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How Do You Know?

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How Do You Know? targets vocabulary development, question comprehension, critical thinking and inferential skills. It is an easy to use educational language skill app that includes 500+ vibrant pictures, questions and several categories to engage question comprehension, inferential skills, vocabulary and reasoning skills to explain how you know! The app includes comprehension questions: who, what, where, when & how, verbal reasoning strategies to make inferences, critical thinking skills to distinguish key characteristics, the ability to build vocabulary, the ability to recognise key details and associated vocabulary, the ability to practice reading comprehension at sentence level and use reasoning skills.


Studies reveal that critical thinking and inferential skills are essential to meet core curriculum standards and to understand what's going on in both the classroom and social situations.

The app’s author: Lynn Epstein, MS, ASHA certified speech language pathologist with over 25 years of clinical experience in child language and communication development. How Do You Know? App is based on successful strategies and lessons used with 1000s of students to target and strengthen varied language and reasoning skills.

Teacher Review

Upon opening the app the user is shown an opening screen with clear graphics and several options. The ‘i’ information icon provides guidance on how to use and get the most out of the app. It also provides an insight into the author and links to webpages. The ‘start’ button will create a new user. The ‘settings’ button will tailor the app to the users need and the reports app will score the user appropriately.

Once the ‘Start’ button has been pressed the user can add a user name. We did find that these buttons were very small on a mobile device and difficult to press. Once again there is a link here to the instructions. Once entered the ‘settings’ option will include the added name. Here the user has a number of options.

‘Audio Cue’ – Gives a description and audio cue. With this option the app becomes much more simplified and the user can choose the answer. Better suited for younger user or those with learning difficulties.

‘Sounds’ – Turn the sounds on and off. We recommend keeping the sound on.

‘Let’s talk about it’ – Changes the pictures to an option and does not include the ‘Let’s talk about it’ option. We like this option to be turned on for those who are most confident and it creates a learning environment where the user can expand their comprehension and vocabulary.

‘Manual Scoring - Enables the user to add whether the score is correct or not. We like the fact that the app has this manual score although the button is dead and does not click or change colour if pressed, the buttons are so small we were unsure if the button was pressed.

We recommend that you try the app will all of the options turned on first and then tailor to your needs.  Once the settings have been set the user is given 16 topics including places, occupations, emotion a random option. Within this choice the user can choose the number of questions they want to answer. We are unsure what the colours mean.

The app developers can be congratulated on the ‘Reports’ section of the app. The report created is detailed and includes detailed references to the user’s options and attempts. An excellent feature within this option is that this can be emailed. We would like to see other sharing platforms here such as ‘Dropbox’ or social media. The ability to print straight from the app would also be beneficial.

We totally understand the advantages of using this app as a learning tool for getting students to discuss pictures, describe situations and expand on their comprehension and vocabulary. The scoring and report section of the app is very useful and the multiple settings can really vary the app for the less able to the gifted. However where the app is let down is the layout and the pictures. The buttons are too small and for an app with so much surrounding space these should be increased in size. The pictures can be very inconsistent and sometimes the quality is not great making it look like a homemade app. Some pictures are a mixture of photos and cartoons which may be confusing to the child. The developers may also consider changing the voice over and replacing some of the American expressions with the British equivalent. This is a good app and with a few minor tweaks could be a great app.

Screenshots

  • How Do You Know?-1How Do You Know?-2How Do You Know?-3How Do You Know?-4How Do You Know?-5

From the Developer

How Do You Know? Exercising Critical Thinking & Inferential Skills is an easy to use, educational language skill app that includes 500+ vibrant pictures, questions and several categories to engage question comprehension, inferential skills, vocabulary and reasoning skills to explain how you know!

Build & Practice & Check off Language Goals
• Question comprehension: who, what, where, when & how
• Verbal reasoning strategies to make inferences
• Critical thinking skills to distinguish key characteristics,
• Build Vocabulary
• Recognize key details and associated vocabulary
• Practice reading comprehension at sentence level
• Reasoning Skills

Studies reveal that critical thinking and inferential skills are essential to meet core curriculum standards and to understand what's going on in both the classroom and social situations. *see below for study.

Favorite Features of Teachers, Parents & Therapists
- Data collection reports of Wh-questions & How questions
- Email reports
- 100 name capacity; edit to add/delete names
- A "Read to Me" option; audio on/off
- Reinforcement; Audio feedback for correct /incorrect responses
- Answer bars highlighted when answers are read
- "Listen Again" button
- Save settings or pick number of questions per category
- Over 10 categories; places, emotions, conditions, people, etc.
- Practice reading at phrase & sentence level

The author: Lynn Epstein, MS, ASHA certified speech language pathologist with over 25 years of clinical experience in child language and communication development. How Do You Know? App is based on successful strategies and lessons used with 1000s of students to target and strengthen varied language and reasoning skills.

How Do You Know? App is effective because reasoning and critical thinking are necessary skills for competence across the curriculum. Students engaged in critical thinking must make associations that connect problems with their prior knowledge (Pellegrini, 1995). Research shows questioning is the core of critical reflection. It prompts students to engage in a research process that fosters higher-order thinking skills and social-moral attitudes (Daniel et al., 2005). Difficulty answering wh- questions affects a child academically, linguistically, and socially. (Parnell, 1986).

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