Prompts

Common Sense Media says

Creative app can help kids overcome writer's block.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
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7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Instructions direct users on how to start a new entry as soon as they open the app. Figuring out what the various icons means takes some trial and error, but the app is simple enough that it only takes a minute or two to figure it all out.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

On the settings screen, users are encouraged to rate the app and share it with a friend, and a link for the app is included when kids share pieces of writing through social media or email.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Kids are encouraged to share their writing. The app offers ways to save pieces to Dropbox or share them through Facebook, Twitter, Day One, Evernote, and email. With some share options, users are encouraged to add a location to their posts.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Prompts is a simple app designed to give kids and adults something to write about. Kids who don't like to write may not be motivated by the simple prompts. Those who do, however, will find multiple ways to build their creative-writing skills and get over writer's block.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • writing
  • writing clearly

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • self-reflection

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Although the simplicity of the app appeals to those who simply want to focus on writing, it does not make writing seem more exciting for reluctant writers.

Learning Approach

The app empowers young writers to take their writing further and build their creative skills. The skills they can develop with this app are valuable ones they'll use throughout their schooling.

Support

Kids must figure out what tools are available, as the app only tells them where to tap to start an entry. The prompts within the app, however, are accessible to writers at a variety of age levels.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • writing
  • writing clearly

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • self-reflection

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Kids can learn to build their creative-writing skills through unique story starters and other suggestions with Prompts. Although the app offers help, it still gives kids control over which prompts to respond to and suggestions to take, keeping the creativity in their own hands. By tracking when kids write and how much they write, the app also encourages them to write more often and determine when they're most creative or most productive. Prompts is a good tool to help get kids and teens writing, but reluctant writers may need additional encouragement.

This Learning Rating review was written by Stacy Zeiger

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What's it about?

Open the app, get a prompt, and start writing. Don't like a prompt? Tap the refresh button to get a new one. Get stuck? Tap the lightning bolt to get a new idea. It's that simple. Now if only typing with a smartphone or tablet keyboard were that simple! Users save the pieces they like and discard the ones they don't. Writing can be added on to or shared with friends and teachers through a variety of methods. Special stats allow writers to see how much they've written during a given day or week and to see what their peak writing times are.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For those who like to write, PROMPTS can be a lot of fun. The sentence starters are creative, and the questions and other motivators offered when writers get stuck can lead to some unique twists and turns in a story. Those who don't like writing, however, may find themselves bored by the prompts and frustrated by having to type on a tiny keyboard.

Some prompts may confuse writers rather than provide inspiration. For example, student writers may not know what it means to "draw out a transition" or may have trouble with a prompt such as "focus on the next word" when they don't know what their next word will be. Using terms for all levels of writers may make it more engaging.

Families can talk about...

  • Encourage kids to write regularly for a variety of purposes (to explain, to describe, to argue).

  • Praise thoughts and ideas over conventions and correctness. Work together to polish select pieces of writing rather than all of them.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:October 7, 2013
Category:Productivity
Size:5.80 MB
Publisher:Tanner Christensen
Version:1.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Prompts 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.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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