Something you may not know about me is that I also designed the iPad app “Questions2Learn” in 2012. The iPad was fairly new in 2012, especially for being used as a tool in therapy. I think I purchased my first iPhone in 2010 and noticed that there were a couple apps for speech therapy. My students were very interested in playing with or looking at my iPhone.
Why I designed my app? When I saw the first speech therapy app on iTunes, I thought what a brilliant idea to create an app that could be used in speech therapy and would motivate students to work on speech and language skills! Some of these speech therapy apps were not easy to use with my students, especially my students who were not speaking or limited speakers. The Sped Teachers, who I worked with, asked our students questions about books or about their weekend. Yet our students could not respond due to speaking difficulties. Some teachers were not sure if the student didn’t understand the question or have the communication skills to answer the question. I remember spending hours after school creating questions and pictures on software programs (i.e., Board Maker) to help our students have choices to answer the questions. I will never forget spending time creating those pages of pictures, using lots of paper and ink to print them out, laminating them, cutting them out, and then sticking Velcro on them. After all of the work, many students either had difficulty physically selecting the picture or were not motivated by the pictures and choosing the answer. A light bulb went off in my head – I could become an app developer and create an app that does this! I registered at the nearest college for a C++ coding class. A couple of weeks into the class I realized I wasn’t grasping the coding lessons as easily as the other students in the class. I constantly asked for help from my classmates. Coding was not in my skill set! After making a “C” in my C++ class, I decided to hire an app developer and a graphic designer to help bring my idea to the iTunes store.
After Questions2Learn launched, I was ecstatic when I saw the progress my students were making when answering “Wh” questions. See this video of my student using Questions2Learn . Many of us did not think our students could respond to questions or understand them, but thankfully these students proved us all wrong. We were very happy to see that they understood “WH” questions! Our students were proud of themselves for showing us they could answer the questionsl!
Questions2Learn is a tool to use in classrooms, speech therapy, or at home with parents. Some children may be able to use the app by themselves, but other students will need either a SLP, parent, or teachers’ assistance (i.e. adult to help them play the app or use it as a teaching tool).
Coming up…I will be posting about how a parent, SLP, or teacher can use Questions2Learn with students. So stay tuned!