Teach Through Apps: Shuttersong

Teach Through Apps: Shuttersong

Age level: All age levels

Description: Shuttersong is a simple, free app that allows you to easily combine digital images with sound and then share them. You can select a song clip from your music library or record your live voice or sound through your phone. It also works with pre-existing photos.

Skills & Modifications: The simplicity of this app allows for you to work on a variety of skills in a format that is highly motivating for many learners. 

– Before and After – This is a great tool for helping learners understand before and after by taking a series of photos and having the learner describe each photo. You can do this for daily living skills, such as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The learner can photograph each step and record what that step is. They can use it as a visual prompt to respond to questions such as “What do you do before you spread the jelly?”

– Expressive Language/Picture Comprehension – You can create photos and have the learner describe what is happening in the photo. It’s also helpful in working with learners to create novel responses. With one learner I saved photos of scenes (such as a playground scene or a still from a cartoon), then had the learner record one sentence about what was happening. The learner would listen to his/her response, then record a new response.

– Identifying Emotions – I like this app for having learners describe a person’s emotion and why the character is feeling that way. For example, the learner will look at a photo of a child sitting on the ground and crying with a scrape on his knee. Then the learner can record a statement about it, such as “The boy is sad because his knee hurts.”

– Summarizing/Recalling an Event – For learners who struggle with recalling recent events, this can be a helpful tool for them. I especially like that the learner can be responsible for taking the photos and narrating them. For example, if a family goes to a museum, the learner can take photos of different things they see and record a brief narration about each photo. Later the learner can share the photos and use the recordings as prompts if needed.

Pros: The app is highly motivating for many of my learners, which increases opportunities to practice difficult skills or low level skills with more age-appropriate materials.

Cons: None! Just be sure to take a little time to familiarize yourself with the app. It’s relatively intuitive, but you should understand all aspects of it before introducing it to learners.

Cost: free You should invest in this app if: you have learners that need practice with any of the skills described above, you are a parent seeking ways to help your child with recall, or you are seeking ways to motivate your learners with expressive language skills.

ABLLS: G39, G42, H41

VB-MAPP: Tact 9, Tact 10, Tact 14, Intraverbal 14

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