Saturday, March 30, 2013

Syntax Workout by Virtual Speech Center

·         $16.99
·         Category: Education
·         Released: Mar 21, 2013
·         Version: 1.0
·         Size: 95.1 MB
·         Language: English
·         Seller: Virtual Speech Center Inc.
·         © Virtual Speech Center Inc.

It is time to put on some of those fashionable shoes and hit the lanes. When you hit these lanes you’re going to hear a little bit different kind of lingo than you usually would. The lingo focuses on word structure. Virtual Speech Center’s newest app titled Syntax Workout is awesome! It combines working on work structure with bowling and it is a ton of fun! It is an iPad app that requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Set up is similar to the other apps in the Virtual Speech Center family. It is done by tapping on “Start” on the main screen and then the orange “Add Student” button. A dialogue box appears that requires you to enter the student’s name and tap on “Save”. You will then be prompted to select the appropriate student(s) from the student list. After the student(s) have been selected, it is necessary to tap “Next” in the upper right hand corner. Then you will be prompted to select the activity (word form) that will be focused on for each user. There are twenty six different word forms that can be worked on with 1,500 different stimuli. More than one activity can be chosen for each user but it works the best to have each student(s) focus on one skill at a time.

On the next screen you are welcomed to the bowling lanes at the local alley by an avatar. The app flips to a screen that contains a brightly colored real life image. Above the image you see the sentence with a blank where the user is expected to pick the appropriate word form to complete the sentence correctly. The two choices that are provided are located in squares below the image. When younger students or struggling readers are using the app, you can enable the audio in the settings feature and it will read the content to the users. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that users cannot make their choice until all of the choices have been read. If a user needs to hear the screen again they can press the green replay button located in the upper left hand side of the screen. Older students can read the content themselves if the enable audio feature is turned off but then someone will need to help them determine if their answer was correct or incorrect so data can be collected using the appropriate buttons on the right hand side of the app. Users make their choice by tapping on the appropriate word. The record and playback feature are located on the upper left hand side of the screen. It provides the opportunity for the student to self-evaluate their answers as part of the data collection process or a means to practice using the verb form in an expressive format. On the upper right hand side of the screen you will see the percentage correct and on the lower right the portion of lesson completed.

After a predetermined number (5-10) of trials have been completed, the user is allowed to head the alley and bowl a few frames. The bowling simulation is set up very similar to real bowling. Users are required to throw two balls per frame with the pins being reset just like at a real bowling alley. Bowling is completed by swiping a path from the ball to the pins.

When your session is complete you can access a session report that lists the date, student’s name, skill worked on, and percentage correct. A more comprehensive report is available by tapping on “Reports” on the main screen. You will need to select the user and the skill for which you want data. Then you are able to view the data by activity or date. All reports are printable or they can be emailed.

Some customization is available by accessing the “Settings” features. As I previously mentioned, you can enable the audio, turn the instructions on or off, turn on or off the reward (bowling game), change the number of response necessary to be completed before accessing the reward, enable or disable randomization or select alternate counts for multiple students.

My students rate this app two thumbs up. They worked hard on mastering the learning that was presented to them but LOVED the opportunity to bowl. They stayed so motivated.

What I Like About This App
·         Easy set up.
·         Data collection is available.
·         When the audio is enabled students cannot access the app until everything has been read.
·         The use of real pictures in the learning activities.
·         Record and playback feature is available
·         A high interest reward (bowling) activity keeps the learner “tuned in” to the learning.
·         Wide variety (26) of concepts are addressed

What I Would Like to See In Future Updates
·         The ability to set how many frames of bowling the student can have as a reward.

Support For Syntax Workout And All Virtual Speech Center Apps Can Be Found At
·         Website
·         Facebook
·         Twitter
·         You Tube