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

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

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • English Language Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K-7
Common Sense says (See details)
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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.

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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.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

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 Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

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 Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

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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