This week, I thought I should acknowledge the S in my title (should I have called this blog LanguageTechie?) and feature a few products that make good use of technology in articulation interventions!
2 Gals Speech Products' software program (compatible with Mac and PC) Adventure Pack takes the drill-and-play approach to a new level that is sure to engage your students while they practice sounds. Adventure Pack (a demo version is available at that link) features four different arcade-style games in which students will need to avoid hazards as they navigate a swamp, mountain peak, ski course or jungle. Kids will choose their adventure (the four adventures have different difficulty levels specified in the manual), sound, level, and position, then start to play!
As kids play, they receive speech prompts to practice. The microphone is sensitive to sound but does not judge accuracy (that would have been a high order, tech-wise), and allows them to move on in the game after they have spoken the prompt. Overall this will provide a fun experience for students that will definitely motivate them through a sometimes-tedious process: articulation practice.
Here are some more views of the software:
One would want to ensure that utilizing this game allows students to make enough repetitions of the target sound to facilitate progress. As you can see in the picture above, 2 Gals have allowed you to adjust the microphone sensitivity. The clinician is able to turn the sensitivity way down and require/judge as many repetitions as s/he likes before allowing the student to continue (the space bar also clears the prompt and continues the game). A headset with microphone is also a recommended (but not required) accessory to help screen out ambient noise affecting the computer microphone.
In terms of the program's cost ($99), we must consider the amount of programming that went into creating something this customized for SLPs- the price point is certainly reasonable. AND, we should compare it to the cost of some useful but very non-interactive and steeply priced articulation products that clinicians would have to jump through fiery hoops to make interesting. I won't say what I am talking about. OK, what the heck, I will!
So, as you are looking at making your FY12 orders, you should consider the Adventure Pack as a good addition to your collection of materials.
Disclosure: Author was provided a promotional copy of this software to facilitate this review.