This review of Mobile Education Store’s ConversationBuilderTeen conversation app was written by Breanna Allor. Breanna blog “Lets Talk Speech Language Pathology” was voted one of the best speech pathology blogs of 2012 and for good reason. She does a really good job with all of her posts.
There are a couple of things I really like about this specific post. For starters, she does a good job of explaining how the app works. But she also addresses a couple of fundamental features of the apps. She writes:
I have used this app with two of my students that are in middle school, and both students have absolutely loved it. They both told me that they felt a little more comfortable starting or participating in conversations with their peers. The conversations are geared more toward typical teen conversations rather than a regular therapy session where the SLP pretends to be a teen.
It is her last sentence that gets to the core of why I created the app. We as parents can try our best to help our kids practice various social scenes, but in the end, we are adults pretending to be teens. It is NOT the same thing. Because the students are practicing their conversations with real teenagers (yes – I hired a dozen teens to write and record all the conversations), it feels more real for them.
She also hits on another point that I’ll admit I did not have 100% buy in from my SLP team whom beta tested ConversationBuilderTeen. The inclusion of what I’ll call ‘hot topics’. Basically, all the more difficult conversations that teens have. She writes:
I also like how this app includes more… difficult conversation topics. Topics like bullying, smoking, divorce, partying, breakups, rumors, and sex are simply a few examples. I have not seen an app that is similar to this in that it includes difficult topics that are targeted more at the level of the teen rather than sounding like a lecture from an adult.
We may not want our kids to have these conversations, we may pretend that they aren’t having these conversations, but the fact is – they ARE having these conversations. I felt very strongly that I would be doing a disservice to every student using ConversationBuilderTeen if I pretended these subjects didn’t exist. Better to have them prepared for them than not. For kids who aren’t quite ready for them, there is a parental control that allows you to screen the conversations.
As mentioned before, this review hits on a couple of very important features of the app and is worth the read. On top of all that, Breanna is sponsoring a raffle for a promo code. Visit her blog to enter!
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