Of course, I agreed to do this review at the beginning of the IEP season. I'm afraid I am way late in making my review. However, its now summer, and even though I'm at a year round school, I have more time on my hands than I did back in May.
So, I have been fairly disenfranchised by speech therapy apps as of late. I feel like there is a lot of apps thrown together real quick to make a quick buck. The last few app purchases I've made I've been disappointed with. To be honest, at first I thought that was what I was getting into when I started to look at this app. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
The app was meant to go with the You are a Social Detective Book by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke. It emphasizes the use of social "smarts" at home, in school and everywhere else. If you are already familiar with the Think Social curriculum then you'll already be very familiar with the concepts that this app teaches.
This app has quizzes to test your students social skill "smarts". I especially like the videos of real kids. There has been a lot of research done on using video modeling to teach social skills to students on the Autism Spectrum. I been to several training's where they have emphasized this. Students with Autism and Asperger's respond well to watching social skill videos. The short little videos during the quizzes are fantastic.
Now, I tried to use this during therapy with some kids with social skill goals on their IEPs. One problem is that you can't access all the sections unless you have unlocked it with a your "Avatar". It doesn't lend itself well to group therapy in my opinion. It would be great if you were working one-on-one with a student or as supplement practice for home. This is something that parents can do with their kids at home to further generalize the information from the "You Are a Social Detective" book.
However, the app costs $24.99, which might be a difficult sale for parents. For therapists, it would be well worth the price at least for the video quizzes.
These guys have also created the Social Skill Builder app which I haven't had a chance to look at yet, but would love to hear from any of you if you like it or not.
So, how are you using technology for social skills? Have you found something helpful in assisting students or at least augmenting your lessons?