Welcome to the Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy blog. Today we would like to share a review of the Smarty Ears Basic Concepts Skills Screener App. We hope that you find the review informative and unbiased. It is our hope that the following information will aid in your decision to purchase the app for your own use.
Manda & Shanda
Speech- Language Pathologists
The BCSS is an appropriate concept screener for the preschool to early elementary populations. One great feature is how it can compare a student’s performance to students at the same grade level from Pre-K to 2nd grade.
The Basic Concepts Skills Screener (BCSS) screens a students understanding of basic concepts. It will inform the evaluator of the child’s knowledge of spatial, quantitative, comparative, and temporal concepts. It is designed to be given to one student at a time. The BCSS has two options; the full screener (79) questions, and the quick screener (30) questions. The full screener will take at least 10 to 15 minutes to administer and the quick screener will take at least 5 minutes to administer. Please know that the BCSS is compatible with the iPad and requires iOS 5.0 or later.
The Basic Concepts Skills Screener, version 1.1 can be purchased at the App Store for the price of $9.99. This app is currently on sale until August 19, 2013. It is usually listed at the price of $19.99. The app can be found under the category of education. Please click on the icon below for a direct link.
Administer the BCSS to students at a time when gaining a better understanding of their knowledge of concepts is needed. A great time would be before establishing concept goals at the start of therapy or the school year (like now), and at the end of a therapy interim to assess the child’s achieved concept understanding. Also, the BCSS would be a great supplement to any standardized language assessment.HOW:
When at the home page, choose to either; 1) Add a student, 2) Administer a screening, 3) To enter the support area, or to 5) Go to the reports area.After entering or selecting a student, choose to administer the full screening or quick screening. It took me about fifteen minutes to go through the full screener with my pre-k kiddos this past week.
Go through the screening with the student. The student will be presented with four pictures showing possible answers. The student or the facilitator taps the picture of the one that shows the answer. Click on the “next” button to show a new concept with its accompanying picture choices. Tap “done” at anytime or go to the end of the screener. All results will be recorded and can be read later at the report center.
To read results, go to the “See Report” button. The report shown will contain student information, total percent accuracy, and will show the total amount of concepts that were tested. In addition, the report form does a great job at narrowing down the concepts by type. It is easy to see visually how well the child understands different concepts. This is nice, because we have seen some children who excel at one type of concept group and not another. For example, some children seem to be able to easily use spatial concepts such as: in front of, behind, top, bottom, over, under, last, and between, but have much difficulty with the quantitative concept use of ones like: more or less, same or different, large or small.
- User friendly app that is easy to begin, end, and to navigate through.
- A large variety of concepts are screened; spatial, quantitative, comparative and temporal.
- Child friendly app (positive feed backs provided after each choice).
- Clear, colorful and age appropriate pictures.
- Great for a small or more thorough assessment given the choice of quick or full screener.
- Color coded results page that make them easy to read and to understand.
- Nice ability to track student results and to provide data for different concept types.
- Gives the age of acquisition of concepts, which is nice to know for goal setting.
- A pleasant female voice is used all throughout the app.
- Positive reinforcement given with a “ding” sound for correct and incorrect choices.
- The “Next” button must be pressed at each screen when the answering is complete. However, it would be nice if the next question was supplied, as soon as, the correct choice has been made to help reduce the extra picture selections that some children like to do.
- A very large number of concepts are screened and the information provided at the end of the screening session is often very helpful for concept goal setting with a large variety of children. The parents of the children that I screened appreciated seeing the lists of the concepts understood and not understood.
- We would recommend that concepts be screened twice to help to assure that the child really does not know or knows the concept. This would make the screener very long though and I’m sure that is why the developers decided to only display them once. It’s just that sometimes we wonder if chance and not complete understanding of the concept is what got the child’s answer correct.
To enter to win one of these app, please see the Rafflecopter contest below. Smarty Ears has kindly offered to give one of these apps away to one lucky Twin Sisters Speech & Language Therapy app review reader. When commenting, please let us know what concepts that you seemed to work on the most in the past year with your students. Thanks a bunch for letting us know that!
Also, I need to let you know abut some exciting news! Smarty Ears is having a big back to school days sale right now and until August 19th, 2013! Smarty Ears has several apps that are great for completing screenings and assessments, and these are the ones that primarily on sale right now. They would be awesome to have at the start of a school year when you need to take a fresh new look at all of the students. See picture below for a list of the apps on sale and their sale prices. And you can learn more about all of Smarty Ears screening and assessment apps by going to this link: Smarty Ears Apps.
*The above mentioned app was provided to me for purposes of this review. No other compensation was provided.