you record them. Show and hide them as many times as you would like. Touch the clues at the bottom of the screen for help. When you are ready, touch record. The sentences will be hidden until it is time to listen and score your answers." Then he will say, "Now, tell me everything you can about a [word shown in the picture]."
The student can show and hide the clues by pressing the orange button below the "Talk About It" curtain to cause the curtain to open and close. Other cues that a student can use will appear when a magnifying glass at the bottom of the application, underneath the "Need Help?", text is pressed. Cues may include sentences such as "tell me some important parts of it" or "can you describe what it looks like?". These cues are shown via text on the application when pressed and read aloud by the narrator.
Once a student feels confident enough to record himself or herself describing as much as he or she can remember about the object, have him or her press the "Start" button to record his or her speech underneath the microphone. Press the button again to "Stop" the recording. After you have pressed the "Stop" button, the curtains will open on the "Talk About It" section and the narrator will state, "Listen to what you recorded. See how many facts you remembered. Touch the box next to each one that matches your answer. When you are all done, touch the arrow here to move on to the next object." Have the student listen to his or her recording by pressing the triangle "Play" button underneath the ear. Then, see if any of the students' answers match the sentences in the "Talk About It" box and if one or more do, press the circle by each one that the student mentioned. If none were mentioned, then do not fill in any circles. Each circle filled in will add to the accuracy score. Press the yellow arrow at the bottom of the screen to move on to the next object.
Go to the "Users" menu and press the "Previous Data" button next to a student's name. You will then see a list of sessions organized by date and time. Press the session you wish to view and a report will appear.
The "Session Results" report shows the following settings at the top of the page: whether the guess box was on or off, whether guess box feedback was on or off, whether the progress progress tracker was on or off, whether the talk about it function was on or off, whether clues were on or off, how many trials the student had to complete before the reward game would play, the student's name, and the date/time of the session. Below that text is a chart of specific information about the session in regards to which words the student scored correctly in the Guess Boxes (Receptive) portion of the application and within the Talk About It (Expressive) portion of the application. It will show the accuracy in a fraction out of three as well as a percentage for each word. At the bottom of the screen, you will see buttons to view a PDF file of the chart, e-mail results (must have your e-mail associated with the iPad Mail app), done button if you wish to return to the main page, delete data to remove the session from the student's profile, and a print button (must have your iPad able to connect to a specific printer).
What I Like About This Application:
- Using receptive language skills to describe objects is a task that many students struggle with in speech-language therapy, so to have bright pictures, text, audio, cues, and animation to help them learn is wonderful.
- Allowing the students to have different levels of cues on the application is great for those at different levels of mastery in describing objects.
- Having both a receptive and an expressive language component to the application allows it to be used with multiple students.
- The ability to play the application with up to five students as well as record data for the students in a group simultaneously saved on the application is marvelous! It saves SO much time.
- E-mailing and printing reports is incredibly helpful to keep data all in the same place in a folder as well as show to parents at an IEP meeting.
- There are so many different settings to use that you can customize it to fit each students' individual needs.
- My absolute favorite thing about this application is that there are multiple sentences, some of which are similar, so that the student must choose the most appropriate/important sentences associated with the object. I have many students who will either relate information to themselves, circumlocute, or state multiple irrelevant/off topic/tangential comments about objects.
- Of course I would love to have more words but we all know that costs money to record the narrator and program. The developer stated in the "Info" section of the application that there may be future "Talk About It" applications, so I am looking forward to that!
- It would be nice to have the ability to turn on and off sounds as well as choose the associated sounds with a correct answer like in other Hamaguchi apps in the "Settings" menu.
- Receptive Language - Students describe various objects/vocabulary on the application. If you would like, turn off the sound and have the student state what the object is. You can have students describe the object without the Guess Box as well. If you have a student who needs to work on stating more specific information about an object, make sure you have the Guess Box Feedback turned on if the student chooses an similar answer to the best answer. Use cues from the magnifying glasses as needed to practice describing vocabulary/strategies.
- Expressive Language - Students are asked to describe objects aloud in the "Talk About It" section of the application and record their answers. They can listen back to the recording by pressing the ear button. Have students use complete, grammatically correct sentences when speaking. You can also have students write their answers on a piece of paper and then compare that to the answers in the "Guess Box".
- Articulation/Fluency/Voice - Have students record themselves using their appropriate speech sounds, fluency/voice strategies on the "Talk About It" section and listen back to their speech by pressing the ear button.
- Memory - See if the student can remember the three clues shown in the "Guess Box" after they are correctly chosen. He or she can write or state the descriptions and then compare his or her answers to the "Guess Box".
Talk About It: Objects Pro (multi-user) is available for the iPad for $9.99. Talk About It: Objects Home (single-user) is available for the iPad for $5.99.
Consonantly Speaking was given two application codes to give away in conjunction with this review. No other form of compensation was given.
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