Adventures with TRC

Smarty Ears Applications recently released The Therapy Report Center (TRC). I am pleased to do a review on this great little app.

First, let me explain what it isn’t… it isn’t a game, it isn’t a therapy activity, and it isn’t an expensive therapy tool.

What it IS…(besides fabulous)…

is an incredible piece of software that integrates (or will soon) all of the Smarty Ears therapy applications REPORTS in one spot. Imagine…Being able to see all of your clients’ data in one spot and having progress reports nearly written for you.

Here’s how it works...

Once the app is downloaded, the user inputs the clients, in my case students, information. I click on the avatar I want to use, put in the students’ initials (or names), birth dates, and targeted skills (don’t worry – you can include your own so it’s not just the ones that have Smarty Ears apps for them). I will be honest, when I first started this task it seemed really daunting – and I nearly stopped. But it really wasn’t that bad. The only reason it seemed bad at all was because it was the first time so I had to input all my students (and to be completely honest, I did this while I was watching TV one night so it wasn’t totally awful!). Now, as I input each new student I enroll, it will be easy.

photo (3)Here is what the screen looks like when you first start. There is the button on the left to “add student,” three tabs on the bottom to watch tutorial (I STRONGLY suggest you do this so you know what the app can and can’t do), see compatible apps, and use the app. There’s also a button for settings, search, and search for student. Eventually nearly all the Smarty Ears apps will be compatible.

One of the things I was concerned about was how to get existing data from my smarty ears apps into TRC. I mean, lets face it. I’ve been a smarty ears user for years. I started back when MAP (which isn’t available anymore) came out and was one of the first to use the Sunny Articulation Test. So I have a LOT of smarty ears apps and a LOT of data. I didn’t want to lose that unnecessarily. Thankfully…I didn’t have to worry too much.

Once I built my database (input my students), I had a choice. For the students who had never used a particular app, I could just hit “export student” select the app I wanted to have their information go to, and BOOM. It was there. Just. Like. That.

For the students that had already used the apps, I was able to go to the existing apps that were compatible. For this example, we’ll use Syntax City (which if you don’t have – you need to go get…trust me!).

photo (4)In Syntax City, I selected the report section, clicked on my student and “players performance.” From there, I clicked on “Share.” In “Share” I was given the option of email, print, open in, and Open in TRC. I clicked on Open in TRC, which brought me to another small selection window with Therapy Center, Evernote, and Dropbox (if you don’t have evernote and dropbox you won’t have those options). Clicked on Therapy Center, it opened, and I was able to select the appropriate student. It didn’t matter if the names were the same – the avatars were the same – or anything. I controlled it all.

photo (2)Once the student was selected, I was able to see all their data in one spot. When the data is from more than one app, it separates it nicely. Perhaps, best of all, the user can take a picture of their activity that is NOT on a smarty-ears app (crafts or other games), and incorporate THAT into the report by writing a new progress note.

The SLP can then “preview report” and it will give the name of the student, grade, date of birth, targeted skills. In the body of the report, it gives date of session, app used, and data. This tutorial that Barbara Fernades put together will definitely explain anything that I left out…

This app is amazing. It has the potential to be an incredible time saver for the busy SLP. I have been told the price will stay small (currently it’s $1.99) in order to ensure everyone can purchase it.

Things that hopefully will be changed?

So far, I’ve only found one and I’ve already emailed the developer about it. When you are importing students, if you happen to select the wrong student – there’s no way (that I found) to deselect them. That’s unfortunate, because then that data is put in the wrong student profile. If you’re vigilant (and don’t have fat fingers) it’s not an issue.

Overall…

This app is definitely worth the price and the (slight) inconvenience of having to input students. Now that my database is built, I can add new students in just a few seconds and have their information available for every smarty ears app (and all the new ones will be TRC compatible!). Since I can put in “extra” progress notes, I can use it for (non Smarty Ears apps) and other activities. No more multiple files! The time it will save me when I write my progress reports is immense!

This is, hands down, one of the better case-management tools I’ve seen.

Have you tried TRC yet? That’s okay…Leave me a comment here with your favorite   Smarty Ears app – and why it’s your favorite. I will draw one lucky winner on Saturday, January 19th and they will receive a copy of TRC provided from Smarty Ears.

Until then…Adventure on!

Mary

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27 thoughts on “Adventures with TRC

  1. By far, my most-used and favorite Smarty Ears app is Speech Trainer 3D. I have used this with practically every age group and population I’ve worked with, and everyone loves it! Great visual representation of how to produce the phonemes, and being able to show a side-by-side comparison of how the client/student/patient says it is a huge plus!
    Thanks for sharing about the Therapy Report Center app, Mary. 🙂 I’m looking forward to checking it out.

  2. my favorite Smarty Ears app is Is That Silly? – it never fails to make me (and my students) laugh when we use this app! and they have NO idea they’re actually working on their language. therapy hidden within fun is the best 🙂

  3. My favorite Smarty Ears app (so far!) is the Sunny Articulation Test because it takes such a small amount of time to administer but you get a truckload of info. The information helps to guide therapy and goal writing and also gives a narrative that you can easily use in your report writing with no work; it is phenomenal!!

  4. I’m growing my app library as I get more and more schools experience. Something that can make things easier and kept in one spot is always welcome. Thanks for the review!

  5. This tool looks very helpful. I am just starting to research apps and incorporate them into therapy. Any recommendations for older school age children would be appreciated.

  6. I use WHQuestions most often. I only have 2 Smarty Ears apps and have one of their newer apps on my next must-buy list. It is great for kiddos needing to work on their answering skills. Thanks for the chance!
    Tracey F.

    • I like WH questions too. There are some fabulous apps from SE that just came out. Language Empire and Syntax City are rapidly become favorites of mine for higher language issues. There’s not very many apps for figurative language and Language Empires really does it nicely.

  7. I love the Sunny Articulation Test because it is an easy to use way to assess a child’s articulation at the single word level. I find it so easy to use and provides me with a great analysis of errors.

  8. I love using Articulate It! The data collection is really helpful. I like that it lists the sessions in order for each child even if you are working in a group. Thanks!

  9. My favorite is Articulate It! I love that I can customize it to fit each child and not have to lug around flash cards anymore : ) It also tracks progress which is wonderful when trying to pull up data for progress notes for parents.

  10. The Sunny Articulation & Phonology Test ROCKS!! Option for screening or full assessment is the most helpful. We were in desperate need of a good screening tool especially for kindergarten screenings. Great information. Results are reported making it easy to write IEP goals from the information.

  11. While it is difficult to choose one favorite Smarty Ears app (every single one is a winner), my speechies are currently requesting Language Empires!! We love it because it targets so many language goals, and is great for the older elementary student. My autistic students love it too! It meets very many of my IEP and language goals. A very unique game that captures and holds student attention!

  12. I love Syntax City! It is a really fun way to work on grammar! I love how man repititions I can get in a short amount of time!

  13. I love the Sunny Artic. Test. I also wish it has a sentence and paragraph subtests. I my new favorite Smarty App is Artic Scenes. I like the data collection at the reading paragraph and spontaneous story telling level app.

  14. Language Adventures – who doesn’t love to play a game and they can ‘work’ on language skills! Best of both worlds – play while learning.

  15. I really like fun and functional because of the ability to customize receptive and expressive or both. The quick play option is great too and is already setup for expressive and receptive. The symbols/pictures are easy for the kiddos to understand. There aren’t many functional therapy apps out there and Smarty Ears has done a good job on this one!

  16. I have to agree with you, Mary, and say that Syntax City is amazing. No more wasting paper for each morphosyntax goal! I recently started using an ipad a few months ago, and TRC could really help me consolidate my data!

  17. I think my favorite app is articulate it. The kids are so much more self aware of their errors and good productions when they listen to their recordings and decide if they deserve an X or check.

  18. My favorite is a toss-up between Articulate It! and Language Adventures. I use both apps frequently and my students really like them.

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