Conversation Builder is another great app for Speech Therapy created by Mobile Education. There are 2 primary versions available for $19.99 each. They may also be purchased as part of the MES Speech Therapy Bundle. One is intended for elementary aged children and the other is for teens. The app was created to improve conversational abilities of elementary aged children. It works to increase the child's conversational turn-taking as well as to improve topic maintenance for social and conversational purposes.
After creating a profile, you may choose a topic of interest for the child. The settings screen includes the student's profile, level of play, conversation initiator, as well as the choices of modules. There are 160 conversations in elementary level and 300 to choose from for teens on a variety of topics. For young children, the topics may include: animals, holidays, and friends around town while teens may select bullying, entertainment, or relationships to name a few.
Conversation Types include:
- One on one -- four exchanges: The student has four conversational exchanges with the virtual peer given picture and conversational exchange as stimulus. Each takes 2 turns whenspeaking.
- One on one -- eight exchanges: The student has eight conversational exchanges with the virtual peer, each taking four turns when speaking.
- Group -- 4 Exchange: Each student takes turns having conversational exchanges with real-life peer.
You may also select whether or not the student initiates the conversation or continues a conversation begun by the peer.
In the single player mode, the child gets a photo accompanied by three answer choices. If the child answers incorrectly, an audio clip will give you a clue about the correct answer (e.g., "that was an uncommon way to start a conversation"). If the child answers correctly then they are able to record their sentence.
I've found that this is a great way to talk through various scenarios and teach the children appropriate ways to answer questions, comment, and interact. Reading and teaching through all of the options provided helps the child get a better sense of why the "correct" answer is the best. For some children, I may also allow them to attempt to respond prior to reading for additional practice and get a more realistic sense of their actual responses. The recorded response also gives a good opportunity to focus on correct prosody and volume if needed.
In the group mode, children are shown a photo. Each child gets to record a sentence to create several conversational exchanges. This is a complex form for advanced learners. You may also upload images yourself to use as stimulus pictures.
I think this app is great at providing different levels of play, ability to record, and use of photo images. They also include a good variety of conversational topics. Besides conversational exchanges, you may use the pictures for problem solving, gauging emotions, and helping to expand on the child's language. I recommend this to any SLP looking to target conversational level communication.