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Monday, August 20, 2012

Adventure Pack Software: what it's all about

Of all the products we have created, our BEST has to be our Adventure Pack games.  I do not feel we have adequately shown you just how fabulous this software is, so today I am going to do so! I will do this as our final series because each game deserves it's own time in the spotlight. However, today's entry is to familiarize you with the software and how you use it/set it up. We will have in-depth information on each of the individual games in subsequent posts in this series.

What is Adventure Pack you ask? It is four unique video games with the speech component built in.  It is software for drill and practice of speech sounds through the unique format of playing actual video games.  It is used to habituate correct speech sound production.  It is to be used to keep student motivation high during the boring drill and practice phase of speech therapy. 

This is software that you will install on your computer from a CD rom.  It is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.  If your computer is at least 4 years new, it should work since we created this is 2007, when Windows XP was out. It is certainly compatible with anything newer.

Once you have the software installed you will see the following, which we call the "teacher interface" or the screen where you select what you want your student/child to practice that day. This is totally customizable for each individual child.

We get calls frequently from SLPs who are unsure what to do here, so let me take you through it step-by-step. It is as simple as 1-2-3!

1. Practice Level: select either word, phrase or sentence depending on where they are in their individual therapy.  You will click on the word, phrase, or sentence button and it will be highlighted. As you can see here sentence has been selected.

2. Sound Choice: here is where you will select the sound you are targeting.  The software comes with these speech sounds: F-V-K-G-R-S-L-CH-SH-TH. Not all sounds are visible within the bar so you must click on the arrows on either end of the sound choice bar to scroll through the sounds. The sounds are listed alphabetically. The sound selection will glow green to show you which sound you are targeting.  In this picture the S is selected.

3. Placement in Word: you have the option here to select whether you wish to practice the sound in the initial or final position of the word/stimuli that is to be practiced.  It is very important to tell you that yes you do indeed need to click on  the green "GO" button to complete the setup and tell the computer which stimuli to load.

There are two other important features I wish to point out that you will see on this "teacher interface" page:
 One is the Settings Overview and the other is Audio Options, which are boxes located to the right and left of Step 3.

Settings Overview  It is very, very, very important that you look at this before you hit GO because if any of the 3 settings say "none" such as it does in the picture, the GO button will not work because you have missed a step and the computer does not know which stimuli to load into the games :)   If any of them say none then simply go to that step and make your selection.

Audio Options There are 2 functions here denoted with icons.  The top icon is a microphone that says input with a sensitivity slider bar below it.  You probably will only need to adjust this if you are using a computer which has a built in microphone.  Sometimes the noise within a room will interfere with the game as the software doesn't know the difference between ambient noise and speech.  So you can set the sensitivity of your microphone here.  Simply click on the slider bar and move it left and right to adjust. 

The bottom icon is a speaker and says Background Sounds ON. Each of the 4 games has themed background sounds to enhance the fun experience of the games.  You can turn these background sounds OFF by clicking the speaker icon.  It would then read OFF.  Some children with auditory processing difficulties or sound sensitivities would not function well with the additional noise so it would be best to turn it off.  (Or you yourself may find it annoying and wish to turn it off.)

Although this may read like a lengthy process, in actuality it takes only seconds to set up a game.  We have found the students learn quickly and will often set it up themselves. ;)

That's all it takes to customize and set up the program for use.  Once you click on the GO button you will see this screen where you or the student can select the game to be played.

We give you a very generous User Agreement.  If you are a SLP who travels to more than one school you are permitted to download this software to any computer you use at any school.  You do not need to purchase multiple copies of this software for your own use.  However, you must be present at the school when the software is being used.  Also, if you have more than one computer in your therapy room, you may download this software on as many computers as you use in your personal therapy.
We are not giving permission for this software to be "shared" by more than one therapist in any building, clinic, or school system.   We are being generous so you won't have to be unethical in your technology practices.

1 comment:

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