Monday, March 19, 2012

The Social Express

The Social Express by The Language Express, Inc
Price: $89.00.


This Post was written by Jenna Rayburn and Originally appeared on her blog, Speech Room News.

Social communication is a critical area of need for many children. Social skills are often difficult to teach, and even harder for students to initiate and follow through. I'm always on the lookout for another tool to add in my 'social skills toolbox.' One app people have been requesting to see a review of is The Social Express.  The developers gave me a copy of the app to test it out for you! The Social Express is software designed to teach management of social situations using video models and interactive choices. It's available as an app and also for Macs/PCs, meaning it works for all SLP's!


 You open the Social Express and meet the main characters. Max is the driver who leads you through the app.  He introduced some sweet characters, including my favorite, Sunny, the pup!



You can add multiple users - which is great! First, students work through each lesson to 'unlock' them. Once you have passed the lessons the first time, you can go back to individual lessons as needed for review and instruction. There are 2 levels of instruction, based on similar skills with increased difficulty at level 2.


At the introduction of a skill the 'Hidden Social Key' is explicitly stated. There are teaching tips that you can turn on or off throughout the lessons. Social concepts targeted include: proximity and body language, eye contact, identifying feelings, coping strategies, conversational skills and figurative language.



My favorite part of the program is the part of the program where students answer questions to unlock the clubhouse! Student are presented with two video sessions and then they choose the one that demonstrates the skill. I love it as a wrap up for the lessons to check comprehension of the skills.
Pros:
Video modeling is engaging to students.
Two skill levels are included, making the appropriate for children k-5.
Provides modeling of both positive and negative outcomes.
It allows for multiple answer choice- providing opportunity to let students choose the correct response as well as the incorrect response to work through.
Allows for pausing to give the therapist time to give instruction.
Cons:
The price tag hurts, meaning it may be out of reach for many therapists. I imagine it cost a lot to develop the app with animation, and you can tell a lot of work went into it!
It includes a limited set of lessons and I hope they will expand with updates!

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