My DPS

 

Learning(i)

Fantastic app teaches emotions, coping strategies for kids.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

My DPS is very easy to use -- kids choose an emotion and a coping strategy, then watch a short video to see the coping strategy in action. Adding photos is easy too. Just touch the plus sign at the bottom of an emotion or coping strategy screen to take a picture (using the device's camera) or select one from your camera roll.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • decision-making
  • analyzing evidence
  • applying information
  • making conclusions
  • deduction
  • part-whole relationships
  • prediction
  • defining problems

Self-Direction

  • personal growth
  • self-assessment
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • self-reflection
  • effort

Emotional Development

  • handling stress
  • identifying emotions
  • perspective taking
  • self-awareness
  • labeling feelings
  • empathy
  • moving beyond obstacles

Communication

  • listening
  • conveying messages effectively

Collaboration

  • respecting other viewpoints

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

My DPS is an excellent app to help teach emotions and social problem solving techniques. The CGI animations are impressive, and the app's music is calming with comforting lyrics.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn to identify emotions and successful coping mechanisms, as well as hone interpersonal skills. The CGI animations help kids handle stress by developing self-reliance to overcome emotional obstacles.

Support

The in-app visual and aural cues are accessible to kids with developmental and learning differences. Users can customize the app by adding their own pictures and text to emotions and coping techniques.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • decision-making
  • analyzing evidence
  • applying information
  • making conclusions
  • deduction
  • part-whole relationships
  • prediction
  • defining problems

Self-Direction

  • personal growth
  • self-assessment
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • self-reflection
  • effort

Emotional Development

  • handling stress
  • identifying emotions
  • perspective taking
  • self-awareness
  • labeling feelings
  • empathy
  • moving beyond obstacles

Communication

  • listening
  • conveying messages effectively

Collaboration

  • respecting other viewpoints

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn to identify emotions and successful coping mechanisms, as well as hone interpersonal skills to help them manage a variety of social situations. The CGI animations also help kids handle stress by developing self-reliance to move beyond emotional obstacles. The in-app visual and aural cues are accessible to kids with developmental and learning differences. While the aural and video cues can't be modified, still picture and text cues can be customized to match specific emotions and coping strategies. The customization options and impressive animations help make My DPS a great way to learn about emotions.

This Learning Rating review was written by Kim Alessi

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:$.99
Release date:May 8, 2012
Category:Education
Size:36.00 MB
Publisher:The Language Express, Inc.
Version:1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.1 or later; Android 2.3.3 and up

This review of My DPS was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass