The Social Express, (iPad only. Mac and PC versions available) by The Language Express, Inc. is an educational app that is designed to teach children with Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and ADHD social skills. While the app is geared for certain populations, it does have practical application for children up to Middle School.
There are many apps in the App Store that teach emotions. The Social Express is not like any of these apps. In fact, it blows the competition out of the water.
Learning something one is not good at is hard. Imagine spending all day being forced to work on that one thing. The Social Express makes working on skills that are difficult for many children with Autism – social skills – easily understood. By employing concepts in Social Thinking, self-regulation, and problem solving skills in a video modeling way of teaching.
The app is well-designed. I was immediately blown away by the beautiful graphics. The UI was not cumbersome during testing. The app is a simple bus that takes the main characters, Zack, Emma, and their dog Sunny into town. From there, various social scenarios are played out. The child selects the appropriate answer. By using specific language, video modeling, and error-free learning that allows children to think, The Social Express has it all.
The Social Express is a rather large download, so make sure to have enough space to use it. Printable materials are also available, however unless an iPad user has access to a wireless printer, they are not of much use. It would be nice to see printables sent to an annotation app or PDF form for ease of customizing for learners.
Our children are asking to be taught in a different way than we were taught. Many debates have been waged over the use of technology to teach specific skills. However, regardless of one’s viewpoint, we can agree that using apps such as The Social Express only help to make children’s learning success in a way that makes sense for them.