I've been creating and using Boom Cards in Speech Therapy for about 2 years. I personally don't do teletherapy but use them for in-person therapy activities and I assign them for at-home practice. I have created some for Apraxia, Articulation, WH Questions, Verbs and more – all are available on TPT or on the Boom Learning website. I have several video tutorials saved to my Instagram profile @ashleyrossislp – click on “BOOM” to see Boom Cards in action. Here are some helpful tips on how to use Boom Cards in Speech Therapy!
What are Boom Cards:
Boom Cards are interactive, web-based, digital task cards. You do need an internet connection to play. They are great for regular in-person therapy, teletherapy, assigning for homework, and distant learning. They are self-checking giving the students immediate feedback if they got their answer or choice correct. YOU DO NOT DOWNLOAD THEM and YOU DO NOT PRINT THEM. Boom Cards offer built-in data collection if you use the “assign” feature. You can create a “classroom” in your account to assign decks to students or assign them through Google Classroom (more details how to do this below).
How/Where to purchase Boom Cards:
You do need to create an account but you can use Boom Cards for free by using the fast pin link or preview mode. Unless you are creating boom cards, you really should never need to pay for your account.
There are 2 places to purchase them from. You can purchase decks directly on the Boom Learning website. You purchase points first then redeem those points to purchase decks. Think of it like the county fair, you buy bulk tickets – the more you buy, the bigger the discount. You redeem those tickets to get on the ride or play the carnival game. It's the same with the Boom Learning website. Every deck allows you to preview the first 4 cards of a deck to try them out first. When buying decks think of it like a penny/point, 300 points = $3.00 and so forth. If you delete your account, you lose all of your decks.
You can also purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers. If you do it this way, download and open the PDF, inside that download will be a clickable link to add the deck to your library. No need to worry with points and you will always have access through TPT. Prices should be the same no matter where you purchase them but keep in mind sellers may be having a sale from time to time on each website.
How to find your decks:
At the top of the Boom Learning website, log in, and click “Library” to see all your decks. If you have trouble finding your decks, check under “unfoldered” or “all” on the left of the website. Once you have several decks, I recommend you organize them into folders like: “Articulation” or “Vocabulary,” etc. You can do this by dragging the deck title to the folders on the left.
Teletherapy- how to use & device recommendations:
It is recommended to use a desktop or laptop for the Speech-Language Pathologist AND for the student. Students will not be able to move and click the decks on an iPad during teletherapy. Teletherapy platforms such as Zoom, WebEx, and Adobe Connect have all been used successfully. Any teletherapy platform (there are many) that allows screen sharing and the ability to give control of the mouse will work. So, first open your Boom Website in a tab. You will go into your library and click on the deck title and open and play in “PREVIEW” mode (it's playing the whole deck – I'm not sure why they name it like that). Next, open your teletherapy platform in a separate tab. You will screen share depending on that platform. If your teletherapy platform (I know Google Meets does not) does not give them mouse control, then they will need to use their verbal language to tell you what to click.
TIP: ask the student if they have any gaming headphones at home to wear during therapy. Actually any headset with a built-in microphone will be helpful.
In-Therapy or At-Home learning:
Any device with internet capabilities will work: iPad, iPhone, GetClearTouch Panels, SMARTBoards, Interactive Whiteboards, ActivPanel, laptop, or computer, etc. You will go into your library and click on the deck title and open and play in “PREVIEW” mode (it's playing the whole deck – I'm not sure why they name it like that). When you play in preview mode, you won't get the data reporting on correct/incorrect, you could “assign” it if you want that -otherwise, just take data on paper like you normally would.
For home practice, you can either assign the decks through a classroom you have set up in your Boom account or through Google Classroom, Seesaw, etc, or you can send a “fast pin” via email. The student can play them at home on the iPad app or desktop/laptop.
Assigning/Sending Decks to Students (homework):
You may want to assign Boom Cards Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneNote, your school classroom website or learning management system (such as Schoology, Moodle, Blackboard, PowerSchool, Canvas, Seesaw, or just a Word or Google doc).
There are 2 types of links you can use to assign Boom Cards from any site.
Fast Pins – Instruction or Practice (students DO NOT need an account)
Fast Pins expire after 14 days for paid accounts and 5 days for free accounts (keep this in mind when sending to students). These are for practice or instruction only and don't record student progress. To assign on any site with a Fast Pin, go to Library, find the Boom Cards deck to be assign, click the blue Action button and select Fast Pin. Select Generate New Pin and copy the URL. You will paste the URL into your assignment system (Google Classroom, SeeSaw, etc. or email).
Hyperplay Links – Practice with Progress Reporting (students DO need an account)
Hyperplay Links prompt students to sign in and they result in student progress being recorded. Students will need to be assigned to a class and have a username and password to log in to play Hyperplay Link assigned decks. To assign on any site with a Hyperplay Link, go to Library, find the Boom Cards deck to assign, click the blue Action button and select Hyperplay Link.
Copy the URL and paste it into your assignment system. Hyperplay Links do not expire.
You can see examples of how to create both links in the videos below. Although the video is about Google Classroom, the principles apply to any method of external assignment.
You only get data tracking/progress reporting when decks are “assigned.” If students are playing in preview or by a fast pin link – you will not get the built-in tracking reports. During in-person or teletherapy sessions, just take data on paper like you normally would.
Boom Cards™️ Privacy & Security:
For Speech Therapy and SPED students we need to be mindful of privacy. Here is how to set your classroom to PRIVATE to protect students from seeing each other's assignments and data. Boom Cards™️ are FERPA, COPPA, SOPIPA, and SUPER compliant. You can download this privacy letter.
More questions?? Boom Cards has a great YouTube channel with a lot of tutorials that are helpful.
You can check out all of my Boom Cards on Teachers Pay Teachers or in the Boom Learning store. I do have a few FREE SETS. I think you and your students will love them whether you are in teletherapy, sending for home practice, or in-person therapy. Kids love the interactive ability and think they are using games! I hope this helps you understand how to use Boom Cards in Speech Therapy more confidently!