Tuesday, February 19, 2013
While thousands worldwide use communications apps like TapToTalk on iPads and other tablets, there has not yet been much formal research on their effectiveness in improving communication. Erica Strickland's 2011 Educational Psychology thesis for Baylor University, Promoting Generalization of Communication Training by Use of the iPad™, was one of the first such formal studies.
Ms. Strickland studied "the effects of communication training with an iPad™ used as a speech generating device (SGD) to promote generalization to community settings. The participants were taught to use the iPad™ with the TapToTalk™ application in the training setting to request preferred items that would be accessible in a community setting. Multiple baseline data across participants indicated that the participants not only effectively used the iPad™ as an SGD in the trained setting but also generalized use of the iPad™ to the community setting with untrained community members. Results suggest that the iPad™ with the TapToTalk™ application is an effective SGD for promoting generalization through the use of natural maintaining contingencies."
She found that kids quickly learned to use TapToTalk on the iPad. The setting for the study was a fast-food restaurant. The task was ordering food. Restaurant staff responded well to the "speech" from the iPad with TapToTalk. The kids were successful.
We've just summarized some of the findings. You can access the full text of the thesis for more information.