Saturday, April 13, 2013

Conversation Builder

Conversation Builder is compatible with iPad and requires iOS 4.1 or later.
·         $19.99
·         Category: Education
·         Updated: Aug 14, 2012
·         Version: 1.4
·         Size: 81.3 MB
·         Language: English
·         Seller: Mobile Education Store LLC
·         © Mobile Education Store 2012. All rights reserved
·         Rated 4+

The ability to have a conversation with others is a skill we all take for granted. For some students this is an extremely difficult task. They struggle to stay on topic, take their conversational turn, and to listen to the other person’s statements. These are skills that all educational speech language clinicians work on with students but it can be difficult to work on in naturally occurring activities. The Mobile Education Store created an app titled Conversation Builder that allows educational speech language clinicians to work with an individual student or a group on conversational skills.
Conversation Builder is one of the award winning apps in the Mobile Education Store’s family of apps. Users are easily added to the app by tapping on the Manage Users button. A dialogue box appears and you will be prompted to fill in the users first and last name, age, town you live in/by and an interest of the users.
The information that is provided here is used in places within the app to help personalize the conversational dialogue. In addition, you are also able to choose the topic of conversation from a
number of modules that may be of interest to the student(s). Next, it is necessary to determine what type of conversation will be practice. The choices are; 1 on 1 – 4 exchanges, 1 on 1 – 8 exchanges or group. It is also necessary to choose whether the student, peer, or random will initiate the conversation.

As the conversation begins in the single player mode, the user is presented with an image that is based on the theme chosen and three choices of possible responses to the topic of conversation. If the user makes a choice that is not the most appropriate, they will be guided to make a different choice via oral prompts. When the correct choice is made, the user will be prompted to record the response. Anytime during the conversational exchange the user can tap on the History link and the previous responses are shown. They can be heard by tapping on the speech bubble. When the selected number of conversational turns (4 or 8) has taken place, a dialogue box appears that allows you to 1)“Play” the threaded conversation, 2)“Save” allows you to save the conversation to a folder on the archive page or 3)to email the conversation. Conversations can be played, deleted, or emailed (image and audio file) from the archives page.  

Conversations in the group mode are very similar but they require the minimum of two participants. Students must be entered in the dialogue box. When that is complete, you will need to determine who will start the conversation. The first student will be presented with a picture. This image can be used or the speech language clinician can choose to use his/her own picture by tapping on the import photo button. A picture can be taken using the iPad or use a photo located in the photo library. The first student records a statement about the picture and passes the iPad to a friend so they can record their conversational turn. As the statements are recorded, speech bubbles appear above the image to allow the users to follow the conversation. (The speech bubbles are tapped on to hear recorded conversational turn.) The conversations can go on for as many turns as the students can come up with information to talk about. However, in order to save the conversation, there must be a minimum of four conversational exchanges.

The achievements page is a way to reward the student for all their hard work. It keeps track of the modules that the student has completed and provides a certificate with their name and date of completion.

What I Like About This App
·         Versatility of the app. I can address multiple skills while working on the conversational process.
·         It is a one of a kind app that fills a real need on the market.
·         Can be used for single users or groups
·         It uses real images instead of clip art
·         I have the option to enter my own pictures

What I Would Like To See In Future Updates
·         More modules added to the app.
·         Ability to keep data if students make the correct choice in 1 on 1 conversations mode.
·         More frequent rewards as some students need a quicker reinforcement cycle than provided.

Conversation Builders versatility makes it a main stay in my program. It is great for working on conversational skills but it also is a great tool for articulation carryover, reading expressions/emotions of others, expressing your own thoughts and ideas, tone of voice, introduction skills, etc. The list could go on and on. Conversation Builder takes away the pressure of learning these communication skills without needing to interact with others. It allows the student to build from themselves and the iPad to a group of peers and the iPad and eventually being able to communicate effectively with everyone they encounter in their daily lives.

Support for Conversation Builder is Located At: