I wrote a short paragraph recently regarding apps in a previous blog.
I have used apps for quite a while. I own an Android phone, which is good, but I still don’t get all the apps that I really want with it. Namely, SmartyEars apps. I had the wonderful opportunity to work in the SmartyEars booth some this year’s ASHA convention.
One of the things most people wanted to look at was the Articulate It app. In showing this app, I had the opportunity of showing SLP’s how to use this app in other ways than for what it was intended. I use the app for confrontational naming with aphasic patients, with apraxic patients, dysarthric patients, the list goes on. Some people complained because of the word list. I showed them how to delete said words from the word list. Some people complained because the kids may not know what those pictures are. What a great vocabulary lesson!!
In short, apps are not these magical little things that we download, sit in front of the clients and let them do the work. They do not take the place of a competent SLP any more than a deck of Webber cards would. Apps are only as good as the user. Apps are not always good. We must be good consumers, much in the same way we must be good consumers when purchasing workbooks, decks of cards, etc. We should take opportunities to use apps in ways that are creative and intriguing.
As a great presenter stated “there are no useless apps.” You can take any app a create an activity out of it, be it articulation, language, cognitive or for reinforcement.
As SLP’s we need to not be scared of technology, but embrace it as it is the present, no longer the future. We need to take advantage of these amazing technological advances and use them to make our sessions the best that we are able!