A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that My DPS is an excellent app to teach emotions and problem-solving techniques. The app focuses on identifying a variety of emotions through facial expressions, body language, and written/spoken language, and suggests coping strategies to deal with a range of social situations. My DPS is short for "My Digital Problem Solver" and uses CGI-animated videos to show social situations and coping skills in settings relevant to kids. Kids and adults can customize the app by adding their own pictures and text to emotions and coping techniques.
What's it about?
My DPS has realistic animation for eight emotions (bored, happy, surprised, mad, annoyed, sad, frustrated, scared) and four coping strategies (positive self-talk, take five deep breaths, take a break to calm down, keep negative thoughts in my head). Kids choose a picture showing how they feel, and another of a coping strategy showing them how to calm down. Then they watch an animated video showing their character successfully using the coping mechanism to ease their emotion. The video ends with written and verbal praise reinforcing each lesson.
Is it any good?
My DPS is an excellent app to help teach emotions and social problem solving techniques. It's easy to use, can be customized to show a variety of emotions, and teaches valuable everyday life skills. The CGI animations are impressive, and the app's music is calming with comforting lyrics. The app would be even better if it had a spoken text option for non-readers and if the animations in the coping strategies matched the specific emotion chosen; the ability to import video to customize coping strategies options would also be a boost. That said, My DPS is a fantastic tool to help kids learn effective coping techniques.
Talk to your kids about ...
Talk about how facial expressions and body language convey how a person might be feeling. What if someone is smiling, or if their arms are folded across their chest?
Talk about how characters in different picture books or TV shows might feel based on their facial expressions and body language.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, reading, reading comprehension
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, applying information, decision-making, deduction, defining problems, making conclusions, part-whole relationships, prediction, problem solving
Communication: conveying messages effectively, listening
Emotional Development: empathy, handling stress, identifying emotions, labeling feelings, moving beyond obstacles, perspective taking, self-awareness
Self-Direction: effort, identifying strengths and weaknesses, personal growth, self-assessment, self-reflection
Collaboration: respecting other viewpoints
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
Responsibility & Ethics: making wise decisions, respect for others
- Price: $1.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: May 8, 2012
- Category: Education
- Size: 37.80 MB
- Publisher: The Language Express, Inc.
- Version: 1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1 or later; Android 2.3.3 and up
For kids who love learning more about themselves and others
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.