App-titude: Zooming In on One Multitalented App Take a look at how this app can boost your creativity when you integrate it into your work. App-titude
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App-titude  |   January 01, 2014
App-titude: Zooming In on One Multitalented App
Author Notes
  • Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., and consultant to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie (www.speechtechie.com), looks at technology “through a language lens.” ·sean@speechtechie.com
    Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., and consultant to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie (www.speechtechie.com), looks at technology “through a language lens.” ·sean@speechtechie.com×
Article Information
Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / App-titude
App-titude   |   January 01, 2014
App-titude: Zooming In on One Multitalented App
The ASHA Leader, January 2014, Vol. 19, 38-39. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.19012014.38
The ASHA Leader, January 2014, Vol. 19, 38-39. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.19012014.38
Zooming In on One Multitalented App
Take a look at how this app can boost your creativity when you integrate it into your work.
BY SEAN SWEENEY
“Apps-apps-apps. I need more apps.” This type of thinking can lead to a sort of “app fatigue.” The sense of being burned out on technology can cause us to overlook its usefulness. Clinicians in the whirlwind of private practice or starting a new semester in school can benefit from slowing way down and being “present” with one app, examining it in detail. We can apply our creative and divergent thinking toward a focus on the many uses of one app, rather than increasing our ever-growing library of apps.
Let’s take for example one of my favorite apps, Pic Collage (free for iOS, bit.ly/ashapiccollageios and Android, bit.ly/ashapiccollageandroid). Pic Collage has an incredible number of features for a free app, allowing you to combine images into photo collages in ways that go far beyond what we used to do with time-consuming searches through magazines, scissors, poster board and glue.
With Pic Collage you can search for and add photos, resize, arrange, rotate, frame, decorate, crop, trim, layer, add text and yes, save and print your creations. The bevy of features in this user-friendly app leads to so many uses, it reminds me of that old (but inspiring) lyric: “When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything!” So, what can we do with Pic Collage?
Develop narrative language.
Pic Collage’s trimming feature sets it apart from simple photo combination apps. Rather than having numerous pictures adjoining each other within one creation, a photo can be trimmed and overlaid on a background to add an element to a larger gestalt. To use this feature, add a photo to Pic Collage and then double-tap it to access the Trim Photo function. With this feature, you can use the app to construct photo stories by adding multiple photos depicting objects within a background picture (setting), actions in a setting, and even photos depicting initiating events. For example, try using a beach as a background picture. Add a sandcastle, beach ball or umbrella to further describe the setting. Add a swimmer or windsurfer to construct an action sequence narrative, or a problem such as a dark rain cloud as an initiating event! Once you are comfortable with the app, it’s easy to teach and use with a client or student for fun treatment activities.
Artic-creation.
Pic Collage has a terrific search function allowing you to add photos from the Web without ever leaving the app. This function lends itself to small, quick projects such as creating a collage of articulation target words for a sound or sounds. You can save the creation and print it or e-mail it to a parent for home practice, further extending the usefulness of the app. You can use this approach to illustrate categories, vocabulary or a topic related to the language of curriculum content.
Social functioning.
Pic Collage’s visual features bring it in alignment with areas of treatment that benefit from visual support. The app lends itself to use in lessons related to the Social Thinking® methodology (based on the work of Michelle Garcia Winner, www. socialthinking.com), including creation of “People Files” on others. This concept to develop social interactions involves working with clients to develop a social memory of others’ interests and use this information in conversations. You can visualize this concept within the app by adding a file folder as a background and pictures/text to represent others’ interests. You also can use Pic Collage’s background frames to create great comic strips, a visual format useful for creating social or play scripts and emphasizing social concepts.
Combine with other apps.
Although Pic Collage does not have an audio recording feature, its products can be saved to the Camera Roll or Photo Library. This facilitates the process of “app-smashing” (a term coined by Massachusetts educator Greg Kulowiec of EdTech Teacher, bit.ly/ashaappsmashing), in which you begin a project with steps in one app and continue it in another. For example, you can save a visual created in Pic Collage in your Photos (tap share button in lower right, then Save to Library) and access it in an app such as Videolicious, which allows you to add voiceover to pictures or a series of pictures (see bit.ly/ashavideolicious for steps on avoiding problems with privacy or copyright).
Construct flyers and other visuals.
Your treatment rooms and waiting room bulletin boards are crying out for visuals that grab clients’ and parents’ attention. Pic Collage provides a fun medium for conveying information about your practice or an upcoming event. Design away!
Want to see Pic Collage in action? Check out the tutorial at bit.ly/ashapiccollagetutorial. Image Not Available
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January 2014
Volume 19, Issue 1