I am VERY excited to be reviewing this new Super Duper app that was just released last week! I’ve long used Super Duper’s flashcards for wh questions (both app and card versions), but this app is a totally different level of interaction! Also, you may have noticed I’ve been adding a few extra details to my blog lately (OS, Version, etc). Another addition I’ll be making is to provide the link directly to the app, either to iTunes or the app’s site, depending on what I think will be most useful. I hope this helps avoid any confusion about which app I’m reviewing as well as increases the ease of use of this site for you wonderful readers. 🙂 Enjoy!
What It Is: A collection of interactive games addressing wh questions by Super Duper.
Price: $9.99 (There is also a free version that offers the who deck with limited data collection abilities. From this app, you can purchase individual decks and full data collection abilities if you’d like; however, it’s a 16% savings to purchase the pro version. My advice–try out the free version but buy the pro version unless you really only need to buy one deck.)
How It Works: There is so much involved in this app (in a good way), that I would definitely recommend trying out the free version to supplement this review. I’ve downloaded it and think that it provides an excellent preview for the full version. But here goes my explanation… 😉
First, you can play around with all your settings and whatnot at the bottom. You can add players, see previous games, decide whether you want to require a full read-through of the answers before the user can select the answer (great for impulsive kids), turn on/off sound effects, make responses open-ended instead of multiple choice, change feedback, etc.
Next, you can press start or continue. Continue allows you to re-enter a game (you can save multiple games) from earlier–this is great if you had a group using it on day 1 that will want to keep up their game on day 3 while still allowing others to play with it in the meantime. All the data and whatnot is still saved. Start takes you to a screen with three rows that is super-easy to navigate but a little harder to explain! (See the picture for a better understanding.) From the top row you can pick the cards to be used in the games. You can touch all the decks to use every card in all of them, you can select only some decks (e.g. just why and when), or you can pick individual cards (e.g. just a couple who cards with a few more what cards). This makes it easy to adjust for the children’s goals and developmental abilities. In the second row you can select/add/delete players. This can be from the pre-added ones (from that first page) or you can quickly add them here. It’s also easy to edit them from here (e.g. change the name/picture). Once you’ve selected your cards and users, the bottom row offers the four games.
The first game is multiple choice. Here, you can either ask or answer the questions. If you select answer, a picture will show up with a question and possible answers next to it. Depending on your settings, a voice will start reading the question and answers automatically or will do so after you touch it. If you are working on asking questions, there will be a similar set-up. However, a picture will show up that represents the answer (e.g. stethoscope) and various questions (e.g. “Whom do you visit when you are sick?” and “What does a doctor use to hear a heart beat?”) will be used as the multiple choice. If you’re partway through the game and want to change to open-ended responses instead, the settings menu is available without closing the game.
The second game is the decoder. I’ve found this is a cute one for the younger crowd but is actually probably the most beloved across the age groups. It has the same set-up as the answer portion of the multiple choice game, but once you select your answer, you use a “decoder” to determine if that is the correct answer. (This is an excellent way for the children to self-assess.) The decoder will decode the answer and highlight it as green if it is correct and red if it is incorrect.
The third game is matching. You can choose between four, nine, sixteen, and twenty-five pairs. Questions are on one side, answers on the other. Once you touch a card on each side, the game asks “Do they match?” The kids really enjoyed the silly answers that came out of this one. The 15-year-old in particular said he liked this one, I have a feeling because he was more challenged by it.
The final game is Drag ‘n Match. Here, you can choose anywhere from 1-4 questions to match up with answers. For example, you might have two questions at the top with four possible answers under them. The user then drags the correct answer to the correct question.
Therapy Applications: Hmmm…I’m thinking that this app might be used for working on asking/answering wh questions. 😉 As any of my frequent readers know, I love an app that can address a huge number of goals. However, I’m equally pleased when I can find a good app that addresses specific goals. I’m even more pleased when it allows multiple ways to do this to allow for use with different age groups, skills/deficits, etc. Anyway, while the app’s focus is definitely on comprehending and asking wh questions, there are other skills that can be addressed. For example, it is quite easy to work on higher-level same/different skills during the matching game (particularly since the game prompts the client to determine if the two cards match). It’s also easy to address reasoning/problem-solving skills that are naturally imbedded in many wh questions (particularly why questions). Additionally, there are many multiple-choice opportunities in these games that make it possible to teach test-taking skills. While this is not directly our responsibility as SLP/SLTs, so many language/cognitive skills are involved that I think we should help our students/clients with it if possible.
Pros: 1. Ease of use. This is really my number one praise for the app. Despite how many possibilities the app offers, it still remains intuitive for therapists and clients. Everything is possible exactly as you would think it would be, from adding/deleting/editing users to data collection.
2. Unlimited number of users. This is great for group therapy and large caseloads. (Random comment: one SLP on Twitter is up to 99 kids on her caseload. 99!!! Oye. She definitely would need the ability to have unlimited users on an app!) On this same topic, the users don’t always have to go in the same order during the games–simply touching the picture at the top brings up a menu to choose a different user.
3. Settings options. Either the developers just anticipated a lot of little things that SLPs would want to tweak, or they really listened to the feedback of their testers! I also love that you can tweak these settings within the games as needed without having to exit the games.
4. Your spot is saved if you hit the home button. In addition, when you push the home symbol within the app, it asks, “Whoa! Where are you going?” and offers an opportunity to end the game, save it for later, or continue playing. All of these things are so nice for working with impulsive users. 🙂
5. Excellent data collection. Not only is it easy to take, but it’s easy to use afterward. I especially enjoy the colorful bar graphs.
6. I love that you can pick whole decks or just specific cards.
7. Different types of foils. For example, answers to the question “Why do you water a plant?” include the correct answer (“so it will grow”), an answer that responds to the why but answers the content of the question incorrectly (“because it needs sunlight”), and an answer that responds to the content of the question but answers the wrong type of wh question (“in a garden”).
8. Visual cues. I was worried that clients might have difficulty since the app involves a lot of auditory content. However, the visual cues (e.g. highlighting the answers as they are being read) seem to solve this problem. Also, pressing the “?” at the top provides visual and auditory cues for further instructions.
9. The app really addresses wh questions thoroughly. For example, many times it seems people overlook the ability to ask these questions and focus solely on answering them–this app can be used to work on both.
10. It appears to engage a wide variety of ages. It would be something I could easily implement with my older preschoolers (given assistance as necessary, of course). However, I also got the chance to use this app with a 10-, 11-, and 15-year-old, and they all LOVED it. It was challenging enough to stretch them, and they were excited to tell me which of the games was their favorites. (It seems the “decoder” is the biggest hit all-around whereas the 15-year-old liked the challenge of “matching”.) I think the app does a nice job being fun and cute while still providing some higher level challenges for the older crowd.
11. Price. I debated this one, because I know $10 isn’t always easy to shell out. But in this case, I think I would have still recommended the app if it were three times the price. The sheer amount of cards involved combined with the interactive games left me pleasantly surprised with the low price tag.
12. As I’ve mentioned in a couple posts before, customer service and ability to interact with the developer makes a huge difference in my willingness to purchase an app. I’ve been very impressed with Super Duper’s abilities in this area. Specifically, I would encourage any of you who are on Twitter to follow @AshleyLesleySD (and give her a shout-out to tell her I sent you!). In addition to being phenomenal at networking with the #slpeeps (yes, truly interacting, not just promoting), she also always has phenomenal deals going on. (In fact…I just checked her tweets and saw she’s giving away a copy of this app right now. Head over and check it out…)
Cons: 1. I believe my only complaint with the app is that if a game has not been ended, it doesn’t appear you can see the data. This means that, if you wanted to save the game across a couple sessions, you wouldn’t be able to view the data from it until you ended it. I don’t think this will be hard to get around, but it could be a minor inconvenience.
The Take-Away: Wow, I wish I had this app this past year with all my kiddos who had wh question goals!!! As I mentioned, I’ve used Super Duper materials to address wh questions before; however, the thoroughness and level of interaction involved in this app is above and beyond any flashcards I’ve used, and for a bargain price. I would highly recommend the app to any preschool, elementary, or middle school (and maybe even older) SLP that works on wh questions.
My Questions for You: How many clients/students on your caseload have wh question (or related) goals? Would this be age/ability appropriate for the population with which you work?
Looking for more expert reviews of this app? Check it out on YappGuru.com!
Disclosure: Super Duper provided me with a free copy of this app to review. I was not compensated in any way for the review, and they were aware that I would be discussing the app’s strengths and weaknesses.