I seem to go through stages of using my iPad in sessions, but each time it returns my students and I have a blast! In case you missed my past posts, I explained how I use Switch Zoo and Tellagami in my speech room. Middle schoolers are always motivated to engage when an electronic device is incorporated, so iPad apps provide an easy way to target numerous SLP goals. Be careful though: this age group is pretty tech savvy, and aren’t easily fooled by formats that rely on drill. That’s a good thing, as language is learned best in natural contexts anyway. They are also use to advanced visuals, so investing in some high-quality apps is often a smart investment. Here’s a list of my favorite iPad apps for middle school SLPs:
Smarty Ears has developed a reputation among SLPs for their quality iPad apps, and my middle schoolers enjoy the two pictured below. Reading Comprehension Camp offers five reading levels, so you can use the app with a wide range of students. Language Empires uses an ancient civilizations theme to guide students on learning specific language targets.
I attended a presentation by the SLP founders of Communication Apptitude at ASHA 2015 in Denver and was impressed with the products they had developed. I purchased the apps, and highly recommend both! I love the graphics and the interactive nature of the apps. Most importantly, they help my students understand the layers of meaning and holds their attention!
Middle School Confidential offers several digital graphic novels based on the book series written by Annie Fox. These simple apps have just enough visual content to facilitate social skill discussions. Toontastic has been a staple in my speech room and is a great way to target narrative language skills. create your own animated films. Students choose the characters and setting for each scene, then just move the pieces around like they were playing with action figures, providing their own dialogue as the iPad records it all. They can even add a musical score with the appropriate emotional tone!
Conversation Skill Builder provides a fun way to practice conversation skills. A picture is presented, the student chooses from a list of possible things to say and records the appropriate response. In the end, you have a 4-part or 8-part conversation to play back that includes your student’s voice. Between the Lines offers 3 versions as well as a “lite” version. The iPad app targets listening, figurative language, perspective taking and body language with great videos and reward games.
What iPad apps do you love using in your middle school sessions? Please share below!