General Post

The Generosity of an Application Developer and Your Chance to Give Back

Crack the Books

Many of you have read my reviews of Mobile Education Store's applications, developed by Kyle Tomson. They were the first applications that I reviewed for speech-language pathology. After reviewing many of his applications, Kyle made it a point to reach out to me via e-mail. He is appreciative of every mention of what he has created, a passion stemming from his daugther who has autism, review or otherwise. After reviewing his first applications, I have reviewed many of his later releases including two of my favorites for the iPad: Conversation Builder Teen and Tense Builder; for which he has generously donated codes for me to use and review with my students. I can genuinely say that his applications have a permanent place on my iPad and have truly helped many of my students with communication disorders with grammar and conversation skills. You have most likely seen his generosity through discounts on his applications, giveaways of his applications on various websites, and sometimes giveaways as big as iPads! I was fortunate enough to meet Kyle at the ASHA 2013 conference in November, when he invited me to come and promote his brand in the Exhibitor Hall. There, I got to finally meet an amazing individual who genuinely cared about the quality and education value of his product to assist in the education of children not only with communication disorders but at all levels of science and literacy skills. Kyle Tomson is one of the few application developers who develops a personal relationship with those who use his applications and takes it upon himself to tackle technology and education's biggest problems. From watching him interact with speech-language pathologists, as well as hearing about his interactions with others through social media, you can tell that he truly listens and responds to the questions, ideas, thoughts, and concerns of educators.

Crack the Books ASHA 2013

(Kyle Tomson, developer of Crack the Books series, at ASHA 2013)

Around ASHA 2014, Kyle released his latest series of applications, titled the Crack the Books series. I have been fortunate enough to have used and witnessed the development behind a couple of these applications, and I am absolutely awestruck. The quality of these applications from behind the scenes is evident from the different reading levels to the interactivity to the pristine images. From a development standpoint, these are high-quality and took a lot of time, research, and money to develop. On the application store, consumers get to see the finished product and the price, but they do not have knowledge of the inner workings of application development. It takes a team - content writers, researchers, educators, graphic designers, programmers, narrators, etc. When we see a piece of software on other websites, we can expect to be charged upwards of $50 for this type of quality work. Unfortunately, the way in which the application store is rooted, society expects software for their devices to be 99 cents or less - this is pathetic for even applications such as Angry Birds and Toca Store, which earn a significant amount of money but took hundreds more to develop than the amount they charge. Kyle tackles this problem by charging a fee to download for the quality and time spent creating his applications, plus a subscription service for future updates.

Crack the Books Series

But enough about generosity and politics - the point of this post is to tell you why it is important to give back and donate to the Mobile Education Store's latest project. If we are investing in iPads as teaching tools in the classroom, then we need to also invest in quality educational content that can be used with an entire classroom of readers from low to high reading levels, engages our students, and grows in content. There are not that many textbooks available for the iPad and those that are out there currently have static displays. This is not taking advantage of the iPad as a learning tool - iPads can be touched, play video, show visuals, read text aloud, etc. The Crack the Books series is revolutionary in the fact that there are five different reading levels that contain the same content but make sure that each student has the same access (including text-to-speech), include interactive visuals, are motivating in interactivity and visually, have high-quality images, are researched (include citations for content), and allow for assessment of knowledge through flash cards, notes, and quizzes. If that doesn't convince you of the quality of these applications, YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS VIDEO to see how amazing these applications are:

Take it from someone who understands technology, what it takes behind the scenes to create such amazing content, and the value of technology in education - if you want to continue using iPads as educational tools, we need to invest in content like this. Content that is accessible for all learners - visual, textual, auditory, sensory - and multiple reading levels within one classroom. Content that continues to grow in quantity and quality. Content that USES the iPad's technology to its advantage and is not static. I highly recommend backing this project whether you are an educator, therapist, or parent and want to see quality content like this in the schools. Donate by clicking the image below to go to the Kickstarter website for this campaign and clicking "back this project". I did.

Crack the Books Kickstarter

Vote Now to Support Speech-Language Pathology Blogs in the Edublog Awards!

Vote for SLPs in the Eddies

A couple posts ago, I wrote about the Edublog Awards (awards for the best blogs in the education field). I am excited to announce that the other blog that I manage, Speechie Freebies, made the short list for Best Group Blog! Congratulations to the bloggers/authors on the Speechie Freebies team! This couldn't have happened without you! I never dreamed of us becoming this big this fast!

The Edublog Awards 2013 Icon

(Check out this awesome image created by Sublime Speech!)

Now SLP bloggers like me need your help. If you appreciate reading the content of SLP blogs and the materials some of us create, please vote for SLP bloggers in the Edublog Awards! This is a perfect way to show your appreciation for what we do! You can vote for more than one blog, but you can only vote for each blog one time. Here's how to vote, straight from the Edublog Awards' website:

How to Vote Eddies 13 Image 1

(Click here to go to Listly and sign up with your social media account of choice)

How to Vote Eddies 13 Image 2

(Once you've signed in, go back to edublogawards.com and choose a category)

How to Vote Eddies 13 Image 3

(Vote up your SLPeeps by pressing the arrow in the left hand corner at the bottom of the box! You can vote for more than one but remember, only vote once!)

Here's the category my other blog is nominated in for your convenience (scroll down to find Speechie Freebies and click the arrow):

Here are the SLP bloggers included in the Edublog Awards 2013 short list per category:

Best Individual Blog:

  • Speech Adventures
  • Chapel Hill Snippets
  • If Only I Had Super Powers
  • PrAACtical AAC
  • Speech Peeps
  • Playing With Words 365

Best Group Blog:

  • Speechie Freebies (my other blog that I manage with 14 of us SLP bloggers!)

Best New Blog:

  • Speechy Musings
  • Rock Chalk Speech Talk
  • SLPs For Change

Best Resource Sharing Blog:

  • Speech Techie
  • Speechy Musings
  • PrAACtical AAC

Best Teacher Blog:

  • Speech Techie

Most Influential Education Blog Post:

  • Dear Teacher...Love, Your SLP by: Busy Bee Speech
  • There's no Such Thing as a Free App, so Get Over it and Pony up! by: The Speech Dudes

Best Twitter Hashtag:

  • #SLPeeps

Best Podcasts or Google Hangouts for Educators:

  • A.T.TIPSCAST
  • teachmetotalk.com

Best Use of Wikis in Education:

  • CommunicatePA

Best Mobile App for Education:

  • ATEval2Go by: Smarty Ears

Lifetime Achievement:

  • Caroline Bowen of speech-language-therapy.com
  • Jenn Alcorn of Crazy Speech World

The Edublog Awards 2013 Icon

Please help the SLPs sweep all of the categories we were nominated for this year with your votes! Remember, you can vote for more than one blog per category! It is much appreciated! Thanks again for all of you who nominated us and thank you for your continued support!

10 Great Games to Gift Your 6th-12th Grader (With Language Benefits!)

My game cabinets were getting full at the elementary school I work at, so when I got a bigger office at the middle school, I was ecstatic! I could finally move more games up to my second office since it was larger, which created more room in my cabinets at the elementary school! In addition, my secondary students could finally enjoy playing games more often again like they had in my room when they were younger. We couldn't play the same games, however; they had to be developmentally appropriate for my middle schoolers. As I was looking at the ages of the games I already owned, I thought about my family Christmas each year and how we would decide on a game to purchase and play together. Many of the games that I was bringing with me to the middle school were also family favorites that we had purchased around Christmastime. This is one of my fondest memories around the holidays. So let me share some holiday cheer with you in this list of my favorite holiday games that I also use in speech-language therapy due to their educational value! Continue reading for 10 great games to gift your 6th-12th grader this holiday season!

Consonantly Speaking's Edublog Award Nominations

The Edublog Awards 2013 Icon

The Edublog Award Nominations close tonight. They are yearly awards for the best bloggers in the education field. Since speech-language pathologists are amazing educators, I am excited to be able to nominate some of my favorite speech-language pathologist blogs this year! Continue reading to learn who I am nominating for the awards this year and maybe learn about some new blogs to follow!

Follow Me on Bloglovin'!

Consonantly Speaking is now on Bloglovin'! Bloglovin' is a website where you can follow all of your favorite blogs and get a feed of their content. Come follow me there if you wish! The link is below:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

What's In Your Cart?: Cyber Monday TpT Linky Party

Cyber Monday Linky Party icon

Most of the time, us speechies brag about what we bought on social media AFTER we buy it. This time around, Jenna from Speech Room News had a brilliant idea to show you what we are planning to buy BEFORE we swipe our credit cards! Since Small Business Saturday was yesterday, and Cyber Monday is tomorrow, I decided to join in on the "What's in Your Cart?: Cyber Monday Sale Linky Party" to promote other SLPs' small businesses on Teachers Pay Teachers! Want to see what I am planning on getting tomorrow? Continue reading to find out!

Apps and Products Discounted for ASHA 2013

ASHA Convention 2013 Wand

I am currently at the ASHA 2013 convention in Chicago having a blast, but you can too through all of the great app and product sales going on online and on the iTunes App Store! Continue reading to learn more about which applications, TpT stores, and products are on sale for ASHA 2013!

How to Find Consonantly Speaking at the ASHA Convention

ASHA Convention 2013 Image

For the ASHA photo scavenger hunt, many of you are probably wondering how to find me. Or maybe I want to you to wonder because I want to meet you! (It's the latter for sure!)

ASHA Photo Scavenger Hunt Image 2

Today I was at the Mobile Education Store's booth #914 the entire day! I will be there tomorrow as well for the mostpart. Most likely, I will be attending a session or two as well as meeting up with some other great SLP bloggers, but hopefully you won't miss me! I'm the one with the bright red hair! On Saturday, I am hoping to attend a session on cleft palate/hypernasality, but I will be at the booth as well as spending some money on all of the great products I have been staring at all day today (more like not spending money since my car broke down...)!

Mobile Education Store

ASHA Photo Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway

ASHA Photo Scavenger Hunt

Are you going to ASHA? I am! So is Carissa Ten Hoeve from Home Sweet Speech Room! We are teaming up to hold an ASHA Photo Scavenger Hunt!

Post as many items below as you can on Instagram (or if you don't have Instagram, e-mail the images to homesweetspeechroom@gmail.com) with the hashtag #ASHAphotohunt. We will choose a winner to win $10 worth of products from Home Sweet Speech Room's TpT store and an item from my TpT store!

Over the course of the next few days, take pictures of the following things you see.  You may take just one or all of them!

ASHA Photo Scavenger Hunt Image 2

And just for fun, me or Carissa - this one will be somewhat difficult.  If you can find me or Carissa in the masses, and take a picture with one or both of us, you will get some extra credit!

We can't wait to see your pictures!

SLP Social Media List

Over time I have been compiling my list of helpful speech-language pathology websites and blogs. I kept finding so many that I began to place them into a Microsoft Excel file so that I would not forget them. It was better than bookmarking the sites, and I was able to place them in ABC order. Plus, by now I'm sure you have noticed that I good at making lists. I feel that lists are useful for keeping information together in an orderly manner that you do not want to lose or forget.

Each time I thought I was done with the list a new blogger would come about or I would discover a new website that I enjoyed related to speech-language pathology. Finally, I felt that my list was complete last night when I kept running into the same blogs/websites without any new ones appearing. There are approximately 770 speech-language pathology blogs, websites, and stores that you can follow on social media on my list currently (as of 10/23/2013). I did not include every website out there, just websites that had a blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest account, Instagram, Flickr, Google + account, bloglovin' to follow, YouTube videos, etc. as I felt that they had more of a presence and consistency of updating readers online with continuous articles and materials. That's not to say that all of the blogs on the list have or haven't been updated recently. In addition, who knows what other social media or websites I will be able to update the list with in the future?! Continue reading to find the link for this great resource list!

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