App review by Adirondack AccessAbility Inc., Common Sense Education | Updated February 2014
QuestionIt
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QuestionIt

Wh- questions taught in concrete ways for kids with language delays

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
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Grades
K–7 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Critical Thinking
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Pros: Supports are color coded to help teach difficult-to-understand concepts -- like question words and paragraphs -- in a concrete way.

Cons: On top of the challenge in motivating kids with this topic, there isn't a great deal of interesting vocabulary here.

Bottom Line: A solid, if basic, approach to teaching question words and concepts to students with significant language issues.

QuestionIt is meant to be a cooperative app, used by a teacher and a student at the same time, and will probably work best one on one. The data manager makes it useful for both teaching and assessing, though it won't interpret the data for teachers.

To help extend learning off screen, plan some post-use activities and conversation to reinforce skills cover in a session. Based on your student's needs, experiment with the difficulty level and color-coding support to ensure a successful yet challenging experience.

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QuestionIt is designed to help people with autism and language issues develop and strengthen concepts of language use. The simple interface has color-coded support to systematically cue students toward comprehension. Kids sort words by the types of questions they answer, gradually increasing skills until they can answer questions about a paragraph.

Throughout QuestionIt, the words, sentences, and pictures have symbols to help non-readers. As kids progress, teachers can see scoring data, while kids get intermittent reinforcement in the form of on-screen firework animations. The data collection system analyzes the student's strengths and weaknesses in order to identify areas of need.

QuestionIt does a good job of helping kids categorize and answer who, what, when, and where questions. Though it's not the most exciting or motivating topic, the content and vocabulary are solid and the design is clean and visually appealing. It's also notable that the app provides basic, errorless questions, wherein there is only one answer; kids are rewarded before moving on to the next question. Built-in flexibility allows customization for students' varying skill levels.

The data collected is specific, and can help a parent, teacher, or speech therapist to identify areas for improvement. Also, the color-coded cueing system is a best practice for teaching kids to use augmentative and alternative communication systems. While the paid version can be pricey (especially if purchasing for multiple students), the lite version can be downloaded for free as a trial. Nevertheless, for students with autism or other language-related disabilities, QuestionIt is likely to be a valuable language-development tool.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Designed so kids won't make mistakes as they play, it's low pressure and offers fun feedback with on-screen fireworks as a reward.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Learning is customized for kids of different skill levels, from single words up to paragraphs. Kids get a variety of systematic cues that aid in comprehension.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

The level of support can be customized to meet a child right at their skill level. This creates a challenging yet successful learning experience.


Common Sense reviewer
Adirondack AccessAbility Inc. Assistive Technology Consultants & Trainers

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