There are five buttons on the Main Page: Info, Settings, More Apps, Reports, and Start.
Press the "Info" button to learn about how to use the application. There are two buttons at the top of the Information page - "How to Use" and "Description". The "Description" button will bring you to information about what the application is about, its intended use, the population it is intended to be used with, references to research they used when thinking about the approach of the application, what's included in the app, and information about auditory processing disorder. The "How to Use" button will take the user step by step on how to use the application from starting a session to the session itself to reports. Finally, at the bottom of the page, there are social media links to Virtual Speech Center's website, newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook pages.
You can also view how to use the application via Virtual Speech Center's video on YouTube:
Pressing the "More Apps" button will bring the user to a screen with all of Virtual Speech Center's applications available in the iTunes App Store. Swipe your finger up and down to view all of their apps. If you wish to view more information/preview images for an app or purchase one of their other applications, press "View" next to the app you wish to see in the app store.
Press the "Settings" button to access this menu where there are 10 different settings available to adjust:
- Use Alternative Count - press the "-" or "+" buttons to choose the count up to five; alternate count means how many turns between students in group therapy
- Enable Audio - Toggle audio within the application play on and off via a switch
- Show Instructions - Toggle the ability to show the textual instructions via an on and off switch
- Automatic Paging - Moves through trials automatically; toggle automatic paging on and off via a switch
- Random Paging - Randomizes trials; toggle random paging on and off via a switch
- Enable Reward - Choose whether or not you would like rewards enabled via an on/off toggle switch
- Award Counter - If awards are set to be on, you can provide a reward starting at five answers up to ten
- Enable Background Noise - Toggle the option to have background noise used within the application via an on and off switch
- Background Noise Volume - Adjust the volume of the background noise via a sliding bar.
- Background Noise - Press the "+" and "-" buttons to choose between different types of background noise from children at recess to white noise to rain falling. There are 5 different background noise types to choose from.
Press the "Start" button to begin application play. Next, you will be brought to the "Select Students" menu. If you do not have any students added or wish to add a new student, press the "Add Student" button. A rectangle to type the student's name into will appear. Press within the rectangle and type his or her name into the box via the keyboard and then press "Save". Next, choose which users you wish to use the application by pressing on their names. A check mark will appear next to those selected.
After choosing the users to use the application for your session, activities/tasks in which each user will perform by pressing on the text. A check mark will appear next to those selected. You can "Select All" or "Deselect All" activities by pressing the corresponding text to the left or right. These tasks fit into the following three categories (each with 16-17 Levels):
- Level 1: Same vs. Different Consonant Minimal Pairs - Initial Position of Words
- Level 2:Same vs. Different Consonant Minimal Pairs - Final Position of Words
- Level 3 :Same vs. Different Vowel Minimal Pairs
- Level 4: Picture Identification of Minimal Pairs - Initial Consonants
- Level 5: Picture Identification of Minimal Pairs - Final Consonants
- Level 6: Picture Identification of Minimal Pairs - Vowels
- Level 7: Identifying Presence of Specific Initial Sounds in Yes/No Format
- Level 8: Identifying Presence of Specific Final Sounds in Yes/No Format
- Level 9: Identifying Presence of Specific Medial Sounds in Yes/No Format
- Level 10: Identifying Presence of a Specific Syllable in a Word
- Level 11: Identifying Sounds in the Initial Position of Words
- Level 12: Identifying Sounds in the Final Position of Words
- Level 13: Identifying Sounds in the Medial Position of Words
- Level 14: Identifying Phonemic Similarities in Word Pairs
- Level 15: Identifying Phonemic Differences in Word Pairs
- Level 16: Identifying Nonsense Words in Sentences
- Level 1: Identifying the Presence of Rhyme in the Yes/No Format
- Level 2: Identify a Word That Rhymes With a Target Word
- Level 3: Identify Multiple Words That Rhyme With a Target Word
- Level 4: Identify a Word That Does Not Rhyme With a Target Word
- Level 5: Generating Words That Rhyme With Target Words
- Level 6: Blending of Syllables
- Level 7: Blending of Phonemes to Make Monosyllabic Words
- Level 8: Blending of Phonemes to Make Multisyllabic Words
- Level 9: Identify Number of Syllables in a Word
- Level 10: Orally Identify Each Phoneme in a Word
- Level 11: Identify Number of Phonemes in a Word
- Level 12: Syllable Deletion
- Level 13: Syllable Addition
- Level 14: Phoneme Deletion
- Level 15: Phoneme Addition
- Level 16: Exchanging Phonemes to Make New Words
- Level 1: Generating Missing Words at the End of Sentences - Popular Songs/Nursery Rhymes
- Level 2: Generating Missing Words at the End of Sentences - Automatic
- Level 3: Generating Missing Words at the End of Sentences - Less Automatic
- Level 4: Generating Missing Objects in the Middle of Sentences
- Level 5: Generating Missing Verbs at the Middle of Sentences
- Level 6: Generating Missing Final Syllables in Words Embedded in Sentences
- Level 7: Generating Missing Final Syllables in Single Words
- Level 8: Generating Missing Medial Syllables in Words Embedded in Sentences
- Level 9: Generating Missing Medial Syllables in Single Words
- Level 10: Generating Missing Initial Syllables in Words Embedded in Sentences
- Level 11: Generating Missing Initial Syllables in Single Words
- Level 12: Generating Missing Final Phonemes in Words in Sentences
- Level 13: Generating Missing Final Phonemes in Single Words
- Level 14: Generating Missing Medial Phonemes in Words in Sentences
- Level 15: Generating Missing Medial Phonemes in Single Words
- Level 16: Generating Missing Initial Phonemes in Words Embedded in Sentences
- Level 17: Generating Missing Initial Phonemes in Single Words
Once you have selected the activities to practice with each student, press the "Next" button in the top right hand corner. Then, the boy named Andrew from the Verb News application will introduce the application stating, "Hi there, this is Andrew from the recording studio. Listen to the instructions carefully and when you collect enough points, you can play the instruments there. Have fun!". If you wish to skip the introduction, press the "Skip" button in the top right hand corner. Finally, application play will begin.
The narrator will state instructions aloud followed by the trial words. If the user needs the trial to be repeated, he or she can press the green circular arrow button on the left hand side of the page to hear them again. If background noise is set to be "on" in the "Settings" menu, one of five different background noises will play throughout the trials as well. If "Show Instructions" has been set to be "on" in the "Settings" menu, text will appear on the screen for the trial as well.
There are different ways to score the student's responses. In some activities, the user must press one of the response buttons with text on them at the bottom of the screen in response to the trial. In other activities, the user must press more than one response button with text on it, then press "Go" once the answers have been chosen. Finally, there are some activities which require the speech-language pathologist to determine whether the answer was correct or not by pressing a green check mark correct button or red "x" incorrect button to score the trial. Sometimes there is a visual associated with the trial and other times there is an animated image shown.
If the user's answer is correct, a sound will play and the percentage of accuracy will change. If incorrect, a different sound will play and the percentage of accuracy will change as well. You can have the user record himself or herself stating the words or his or her response by pressing the red, circular record button and hear it played back by pressing the green triangular play button. Once each trial has been completed, press the "Next" button to move on to the next trial. On the right hand side of the page, the trial number out of the total number of trials will appear.
If rewards are turned on, a drum will appear on the side for each correct answer only. Once the number of drums has been met to obtain the rewards game, the child can access the game. A new screen will appear with Andrew stating, "Congratulations, you can now play the instruments! Would you like to do that now?" The child can press the "Play Game" button to play the drums or "Not Now" to continue with practice on the application. If the game is chosen, there is a drum set with cymbals, drums, bongo drums, a tambourine, maracas, and a triangle. There are five different background music choices that one can choose between or turn off the background music by pressing the microphone button. Once the client is done playing on the drums, press the "Finish" button. This will bring the user back to the trials.
Once all of the trials have been completed or the "Finish" button has been pressed, Andrew will appear and state "Great job today, see you next time!" You can then go to the "Main Menu", play the reward game again by pressing "Play Game", or press "View Report" to view the session report. If you choose to view the report, it will show the client's name, date/time of the session, activity/activities practiced, and the accuracy for each activity practiced in a percentage and fraction. You can print the report by pressing the "Print" button or e-mail it by pressing the "E-mail Report" button.
Press the "Reports" button on the Main Menu to view saved reports for each user. First, choose a user whose reports you wish to view under the "Select User" text on the left hand side of the page. Next, you can choose to view reports by activity practiced or by date. If you choose to view reports by activity by pressing the "By Activity" button, you will see various goals shown on the right hand side of the page in a list. If there has been more than one session practicing the particular skill you choose to view when you press on the goal, you will see a Goal Report with accuracy reporting for more than one session for that user. If you choose to view reports by date by pressing the "By Date" button, you will see a list on the right hand side of the page showing various sessions by date and time. Press on the one you wish to view and it will show the report for that session and its goals only. Reports give information for the client's name, date/time of the session(s), activity/activities practiced, and the accuracy for each activity/date practiced in a percentage and fraction. You can print the report by pressing the "Print" button or e-mail it by pressing the "E-mail Report" button.
If you wish to delete a user profile from the application, press the pencil "Edit" button next to the "Select User" text on the left hand side of the page. Then, press the red circular button with the minus in the middle next to the person whom you wish to delete followed by pressing the "Delete" button.
What I Like About This Application:
- I like the fact that the application is multiplayer and students can work on different goals.
- It is great that a student can work on more than one goal within the application.
- You can change the goal type related to auditory processing as the client progresses
- Sentence types are organized by skill, where a sound is in the word, and even difficulty.
- The application keeps data during application play and allows for e-mailing progress reports. You can also view progress on a goal over time.
- The reward game, where clients can play the drums, makes the application motivating in addition to the fact that the entire application is based on a recording studio theme.
- This application has similar settings and buttons to some of the other Virtual Speech Center applications which makes it easier to navigate if you have used other applications from the company.
- The application is research based and shows studies on and information about auditory processing disorder in the information section of the application.
- The ability to add and adjust the volume/type of background noise to make practice more like real-life is wonderful!
- I have absolutely no idea why there is an option to Enable/Disable Audio. Why would you want to disable audio on an application which requires audio to participate in the activities. I did try turning the "Enable Audio" function to the "Off" setting to see what would happen, and you could not do anything with the application. No sound played and when buttons were pressed, they did not work either other than the record and correct/incorrect buttons. I definitely would recommend removing this setting from the application since the application is all about auditory processing which requires audio to listen to.
- Showing the instructions also defeats the purpose of listening only. It's great if the speech-language pathologist is looking at the application and scoring without showing the client the iPad screen, but I would prefer to have the screen in front of the student for him or her to choose the appropriate response, especially since the narrator even states what each button is aloud.
- It would be great if the therapist could adjust the background noise volume or type during application play. I know that it took me multiple tries to get everything just right and I feel that it might be different per student as well.
- I would like the ability to adjust the number of trials per session. Although you can end the session early by pressing "Finish Session", students may be watching which trial they are on or may never get to the next activity to practice if more than one is selected.
- Although this application has a lot to offer already, I would love to see a little bit of auditory comprehension within a sentence/paragraph and sentence repetition tasks added in the future to this app or as a new app from Virtual Speech Center.
- It would be nice to be able to delete individual reports. Also, sometimes when I mess up settings for a certain student, I have to exit and re-enter into application play; however it still creates a blank report. It would be great if that did not happen as it adds additional, unnecessary reports to a list.
- It would be neat to see the words/sentences used in each set.
- I would love to be able to play multiple different instruments in the application, but understand how programming that and getting more audio would be costly.
- Articulation/Fluency/Voice - Have students record words and sentences throughout activities on the application and play their recordings back to self-analyze their speech.
- Auditory Closure - Choose any of the 17 auditory closure activities (50 trials each) to practice. Activities include generating missing phonemes, syllables, objects, verbs, and sentences.
- Auditory Discrimination - Choose any of the 16 auditory discrimination activities (50 trials each) to practice. Activities include determining whether phonemes are similar or different between two words, identifying the presence of specific phonemes and syllables in words, identifying phonemic similarities and differences in word pairs, and identifying nonsense words in sentences.
- Auditory Processing - This entire application works on auditory processing skills in many different ways.
- Auditory Figure Ground - Turn on and adjust the background noise in the "Settings" menu of the application to have students practice various auditory processing activities with competing noise.
- Phonological Awareness - Choose any of the 16 phonological awareness activities (50 trials each) to practice. These activities range from identifying rhymes, blending phonemes and syllables to make words, identifying the number of syllables in a word, phoneme segmentation, phoneme and syllable deletion, and exchanging phonemes to make words. This means that the application can also be used for RtI.
- Phonological Processes - Have students record themselves making words sound the same or different by using the activities that involve minimal pairs and play them back to listen to their recordings.
Auditory Processing Studio is currently available for the iPad for $19.99.
Be sure to vote for this application on Yapp Guru!
The author of Consonantly Speaking was given a code of this application to review from Virtual Speech Center. No other form of compensation was given.