Final Post of the Genius Hour

 

Throughout this genius hour project, I have researched to answer this question which communication app is best across settings? This question has changed from the original to is it worth it to spend a lot of money when a cheaper app is similar and can do about the same? For this narrowed down question, I focused on three apps, which are Prologuo2Go, MyTalk, and iCommunicate.

 

To further my research it is important to know each app works. I can do all the research about these apps, but unless I truly know how they work and how easy they are to use, it is pointless. I believe to further this research that I need to talk to people who have the apps and use them daily. The opinions’ of the users matter and needs to be taken into consideration.

 

I believe in the future if someone wanted to continue this research or ask a similar question, it would be important to interview or survey people who use these apps. I also believe it is important to see if any research is being down for these apps or similar ones.  The apps being researched can change, but it is important to understand how the apps work which is difficult to do without trying them out. This was an interesting research assignment and I learned about many new apps that can benefit my future students.

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What I have Learned

Throughout this project, I have learner about a lot of different AT communication apps for ipads, and androids.  My focus has been more on the ipad, since that is what I have.  I also feel like an ipad is something easy to use for anyone, and androids to me are a little confusing.

I have learned a lot just by narrowing down the question. The question went from a very board question about communication apps to a narrowed down question discussing three communication apps.  I have learned a lot from research these apps.  All the reviews I have read are positive on these three apps.  It seems like to me that it depends on the user to decide which app is best for them.

I feel the only thing I have left to learn is how these three apps really work.  To be able to do this, I would have to know someone who already owns the apps or purchase the apps myself.  I have already worked with proloquo2go before, but not the other apps.  For future researchers, I would recommend contacting the companies for more information or contacting people who own the apps.

 

More Research

Since my last post, I have decided to focus on 3 apps that vary in price and a little in function.  All of these apps provide a voice to the user, but some apps expand on what else they can do.  I am using the apps websites to help me further my research and read reviews.  The apps I will focus on are MyTalk, iCommunicate, and Proloquo2Go.

Prologuo2Go is a communication app that provides a voice to the user.  That is the only function of this app.  It is customizable app that allows the user to press buttons to form sentences and have the device speak those sentences.  This app is also the most expensive app, which prompted the question of: is there a cheaper one that works the same?

MyTalk is an app very similar to Prologuo2Go, but it cost less.  Prologuo2Go cost $189 and MyTalk cost $39.99.  MyTalk is also a customizable app that gives the user a voice that he or she wouldn’t have without it.  I would love the opportunity to use both of these apps to see the difference between them.  It would be helpful to see if Prologuo2Go is worth the extra money.

iCommunicate is an ACC app that gives the user a voice, but also can show a picture schedule, show routines, storyboards, and more.  This app only cost $49.99. Between all of the apps, this one offers more for a lower price.  I would be interested to see if it works better than the others and how it works.

Researching

As I begin my research into the question of which communication app is the best across settings, I am realizing just how many different types of these apps are out there for purchase. All of these apps are similar and can perform the same function, but what varies is the price and how easy it is to use. There hasn’t been a lot of research articles for the different communication apps, which makes it tough to figure out which one is the best to use.

I have started my research by looking in the Apple app store to see what kind of communication apps there are and how expensive they are. I have found several that have free trials, but you then have to purchase the real app to continue using it. I know a popular app for communication is proloqu2go. This app is around 300 dollars. Which brings up the question of, is it worth it to spend that much when a cheaper app is similar and can do about the same?

I believe that to continue this research, I either need to be able to use the apps and compare them myself, or do research for specific apps by talking to people who use them, reading reviews, and looking at the websites for each one. This means that instead of focusing on a wide range of communication apps and finding the best one, I will focus on 3-5 of them to see which is the best out of those options.

Researching the Question

A couple of days ago in class, we discussed Galileo (the research database) and how to research.  One of the key takeaways from this lesson was how important it is to use keywords from the question to search for research.  In class, we eliminated the “useless” words in our question so that our question turned into keywords that could be searched.

Galileo is a research data base that utilizes keywords to bring up scholarly articles.  These articles are typically research studies, that have evidence to support their claims.  These articles will help me in my research by either eliminating communication apps, or validating them. These articles will also give me reason for why the communication apps are the best or worst.  Galileo will be a great resource to use throughout my genius hour project.

Genius Hour Question

For my genius hour project, I will focus on the question “which communication app is best across settings?” The reason  I chose to focus on this is to benefit my future students.  I feel that for my students to be successful, they must be able to communicate and not just in the classroom.  Students need to be able to communicate with their family, in the community, and in school settings.  Think about how you communicate in each setting.  Do you communicate the same?  Why should we limit the way students with disabilities are able to communicate?

I feel that as a future educator that this is a very important subject to research.  If educators can find apps that work across settings, and that students are comfortable using when they are younger, then it increases the the communication students are able to do.  I think that parents, teachers, and school staff will be interested in my question.  All these people play a key role in everyday interactions and providing supports to the student.

A good place to start my research is in the different app stores.  These stores offer reviews from users and descriptions on the different apps.  Social media sites might also be helpful to see what the professionals are talking about. For instance, on twitter the #CommsChat or #communication are good places to start.  I look forward to researching all of the communication apps!