Phono Learning Center (PLC) is the newest app produced through Smarty Ears. The app is developed by Mary Huston, MS, CCC-SLP. Based on the Hodson’s Cycles Approach, PLC is developed to target phonological disorders in children. The PLC is developed to fit in with your Cycles Approach or traditional therapy with 4 different games and a multi-user format. Start by clicking on New Session. Add the characters or import them from the Therapy Report Center. The front page also links you to a homework page. You can email them to parents directly from your iPad. Add a student picture or an avatar. If you select Auditory Bombardment as ‘on’ there will be a quick auditory bombardment section at the beginning of the app. At the bottom of the page you can select your phonological targets. Select the players you want to play for this round. Adjust the settings to fit the students using the app. Extra tidbits I think are important.You can change the app data collection to the level of prompts (imitate, prompt, independent). The app settings can be set to limit a single phonological target at a time (the Hodson’s Cycles Approach) or multiple targets (a traditional therapy approach). During the Auditory Bombardment, tap the balloons and listen to the words being said. This is available during single player games. From this point the student can select from 4 different activities to practice the phonological process. The balloon game features a hot air balloon. The student says the word on the card and then drags that card to the balloon basket. The basket slowly fills with air before taking off! I have the app set to phrase level for multisyllable words during this example. The matching app features a picture card at the bottom of the page. Student then flip over the yellow-backed cards to find the match. It memory with a twist. My poor little kiddo was really sick of saying TOMATO by the end, because he wasn’t exactly a ‘memory’ champ. I on the other hand was super happy to have a tone of data since I had him say the pairs each time! The paper toss game was my student’s favorite part of the app. First read the word in the given picture. The student then touches the paper with the picture on it. The paper will crumble and is ready to be tossed into the basket! For the puzzle activity, the student says the word on the puzzle piece. I have it set on s-blend phrases here. After you say the word or phrase, tap the puzzle piece. It will float to the puzzle and turn into a picture piece. We had lots of fun with the guessing game portion of this activity, trying to figure out what the picture would be! Data collection is available throughout the app in the top right hand corner. Reports are available to share. I like using the ‘almost’ as a way to give me the idea of the level of cueing. If the kid needed an extra prompt I used the ‘almost’ scoring. To hear the app explained thoroughly check out this video! Phono Learning Center by Smarty Ears from Smarty Ears on Vimeo. Pros: I’d love that the app has researched word targets based on Hodson’s cycles. approach. The app meets the expectations for professionals familiar with the Smarty Ears brand. Phono Learning Center features 4 entertaining activities, paired with the research based methodology for treatment, topped off with effective and efficient data collection. Instead of adapting apps to meet evidence based strategies, PLC is an app developed fully around EBP! I love it! Cons: Some of the game activities didn’t really have an ‘ending’. The paper toss game for example. I’d love it if the app had a counter attached. Kids work so much better when you can give them a goal. I had to count aloud the ‘shots made’ for my little guy to keep him working to 30 points. ((Kinda like when I need a goal set on the treadmill! So I don’t blame the kidddo!)) I’d love if it the 4 activities had a better way to ‘finish’ to keep my students working for a goal. Future improvements: This isn’t an expectation of the app, just my 2 cents! I’d LOVE to see a chart to show a students mastery of goals or schedules of cycles. For example, the SLP could track which weeks/dates had been spent on each phonological process. As it stands you can look back through the reports to monitor progress but I’m envisioning a chart that the SLP could just look across and see that they had spend x amount of session on a certain phonological process. Ok. Phono Learning Center is on sale for $14.99. Regular price will be $24.99. You can find it on iTunes. Smarty Ears has donated one code for a lucky SRN reader! Just use rafflecopter below to enter for your chance to win the app! a Rafflecopter giveaway Smarty Ears provided the app for this review. No other compensation was provided.
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Danielle Desmond says
As a Lifeskills special education teacher, I am always looking or ways to embed student speech goals into the classroom curriculum! I can’t wait to check out this app!
I love that you can send homework to parents. I work in a clinic setting and I know parents would appreciate this. The variety of activities are also great, different from the continuous matching or flashcards from the other artic apps I have.
I did some research in grad school on using a combined cycles and minimal pairs approach. Now that ill be heading out on my own, I would love to incorporate more cycles!! Its great for those little kiddos!
Jennifer Bell says
I typically use the cycles approach and/or auditory bombardment! Thank you for your review of this new app. I am always looking for new activities to target this!
I wish I had this earlier this year! I work on phonological with drills, games … nothing as exciting. this would be great for my HOH/D students!
I use Hodson’s method- but do throw a bit of artic therapy in it. I have made cards with boardmaker and have made up various games to use.
Jenn Drybread says
This would have been great this year! I am switching schools next year and going to a preschool. This would be great for my phonology kids!
staci jackson says
We began using a new delivery model for artic therapy last year. This looks like it will incorporate easily into it. Thank you for sharing!
This sounds great!
Marya A says
I use Hodson’s cycles approach.
I try to use the Cycles approach but I’m still learning how it works. This app would help greatly! 🙂
Shannon Giles says
I use the cycles approach.
I’m really trying to use the Cycles approach more in my phono therapy! This would be a great addition to my repertoire!
Speechercize and Gluten Free says
I don’t really have a method but i’m sure this app would be helpful.
Sheila Giser says
I use the cycles approach and a lot of minimal pairs!
Kirsten Gieser says
Mary spoke at a class of mine last year! She was awesome. I would love to have this app…
I use an eclectic approach…..whatever seems to work for that client.
Jen K says
I use a modified cycles approach. However, my students love using my iPad so this would be great.
sharon kramer says
looks like a cool app
I just started using the Cycles Approach this year with a few students and they made good progress. I would love a way to target these goals rather than boring picture card drills.
I use minimal pairs, and Hodson’s cycle approach.
I use the cycles approach
Amy Carlton says
I have just begin learning and using version of the cycles approach. This stoop would be helpful!
I use cycles approach for my prek students who have phonological processes
Jacqueline Whitney says
I love using the cycles approach! It is so fast and effective! This app would be a great addition to my phono therapy!
Julie Graham says
Hodson’s cycle approach is what I have been using since the early 80s!
vicki b says
I have used Hodson’s approach for more years than I care to admit! 🙂
I use drill activities, games, worksheets, workbooks…
I use the cycles approach with several of my students — any my son just finished a round of his own! I’m excited about the app.
I do homeowrk our SLP assigns.
I pretty much use speech sound cards/phonological process cards to target various processes.
Steph @ The Caffeinated Reader says
I’m a graduate student and have just started working with kids who have phonological disorders, so I don’t have a tried and trued method yet. I’ve heard good things about the cycles approach though!
Muhammad Khalid says
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Melissa H. says
Cycles! Pretty much always. I like to incorporate lots of naturalistic activities with many opportunities for practice rather than drilling with flashcards…but that doesn’t always work out super well if the kiddo has her own agenda!
Jillian Hemming says
This seems to be a good app. May work with some of my lower functioning kiddos.
minimal pairs, cycles, and language/literacy activities
Keep those app reviews coming! I love it!-Courtney G
I use minimal pairs and cycles approach!
Mrs. Speech Teacher says
This looks amazing! I use the cycles approach with a few of my students.
I use an eclectic artic approach.
Matthew Henderson says
I use cycles, but also include minimal pairs for some semantic recognition! M@
This looks perfect for 2 little ones I’ll be working with next year! 🙂 – Lisa R.
Smarty Ears apps are my favorite! I love how easy they make data collection. The kids enjoy the games, as well. I would love to try this new app; it looks perfect for a couple of my kiddos. 🙂 Thanks!
This looks like an awesome app!
Jessica Smith says
I use Hodson’s cycles, but this is such a fun, new tool to use in my phonological therapy!
This app looks great! I love phonology. This looks like a great way to keep kids motivated!
I use Hodson’s and some articulation therapy – depending on the child’s intelligibility.
Karen Ellis says
I most often use cycles approach with kids with lots of phono errors.