Thursday, June 13, 2013

{Review} "Conversation Builder" by Mobile Education Store LLC

Social language skills are, in my opinion, one of the most difficult skills to each.  Of course, you want conversation to flow as naturally as possible, but typically you also need to "get in there" and shape a good majority of a student's responses if they are working on this area.  That's why I am pleased to bring you a review of "Conversation Builder" by Mobile Education Store LLC.  I think that you'll find that this app is an excellent tool for addressing those hard-to-target social language skills!

If you've read any of my app reviews before, you know that I always suggest checking out any additional information or tutorials about an app.  New apps can seem a bit overwhelming at times, and these resources really cut down on a lot of confusion and/or frustration!

This tutorial really got me moving in the right direction and explained some functions that I probably wouldn't have even known about.

First, you'll need to start by creating a user and providing a little bit of background information.

Next, you'll need to determine the "conversation type" that you'd like to use: "1 on 1 - 4 Exchange", "1 on 1 - 8 Exchange", or "Group" and the "Conversation Initiator": student, peer, or random.  You will also have to decide which "module" you want the conversation to be about.  You can pick from a list that includes: "animals", "friends around town", "holidays", "playground", "water", and "winter", as well as a "base conversation module".

Because his app allows for both 1 on 1 conversational exchanges and group conversations, I'll explain each individually, starting with the 1 on 1 option.

The situation pops up with a picture and then asks how to start the conversation.  The student responses by clicking on the correct option.  If the student is incorrect, there app offers clues as to the correct answer.  If the student is correct right off  the bat, then they can record the response.

The app will prompt a student through a conversation - either 4 or 8 exchanges.  Along the way, you can touch the "history" tab, to see a mini version of the conversation that is forming.

When the conversation is complete, you and the student can listen to it in its entirety.  

If you decide that you'd like to create a group conversation, you set it up just as you would the 1 on 1 conversation, but instead of choosing 1 on 1, you would choose group on the settings page.

The app asks you to include the people who will be participating in this conversation as well as whose turn is next.  Simply click on the appropriate person.

Both students are prompted through a conversation where they must record their correct responses to each other's comments.

Once they have at least 4 exchanges, they can listen to the conversation.

You can also save the conversations, play them later, or email them if necessary.

What I love about this app:
- Conversation Builder effortlessly walks you through 1 on 1 conversations or group conversations to develop social language skills.  
- The pictures are engaging and provoke conversation.
- I love that you can save the conversations and email them to a parent in order to allow for follow up practice.
- You can easily customize this app depending on the social skill level of your student(s).
- I also like that the kids can record and listen to their own voices, which makes the experience more real and the app more interactive.

Areas that could be addressed in an update:
- It would be great to see more than 6 modules of conversation starters to choose from.
- I would also love to see a way to record correct vs. incorrect vs. appropriate responses - perhaps green, red, and yellow lights on the side so that it is easy to go back to and review once the conversation is complete.

Overall, I think this is a really great app for targeting social skills and it does a nice job of shaping conversational skills.  

You can find this terrific app for $19.99 HERE!

What are your favorite social language skill resources?  Do you use Conversation Builder in therapy?

Disclaimer: This app was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.

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