9 Interactive Features of Boom Cards for Teletherapy
It's been a minute (actually 5 years) since I started using Boom Cards in teletherapy. These digital card decks sparked my interest, so I dove in to using them (and making them) for my virtual speech therapy sessions. And I never looked back– I have been hooked ever since!
Boom Cards continue to be my number one teletherapy activity. There are so many ways to interact with Boom Cards, which is why students love them. And recently, there are even more ways... Boom features are booming!
What features make Boom Cards interactive for teletherapy?
There are tons of ways that Boom Cards are interactive and engaging for teletherapy students. And guess what? New features are continually added, so the list keeps growing!
Boom Cards have buttons.
We all (including our students) love the ease of clickable buttons, don't we? Most often, buttons on Boom Cards are clicked to select an answer. Buttons can be grouped for multiple-choice questions, but they can also be images. In the example below, the correct answer is selected by clicking on the picture of the person (take a closer look on Boom Learning or TpT).
In the world of Boom Cards, buttons can also make something happen, like advancing to the next card or checking a box. A deck might even have a menu card with clickable buttons (as in the example below available on Boom Learning and TpT) so you can quickly navigate to a specific section of the deck. Sooo many options for answers and easy navigation using buttons!
Boom Cards have text boxes.
For older students who are able to type (even just single words), fillable text boxes are so versatile. Like buttons, text boxes can be any size, shape, or color. This answer type is especially great for open-ended responses when there is no right or wrong answer.
Text boxes also help SLPs target written language. Activities with text boxes might address goals like answering inferencing questions, formulating sentences, identifying problems, or using conjunctions (shop the activity below on Boom Learning or TpT).
Boom Cards have movable pieces.
When I started doing teletherapy, the ability to move pieces on the screen was what I longed for the most. I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true. Luckily, Boom Cards made that wish into an everyday occurrence for SLPs!
Movable pieces go so far in speech therapy. Students get to manipulate pictures on the screen which is so powerful in making activities dynamic and personalized. It's a great feature for following directions, expressive language, and fostering creativity! Look closer at this deck targeting concepts and directions on Boom Learning or TpT.
Boom Cards provide feedback.
Boom Cards use a variety of immediate feedback to shape responses and increase learning. They provide visual feedback with a green circle around correct answers and a red slash through incorrect ones. They also have optional "ding" and "whoops" audio sounds. And I have even more about feedback in just a minute. But first, check out this language game on Boom Learning (or TpT)!
Boom Cards play sounds.
I love being able to have activities with sounds, especially for students in speech therapy who aren't reading independently yet. It adds a whole new dimension to activities!
When using Boom Cards in teletherapy, obviously the SLP is present to read the text as needed. For Boom Card decks assigned as homework, the audio gives the student more independence. For those that can't read, they can complete the activity by pushing the speaker button to play the audio. In the example below (available here on Boom Learning or TpT), an audio recording provides a model for students working on the articulation of /s/.
In addition to narrating text, sounds can include noises or music (as in this deck available on Boom Learning and TpT). As a listening and spoken language specialist, I love this feature for kids with hearing loss who are learning to listen and make sense of sound. Three cheers for anything that makes auditory training more interesting and motivating!
Boom Cards play videos.
Short videos can be embedded in Boom Cards. When done correctly (full disclosure– I have yet to create a video using this feature), a deck can play a video to demonstrate or display information or a story to students.
Boom Cards can record voice.
We talked about feedback already, but wait, there's more! The new recording feature is the boom, I mean, the bomb! The recorder button on a card allows a student to create a little voice memo. They can then listen back to it as a valuable form of auditory feedback. This is great for working on articulation, phonology, social language goals, fluency... you name it!
Boom Cards can be drawn on.
Wait... what? This is the newest addition, and it kinda blew my mind. Annotating documents is like an old friend– it used to be the only trick up my teletherapist sleeve back in the day. But now it's another possibility right from a Boom Card deck.
Boom Cards can be printed.
For teletherapy, we generally always use Boom Cards in their digital format. But if you need your Boom Cards in paper format, you can always print them! This can be used for homework or for students to highlight or underline parts of the text during a session. I've done this a time or two for certain decks, and it really is simple to do right from your Boom library.
As you can see, Boom Cards are not lacking in interactivity. I find that a combination of multiple features makes a speech therapy Boom Card deck second to none.
Which Boom Card features can I use in teletherapy?
Which features you use with your students depends on many things, including your telepractice platform, the type of device the students are working on, the goals you're targeting, and the age and technology skills of your students.
In decks that you do not create (because you purchased them from the Boom Store), you're not able to choose which features are present in the deck. Boom Card authors select the features and answer response types in their decks, but you can get a feel for each deck by playing the free preview.
I also suggest heading to Boom Learning and trying some free speech therapy decks to figure out what works well for you and your students. One of the many beauties of Boom Cards is that you can add them to your library and use them immediately!
How do you get these interactive features in Boom Card decks for teletherapy?
Well, there are two ways. You can buy decks from the Boom Learning store that contains certain features. Browse my store to see examples of nearly every feature mentioned above. I love mixing it up with multiple features to keep things interesting.
You can also make your own decks! There's a lot to learn when developing decks, but it can be very enjoyable to let the creative juices flow. If you're a Boom newbie and looking to get started, you can get a discounted Boom Learning membership (I may earn a referral prize if you do choose to use the link). The Boom Learning help center and YouTube channel are pretty much how I learned everything... and continue to learn about new features! Start slow, and have fun with it!
Either way, Boom Cards in your library can be shared with students using screen share in your telepractice platform. I am not exaggerating when I say that Boom Cards are my most used materials in teletherapy, no matter the students' ages or goal areas. I hope you and your caseload enjoy all the interactive features they have to offer as much as I do!
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