Sunday, April 15, 2012

App for iOS and Androids: Let's Name Things (Free!)

Let's Name Things App
Let's Name Things Fun Deck by Super Duper Publications is available for free for iOS devices from iTunes, Android devices from Android Market, Kindle from Amazon App store, and for the Nook from Barnes & Noble.

What it is:  Super Duper Publications are well known for their resources for school-based SLPs. Their materials are meant for use with kiddos, and their illustrations and delivery reflect this. Go to Super Duper Publications for information about this app and others, including a couple of other free ones.

This app is a virtual deck of 52 cards with illustrations that prompt one to name items in a certain category, for example, things that are blue/black/red, things that can fly, things that you find in a zoo, things that are fruit, etc. To start, you "edit the player list"; in schools you may do this with more than one student, but for our purposes we'll only have one "player" at a time so it's not necessary to add a name unless you want to (e.g., if want to keep track of scores across several days or plan to use it with more than one pt).

After you've selected the player, you can select the cards. Most cards are well suited for use with adults, with just a few exceptions which you can deselect. I took out anything that refers to school or teachers (see screen image "select cards" on right). You can also just manually bypass these cards when they come up, but if you only plan to use the app with adults, you may as well just deselect the categories you don't need.

To start the task, you get one card at a time with the prompt "let's name things that...". The prompt is provided with audio, which I would recommend shutting off; just read the prompt yourself to make the task more suitable for adults. The screen for each prompt provides an illustration of the prompt (which, as expected, is on the childish side) and two buttons at the bottom: a red one and a green one, and each keeps count. The app keeps track of this count, and provides you with an overview of results at any point you choose to look at them from the menu (see "results" screen image below).

How we can use it in Tx: As noted above, this resource is targeted at schoolkids. As such, if using this app with an adult pt, I wouldn't bother showing the pt the screen or the the illustration, and instead just provide the verbal prompts myself (also remembering to shut the app's or my device's audio off) and use this application just for ideas of categories to ask about, and to easily count accuracy. The most straightforward use is to have pts name items within categories: I would ask for say, 3 items per category, and keep count using the buttons (green for each item that is appropriate, red for either an inappropriate item or a no-answer). Pretty much any simple reasoning/categorizing/naming task can be initiated with this list of categories, and I provide a couple such suggestions in the examples below.

I also believe that most tasks can be turned into memory tasks: when you are done with a specified number of cards, you can go back to the ones you covered and ask if the pt can remember the 3 (or however many) items they listed for each category.

Goals we can target in Tx with this app: Mostly reasoning and language goals such as organization and categorization (concrete and abstract), naming (divergent and convergent), and simple Y/N questions. And memory, always memory.

Some specific examples:

1. To target delayed memory goals, make this a recall of related items task: Deselect all but 5 cards. Go through all 5 asking the pt to name 3 items for each category, and letting them know that you'll ask later for these items again. When you've gone through all 5 cards (15 words), go back to the first one and see if pt can generate the same ones (from memory, or just from it being the same prompt; it's more functional than memorization of random lists). Use the scoring buttons to keep track of how many items were recalled (or re-generated to the same prompt).

2. Use the category prompts on the cards to generate your own list of items, say 3-5 items, and ask the pt to name the category. E.g., for the card that asks to name "things that are sweet" give the pt a list such as candy, ice cream, cookies, cake and sugar. Keep track of accuracy right on each card by selecting green if the pt got the category (or something close enough to it) and red if the pt wasn't able to name the category.

3. For a reasoning task, use the category suggestions on the cards to generate a list of items that belong to the specified category, and one that doesn't (e.g., for the "things that are sweet" category give candy, sugar, cake, ice cream, hamburger) and ask the pt to pick the "odd one out". Use the app to keep track of accuracy: Keep track of whether the pt was able to ID the odd item, and also whether they were able to explain why it didn't belong.

4. For a pt with simple Y/N question goals, use the prompts in this app is to generate such questions: Go through the categories and ask about the suitability of specific items, e.g., for the prompt "let's name things that are fruits" you can ask "is TV a fruit?" or "is watermelon a fruit?", etc. It's easy to come up with your own Y/N questions without this kind of app, but it's nice to have help generate them quickly AND keep track of accuracy.

It would surely be nice if this app allowed us to add or edit the cards... but even as is, it's not a bad little app to have on your phone (don't need a tablet for this as you won't be sharing the screen image with the pt) to help generate a few simple tasks quickly and keep track of accuracy.

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