There are many apps available for speech-language therapy…particularly for the younger student. However, it’s not just younger students who need speech-language therapy. Then what do we do?
There are a few developers that offer activities for older students – Tactus Therapy offers TherAppy apps for adults that could be used for teens…Smarty-Ears offers apps for older elementary that could be used for teens (particularly Language Adventures, Social Quest) and soon to be released Language Empires….But until now there hasn’t been one designed for to help teens with conversation skills (at least not that I know of). Conversation Builder – Teen definitely fills a gap and in a fantastic way!
Kyle Tomson from Mobile Education Store was kind enough to provide me with a code for Conversation Builder Teen so I could share my thoughts with you. Like most of the Mobile Education Store apps, Conversation Builder Teen has some great features. Here’s the review…
Features: There are 8 different situations from which to choose or you can have the app “randomize all available modules.” The situations range from discussions about clothes and sports to bullying and relationships. Within each situation is a number of “conversations” to work through. (Note: The app asks if you want to engage parental controls as there are several conversations that deal with drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex, and pregnancy.)
The app does offer single or multi-user options. The 2-3 player conversation is designed for 1 real student and 1-2 virtual students. The Group setting allows for multiple students to play at once and create conversations. The group setting allows you to put in several student names (I’ve done it with up to 4 but more can be entered). Then a picture is shown with the prompt “How would you start this conversation.”
In the 2-3 Player mode, the app provides 3 options to respond to a picture stimuli. After the correct response is selected, a prompt says “that’s a good choice” and advises to record it (great practice!). If the wrong choice is selected the voice prompt will suggest a different choice is better – or will say something like “You shouldn’t let others convince you to do something you know is wrong” or some thing similar.
After the conversation is complete, the app “crunches” all the audio – and offers to replay the conversation allowing the student to hear how it would sound (you can also email it or save it).
Data: There is no “data” to report (as in number of times it takes to get the correct answer, etc.). What the app does provide, is the number of conversations that have been “mastered” (aka completed and saved) within a particular subject. When the “saved conversations” line is tapped – a window pops up with the saved conversations so they can be reviewed. The saved conversations can also be emailed.
Overall…I’d have to say this app looks as though it will be wonderful for working on social skills with some of our older students. It takes into consideration peer pressure and other difficult situations. The app also explains when the student shouldn’t take things literally. There is ample opportunity for the professional to provide more input and insight into certain situations as well. I think this app is definitely worth the $29.99.