Fun With Directions HD
- It’s fun - While following directions can be made into a fun game without a tablet, it can be good to change things up from time to time. Kids can only jump, clap their hands, and knock on the table so many times before they start looking at you like the most boring person in their world. At least periodically, it is an engaging platform for kids to practice and develop listening skills.
- It’s not human - Often a disliked quality of tablets, I think that there are some arguments to be made in its favor. Try as we (clinicians) might, it is difficult to completely eliminate additional cues when giving auditory directions. Computers, on the other hand, operate under strict contingencies and lack both facial muscles and emotions.
- The feedback is intuitive - Different apps vary in the way they respond to correct/incorrect actions. I think that this app minimizes confusion and keeps it's feedback pleasantly simple. For example, for the direction “touch _____”, if you touch the wrong object, it simply does not respond until you touch the correct item. This is especially important to consider when children have difficulty processing auditory information.
- You are in control – The app allows you to determine the level of difficulty, as well as the concepts that you would like to work on. It also provides storage for different profiles so that you aren't constantly having to change the settings between sessions. Because the feedback is conservative/targeted, there is plenty of room for clinical judgement and interaction. For example, if you see that a child is having difficulty, you can push the button to hear the instruction again or you can provide scaffolding as needed. If you are working on strategies (such as verbal rehearsal) you can incorporate prompting for those well. There are periodic trials in which the child is asked to recall the direction after completing it - their voice is recorded and can be compared to the original instruction. This is another feature that the clinician can modify to best support individual children.
- There is a light version – It is so disheartening to spend money on an app that looks and sounds amazing, only to discover that you hate it and should have gotten yourself a week’s worth of Kombucha instead. Since trial periods and app rentals don’t exist, lite versions offer the opportunity to trial apps for a minimal financial commitment. Fun With Directions HD Lite is available for $.99, and lets you try the different difficulty levels with the directions “give” and “touch”.