When you first activate the Conversation Builder Teen app, you will directed to a settings screen (pictured below.) You will quickly create a user by entering the full name and gender for the user: the gender selections helps gear conversations that are specific to the user's sex. Next, select a 2-3 player or group mode. Finally, pick one, some, or all of the following conversations: bullying, summer, entertainment, sports, sarcasm, relationship, and school. At this point, you should also set up parental controls, especially if you work in school settings, because you will want parent permission before discussing topics like drugs and sex. So, go ahead and restrict these topics until you have consent. Another tab on the settings screen will review the app in a clear, concise tutorial, which is a nice way to review the app with teenage users.
The main goals that Conversation Builder Teen app strive to address are making introductions, asking appropriate questions, topic maintenance, using observations, and changing topics. The user will see an image of a peer while being given three conversation choices. Sometimes, the user will need to determine how to start a conversation, while other times, the user needs to respond to comments and questions posed by the virtual peer. The greatest teaching tool of this app is the instruction provided for incorrect answer choices. Users may get feedback that the wrong answer choices "sound negative, obvious, or unusual."
The app goes one step further with explaining tone and sarcasm in good detail. Another nice feature is the audio button for each answer choice. It makes the activity seem more realistic when you hear teenage voices reading answer choices as opposed to hearing an adults voice reading selections.
|Boy Conversation Image|
|Girl Conversation Image|
If you select the group conversation mode, then mulitple users can interact with real life peers. After one group member records a sentence or question, the iPad is passed to another player. In this mode, you will not get answer choices, rather, you need to determine what to ask or say based on the visual image and peer responses. You can even use your own picture image to further simulate role playing. Kyle even took it one step further and made the screen resemble text messaging for responses! Just another teenage freindly feature!
|Group Mode Image|
The progress link takes you to a page that it customized for each user. Here, conversations are only considered 'complete' if the user answered each question accurately on the first attempt.
Kyle Tomson provided codes to review this app and raffle below; however, all opinions expressed in this review are solely mine.
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