Webinar on Pairing Picture Books and Apps

Mar 31, 2013 by

A few days ago I listened to a webinar. It was called Pairing Picture Books and Apps to Contextually Address Language Objectives. My isn’t that a mouthful. It was a short one hour freebie put on by Sean Sweeney ccc/slp who is also know as Speechtechie. The purpose of the presentation was to show different ways to encourage language expansion in children combining traditional materials and newer applications.

What was good about this presentation is that he started out by sharing resources. What usually bothers me about conferences in general is that they always start out sharing theory (usually their own since slp’s, especially those who are PhD candidates, love to share their opinions). They share their theory for 4 hours and only spend one on remediation/ therapy suggestions that don’t amount to much. Sean first shared some hard copy resources then got more into books, apps and sites.

Sean has created a method for choosing appropriate apps for speech and language therapy. Since I am a new I pad user I found this extremely helpful. I am finding that not all apps are created equal….in fact some are really poor even the ones designed specifically for therapy. At this point I do not trust many app reviews. Anyway he uses a rubric type system he calls FIVES when evaluating apps to use in therapy.

F- fairly priced

I- interactive

V- visual

E- educationally relevant


Sean explains his FIVES criteria more in-depth on his website,  FIVES Criteria.  I have tried to look at apps in a similar way before purchasing them but it is nice to have an organized method to follow.

With limited time he did go over some of his favorite apps, pointing out how you can combine the two different types of materials. If you find a book you like, look for an app that is on a similar topic might be a good pairing. Pairing materials isn’t anything new to a seasoned therapist but given the added tech piece, it wasn’t something on my radar.

One key suggestion he gave…when searching for apps to use in therapy, use the word interactive in your search. I also liked the fact that throughout the webinar he kept reinforcing that apps are a tool and should not replace traditional therapy methods. I thought that was extremely smart and responsible because I frequently see technology overused in the classroom setting or programs not being educationally relevant. Just because content is presented on the computer doesn’t mean it’s good content. You really have to be careful what you buy. Is it relevant or a time filler.

I enjoyed this short webinar and will use many of Sean’s suggestions when choosing apps. I think Sean has plenty to offer and would like to hear more of what he has to say about using apps in therapy. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on his blog.  Visit his site at http://www.speechtechie.com

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