I definitely missed out on posting this on 5/5! For FIVES, get it?
The FIVES Criteria frames this blog as a tool for evaluating the vast world of repurposable technology resources in terms of factors that make them useful in speech and language development: Fairly Priced, Interactive, Visual, Educationally Relevant, and Speechie/Specific to learning and clinical objectives. Over the past several years, I have been weaving this into all my presentations as well as a tool for people in our field to think about apps that were not designed for language development, but are nonetheless very applicable to what we can do with an app. I often say that it doesn't matter what an app does, it matters what we do with it--in the same way we use books, games, toys and other tools to elicit and shape language.
I was very excited to recently co-author an article including FIVES, and can now say that it is "peer-reviewed!" Dr. Kerry Davis, a longtime colleague and friend and frequent contributor to the ASHAsphere blog, joined me in writing Reading, Writing and AAC: Mobile Technology Strategies for Literacy and Language Development for SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication. As I often disclaim, I am not an AAC specialist. However, when approached about the article, Kerry and were excited to collaborate; her perspective as an AAC expert is that many of the same applications can be used to promote communication with or without AAC tools. As such, apps that are within our budgets, promote interactive choice-making, visual scaffolding, syncing with classroom curriculum, and specific speech and language objectives are discussed in the article, as is the FIVES criteria itself. I hope you have the chance to check out the article. My "Perspective" on ASHA Special Interest Group membership is that it is valuable not least of all for the access to the journals regularly published by the 18 divisions (and membership in one SIG gives you access to all Perspectives journals).
I recently also created a FIVES criteria worksheet that you can download from this link. I hope that this might spur discussions in your professional development meetings as you take a look at apps that might be helpful in your work. Consider great resources such as Yapp Guru, featuring both dedicated and repurposed apps, apps such as Kindertown, a guide to apps for young learners, and educational technology blogs such as Teachers with Apps, iPad Apps for School, and Smart Apps for Kids. Put these blogs in your Feedly app for one-stop shopping for information on new apps.
Happy FIVE(s) Month...it's one of my favorites!