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Ripple Effects for Teens - School Edition

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Ripple effect for Teens is an American based app that teaches students the equivalent programme of PSHE (Personal and social education) found in UK schools. The app is a secure personal project based application that covers over 400 teen related tutorials from health to academic success to personal goal setting. The Ripple Effect for Teens is tailored for male or female users and suitable for ages 13 years and up. As the website suggests, “There are many right ways to use it - for systematic training, for targeted prevention, or for individualized intervention and guidance. It can be applied reactively, to deal with specific issues in a few minutes, and proactively, over time, to boost academic achievement, change behaviour, reduce substance use, and promote healthy choices. It’s designed to be used how you need it, when you need it – throughout the school and in the community.”

Teacher Review

Upon opening the app we are greeted with a set of fun and comforting graphics. The app is American and the developers may consider changing the narration to a UK based voice for UK schools. Please note that the app is very large in size and may not load on tablets that already contain many applications.

The app asked the user to sign in and create a password. This is great as there are some personal questions in the programme that may need protection. Many schools do not work on a one to one tablet programme and the developers should consider making the app suitable for phone devices so the student can get track the app on the go or at home.

Once you have signed in you will need to do this every time you use the app. The app has the main icon guide at the top of the application which also includes a ‘Help’ option to show how to best use the programme. The icons are as follows:

‘Topics’ – This is a neatly presented list of hundreds of tutorials that will relate to teenagers. The content here is truly vast and the developers can be congratulated on the amount of content within the app, hence the large size. There is a comprehensive list of topics which can be found here:

‘Keys’ – This shows the user the 5 special keys that can enable students to achieve anything.

‘Scorecard’ – This keeps track of your personal goals and scores achieved after answering questions based on your chosen topics in the ‘topics’ section. Personal exploration data is hidden for security reasons.

‘Hide’  - This enables the user to hide the content at a glance.

‘Home’ – This returns the student to a ‘Home’ Page.

‘Retrace’ – This enables the user to go back over the last page or pages.

‘Web’ – Further links to information on the internet.

‘Help’ – A dedicated button to show how to use the app and programme.

Although this app has many features the app’s main focus is on the ‘Topics’, ‘Scorecard’ and ‘Keys’ sections.

‘The topics’ – This section has a vast amount of content. Once you have chosen a topic you are given a number of options. The app displays some nice graphics and narration along with some further questioning. This section provides the following icons:

‘Picture it’ – Gives you a picture related to the topic.

‘Information’ – This gives friendly graphical information about the topic. It also includes key words, narration and links.

‘How to’ – This section gives you strategies about how to cope with the chosen topic.

‘True Story’ – These videos are stories related to the topic. The stories are examples and not necessarily based on any one individual.

‘Model’ – This gives the student video models on how to help with or explain the chosen topic.

‘In your mind’ – This enables the student to explore experience, feelings, options, who can help and setting goals.

‘Out in the world’ – This is a great section on how to apply what you have learned to certain situations such as family, friends, media and sports. Each of these sections also provides tasks that could be part of classroom activities.

‘Your profile’ – A quick insight into your user profile.

‘Got it’,’Got it 2, Got it 3’ – These small animations give the student the opportunity to answer questions based on the topic they have chosen. The scores achieved are stored as a profile in the scorecard sections. The questions give automatic feedback and the animations are fun and motivating.

The ‘Keys’ section explores the 5 stages a student could go through to achieve their goals. These include; Knowing yourself, controlling yourself, getting a feel for others, relating to others and decision making. Each section provides further links and information.

Overall this app is just full of fabulous content, videos and personal stories. The developers can be congratulated on the diversity of the topics. We really like the layout and the extra tools that can be used by students to have a better understanding of some very complex and personal issues. From truancy to vandalism, sexual harassment to violence and bullying, you can simply assign students time on that topic and check the easy-to-use management system to make sure they’ve completed the necessary tutorials. A full topic takes about 15 minutes to complete. Although the app is very large in size it is well worth downloading and could be used throughout a whole PSHE programme within schools. We would however like to hear a UK voice for the narration.


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From the Developer

Do you have Ripple Effects for Teens in your school? This iPad version is an extension of the award-winning program that your school has licensed. There is no additional fee to extend your school license to this new platform.

Ripple Effects for Teens is a learner directed tool to solve personal problems – very serious ones, and everyday ones. It provides personalized guidance in more than 400 areas that affect student behavior, motivation, learning and connectedness, and protects students’ privacy at every step along the way. Students build cognitive, behavioral and affective skills linked to higher scores on resiliency assets, better behavior and higher grades. From defiance and disruption to truancy, vandalism, sexual harassment, bullying and hundreds more, Ripple Effects for Teens addresses both the surface concerns and the reasons underneath them to strengthen every student.

It makes teachers’ lives easier:
This reading-independent tool allows students to receive motivational counseling and direct behavioral supports as they build social-emotional competencies – without taking instructional time away from the rest of the class. Peer modeling, true stories, media analysis, journaling, interactive self-profiles and games to assess mastery provide built-in, differentiated instruction.

A supplementary set of web-based tools makes it easy to track individual and group student progress.

It uses expert system technology:
Ripple Effects’ Whole Spectrum Learning Platform uses learners’ natural selection patterns to deliver the most relevant set of evidence-based practices for whatever concerns them. A huge library of content and engaging multimedia activities offers a system of integrated resources for culturally competent, truly personalized, tiered interventions to address non-academic factors in school and life success.

It works:
Ripple Effects for Teens is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), sponsored by NIH as a comprehensive children’s mental health and substance abuse intervention. It has been shown to increase resiliency assets, decrease suspensions, absenteeism and behavioral referrals for Black, Latino and Caucasian students from traditional, alternative, charter and continuation schools in rural and urban settings. It has also been shown to boost GPA scores, especially among students most at risk of school failure. GPA is the single factor most correlated with going to college.

To get a free preview of the Ripple Effects programs, you will require an activation code. To get this, simply send a request to and you will receive the code via email. The code is entered the first time you start up the app and gives you access to a free 30-day preview of the program.

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Learning Outcomes

Key Features

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Curriculum Aligned

Yes (Find out more)