Speech FlipBook Application Review
You've seen the flipbooks made out of notecard flipbooks with binding on Pinterest. Images of these have been shared thousands of times. In fact, I had even created my own. Unfortunately, I often would misplace the small notecard flipbook, children would accidentally tear the pages when turning them, if you use marker, it will bleed through the paper, and if the edges were not cut the same way, it would be difficult and rather annoying to flip the pages. There is only one other flipbook application for speech, and it comes with one sound but is $9.99 for each additional sound. If you're anything like me, you cannot afford to pay that much for in-app purchases for multiple sounds. To read my review of this application, continue reading below.
Finally, I spotted app developer Megan Sutton of Tactus Therapy Solutions asking questions about handmade flipbooks on various speech forums, and this intrigued me. After teasing an amazing application to replace these notecard flipbooks we had all made for a bit, Speech FlipBook had finally arrived. Even better, I have the opportunity to review the application for you today!
Speech FlipBook's main page looks better than the flipbook I previously made and is more portable (plus, I know for a fact that I won't lose it). There are four different buttons shown in the four corners of the screen: "i" (Instructions), a gear (Settings), Connect (social media links), and Other Apps (Tactus Therapy Solutions' apps on the app store).
Press the "i" button to view instructions on how to use the application including utilizing appropriate settings and links to Tactus Therapy solutions' social media links.
Press the gear button to view the settings for the application. A new screen will appear with the following choices:
- FlipBook Case - Choose between uppercase, lowercase, or IPA fonts for the flipbook by pressing the associated button.
- Word Case - Choose between uppercase and lowercase fonts for the word case within the flipbook by pressing the associated button.
- Blank Pages - Some types of words (such as VC, CV, and V) have 2-3 phonemes and which do not fill the three pages of the flipbook. Choose between allowing VC, CV, V, or no (CVC only) blank pages by pressing the associated button.
- Include - Choose between having real words, non-words, or both show on the app.
- Words - Choose between showing or hiding words associated with the phonemes shown on the flipbook pages.
- Links - You can turn on or off the Connect and Other Apps links on the Home Screen.
- Flip Effect - Choose between a visual, sound, both, or no effects when swiping between pages on the flipbook.
- Edit Word List - Chose specific words from a list to show on the application. Words will show on the left with their phoneme segmentation in the middle, and a check box on the right showing if the word will appear or not in the flipbook. You can deselect all of the words by pressing the "Deselect All" check box in the lower right hand corner of the page. Scroll through the words by swiping up and down the list or pressing one of the letters on the right hand side of the page.
Pressing the "Connect" text will allow a pop-up menu to appear to "like" Tactus Therapy Solutions on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, sign up for their newsletter, or review the application on the app store.
Pressing the "Other Apps" button will bring the user to the Tactus Therapy Solutions app store to view their other applications.
To begin using the application, choose the appropriate settings. Then, choose to flip by "sounds" or "words" by sliding the switch on the left hand side of the flipbook. Next, choose the appropriate sounds to use with your client. Press on the color-coded tabs at the bottom of the flipbook to choose the sounds to be used. Sounds are categorized by the following in charts for placement, manner, and voice (instead of typing out each phoneme, view the chart images below to see the amazing work that went into creating the chart for the application):
- Initial Sounds
- Initial Clusters
- Final Sounds
- Final Clusters
Pressing on one of the labels on the side or top of the chart will highlight or un-highlight a row or column. Pressing on an individual sound or cluster will highlight/un-highlight that particular sound or cluster of phonemes. When a phoneme or cluster is highlighted, this means that it will be used in the application. In addition, if sounds are not chosen that are words or that can be used as non-words (depending on your choices and settings), it will state that there are no words available for your settings and you must re-choose appropriate sounds that can be used. Finally, once all of the settings and sounds have been chosen, press the green "Home" tab to find the "Start" button on the front of the book.
After pressing the start button, you will see a flipbook with three pages. Depending on whether you have selected CV, VC, V, CVC, words, non-words, and which phonemes/clusters you have selected in the settings/home screen will depend on how many phonemes you see on each page/how many pages are used. There can be one phoneme or cluster per page. Each phoneme/cluster will be colored a different color. To flip a page, swipe up or down on any of the three pages. This will change the word/non-word depending on the phonemes presented. To hear a phoneme/cluster, press its page and it will be narrated aloud. To hear the word stated aloud, if you have chosen words to be shown at the bottom of the page, press on the word. You can turn on/off words being shown by pressing the book button at the bottom right hand corner of the page. If you would like your client to state the word aloud, have him or her press the red circle button in the left hand bottom corner of the page. Press the red square to stop recording, the green triangle to hear the word played back, and the red "x" button to delete the recording. To head back to the home screen, press the home icon.
What I Like About This Application:
- This application is perfect for phonological awareness in and out of the classroom. Focus on phoneme segmentation, blending, initial sounds, final sounds, vowels, and rhyming words using the flipbook.
- The phonemes/clusters are color-coded to assist in the realization of phoneme segmentation for children. This is also appropriate for those who are visually impaired.
- Allowing users to press on the individual phonemes/clusters and words to hear the segmentation and blending of the word is great for those just beginning to work on these skills. This way, they can learn the concepts of segmentation and blending for early reading.
- Children can read words as a whole or in parts. They can also practice nonsense words which is great for sounding out unknown words in the future.
- The ability for a child to record his or her own speech reading a word is great for a user to listen back to his or her speech to determine whether the word sounds correct or not.
- There are an incredible amount of settings which allows for appropriate customization between users. In addition, phonemes/clusters are already categorized into place, manner, and voice for you, which takes out the work to think about appropriate areas to work on with your client.
- The application can be used with clients with articulation disorders, motor speech disorders, and the general education population working on early reading skills.
- As I say about all Tactus Therapy Solutions applications, this application has a clean look, is not distracting, and is easy to use for both clinicians and clients alike.
What I Would Like to See in Future Updates:
- It would be nice to be able to save settings/sounds between users.
- I would like to see the /w/ sound updated because it sounded more like a buzzing/vibrating/horn-like sound than the /w/ phoneme.
- For children working on articulation/motor speech goals, I would love for there to be a "+"/"-" and scoring option to turn on via the settings to keep track of a user's productions.
- Articulation - Choose the appropriate speech sound(s) in the initial or final positions of a word for the user to practice. He or she can even record and play-back his or her speech to self-monitor. In addition, the application includes s, r, and l blends as well as vocalic /r/ sounds to practice. Depending on the settings you choose, users can practice sounds in CV, VC, V, CVC, CCVC, and CVCC (etc) words.
- Motor Speech Disorders - Have your client practice sequencing between sounds to make words on the application. Practice sounds individually or blend them together to make words. Choose the clients' level of practice between CV, VC, V, CVC, CCVC, and CVCC (etc) words. Flip pages in the flipbook to change one sound at a time.
- Phonological Awareness - Work on phoneme segmentation by playing the word as a whole aloud first, then having the child state each phoneme individually. Practice initial sound and final sound identification by having the user press the initial or final sound associated with the word. Focus on blending sounds together to make words by having children state each phoneme on its own followed by blending it together as a word, then checking to see whether the word was stated correctly by pressing the word to have it narrated aloud.
- Phonological Processes - Choose the place, manner, or voice associated with the phonological process your client is working on to have him or her practice words associated with the place, manner, or voice that needs practice.
- Auditory Bombardment - Press on words with a client's speech sound in them to have the narrator state them aloud for the client to hear.
Speech FlipBook is available for the very reasonable price of $4.99 on the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and iPad Mini!
Consonantly Speaking was given a copy of the application in order to review it. No other form of compensation was received.