{App Review} Two more Smarty Ears faves: Social Quest & Reading Comprehension Camp

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{App Review} Two more Smarty Ears faves: Social Quest & Reading Comprehension Camp

I’m always excited to add more Smarty Ears apps to my SLP toolbox so I was thrilled to be able to try out these two:

* Social Quest by Smarty Ears, https://appsto.re/us/U6tjH.i, $21.99

I liked the wide variety of social situations included, the situations are sorted by common location a child may encounter, both the situation and potential answers can be read aloud with high quality voiceovers (but each can be toggled off if you want the child to read them on their own), the settings options for errorless teaching and sensory-friendly set up (with options for a simple interface & to toggle off the audio guide and buzzing sound), the app is built around the concept of “flexible thinking” (that there is not just one right answer in a situation), that you have tap and hold to exit the scenario (great in preventing “tap happy” kids from exiting), in-app video tutorial and the cool adventure quest theme of the app. Since most of the patients on my caseload have Autism, this app is going to be a very helpful tool in my therapy toolbox!

Wishes for a future app update:
– It would be nice to be able to e-mail a report for a specific session rather than a cumulative list of all of the data.
– It would be nice to have more specific information included in the data regarding the questions the child missed.
– It would be nice to be able to delete data for a specific student without having to delete the whole user.

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– More than 800 questions across receptive and expressive activities
– A wide selection of specific locations and corresponding social contexts to work on
– Multiplayer capabilities: each game can support from 1 to 4 players
– Each player can select multiple social contexts.
– Receptive Activity in which students identify correct answers to a social question
(presented with text, audio, and accompanying image).
– Ability to customize the receptive activity to require student to provide one or two
correct answers to modify level of difficulty. Having to find both correct answers is a great beginning step for promoting flexible thinking. Only finding one correct answer is a good scaffolding tool for a student who is not yet at that higher level.
– Expressive Activity in which students respond to open-ended questions corresponding to those asked in Receptive Activity. Expressive questions are worded more broadly to promote generalization of skills. The adult working with the student marks “correct”, “almost”, or “incorrect” each time the student responds. The app allows the student to respond multiple times to the same question before proceeding with the “next” button. This is a great tool for working on flexible thinking and encouraging a student to think of multiple possibilities on how to deal with a particular social situation.
– Data and report card kept on each student, report can be printed or emailed to parent or self for record-keeping
– Ability to add student photo or avatar to represent each player in the game

See more about the app: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/social-quest/

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* Reading Comprehension Camp by Smarty Ears, https://appsto.re/us/Hz3vJ.i, $19.99

This app is very well designed. I love the illustrations and interesting short story content, the settings options for errorless teaching and special need-friendly set up (with options to toggle off the buzzing sound, to toggle off the score awards on the stories, options to adjust the size of the image & the size of the text), the option to select the types of questions to include in the quiz, the option to hide the picture and/or story text in quiz (but I love that the default is that both are visible), the option to tap on a speaker button to have the quiz question read aloud and the option to have a “hint” by highlighting the part of the story that contains the answer when taking the quiz (and if a hint is used that is noted in the data collection). The ability to create your own stories makes this a great app to target lots of language goals.

Wishes for a future app update:
– It would be nice to be able to select the quiz questions before reading the story and allow the student to preview the questions selected since this is a common strategy used to help kids who struggled with reading or listening comprehension. If this option is added and they have “previewed” the quiz ahead of the story, it would be good for this to be indicated in the data.
– It would be nice to have the option to have the quiz answer options highlighted and read aloud.
– It would be nice to be able to e-mail a report for a specific session rather than a cumulative list of all of the data.
– It would be nice to be able to delete data for a specific student without having to delete the whole user.

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– The app contains 50 engaging and entertaining stories divided into 5 levels with 10 stories per level. Level 1 is designed for early readers (2nd-3rd grade); while level 5, with a readability level of 6th-7th grade, is designed for older students.

– Each story has an associated quiz to check for comprehension. Within the quiz, there are 11 types of questions available. The adult can determine if all questions will be asked, or select a certain type of question. The question types available include: who, what, where, when, why, how, inferences, cause & effect, compare & contrast, sequencing, and vocabulary & context.

See more about the app: http://smartyearsapps.com/service/reading-comprehension-camp/
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with 27 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

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