As most of you know, I primarily work with middle school students. This year's caseload surprisingly consists of many students with speech challenges including apraxia of speech, fluency, and articulation I find it hard to find materials for this age range. My students have had years of speech services and, not surprisingly, speech therapy is not their favorite part of the day. My goal this year is to make their service time fun and functional and my most recent idea of using speech recognition technology has been a huge hit.
Some of my students have iPhones and I'm lucky enough to have an iPad with Siri. Siri is a voice to text application for Apple products. There are other voice recognition apps such as Android Voice. The recognition technology is pretty amazing and improving daily.
Students must be intelligible for Siri to respond appropriately to the request. The motivation is huge as students drive the search with their interests. I ask students to share their interests, hobbies, favorite tv shows/music, etc., and Siri does the search for information. For example, I have a Mine Craft obsessed 5th grader who is constantly searching for tricks of the game. My 7th grader loves basketball and enjoys reviewing game stats. This avenue gives students immediate feedback and they are very careful to use their strategies to improve intelligibility.
The SLP may also drive more language-based searches by asking students calendar related questions or making inquiries about general knowledge, community places, and even asking "how-to" questions for sequencing. Other functions are available too. Students may text the teacher, check/input into their calendar, and set the alarm clock. The service options are endless as is the fun and motivation.
I would love to hear how you plan to use Siri with your students.
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