Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Apps Worth Paying For...

In yesterday's post, I described how some apps that are attractively touted as "free" are really not worth using because of obtrusive ads or limitations designed to tempt us toward "in-app" purchases, with a virtual food app used as an example. I want to again emphasize that there are many specialized apps for SLPs that are definitely worth paying for (see my friends at Smarty Ears and RinnApps, to start), but there are also a wealth of "small change" apps that are better alternatives to free apps that won't function well in therapy.

A great example of this type of worthwhile app is the collection provided by Maverick Software. Maverick has developed a series of the same type of app mentioned in yesterday's post, but much more "tasteful" in that once you pay your $.99, you can do everything the full app is designed to do AND have the promise of free updates that add additional features. One of my favorites that I can't wait to use with students as the weather warms up is More Grillin'! This app allows students to choose from categories and sequence steps to "cook" a full meal, complete with movement effects, sizzling sounds and glowing coals.

Image from Maverick Software's Website

In addition to More Grillin', Maverick has apps to create cookies, pizza, toast, and even salad! Consider these as a precursor to pretend play, writing or actual cooking activities, or as cooperative play activities where one child "cooks" a meal for another.

In summary, I will again state that "Free" is great- and part of my thesis for technology selection- with a disclaimer that we must always evaluate whether the distractions or functional limitations inherent in the app (or website) should cause us to rule it out as a therapeutic resource. In the meantime, you should always try free apps out, and if you don't like them, that's what the jiggly/delete mode is for!

Note: Author was not compensated in any way for featuring these apps/developers.

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