What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Question Builder is a highly customizable app that asks kids to answer questions based on pictures. Parents or teachers can select the question type and the difficulty level -- low difficulty questions refer directly to the pictures, while high difficulty questions require abstract reasoning and strong use of context clues. Kids need relatively strong reading skills to answer the questions. Correct answers are reinforced with verbal praise and animations; some of the animations might startle younger kids. Parents or teachers can create multiple profiles for numerous users.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- analyzing evidence
- asking questions
- making conclusions
- thinking critically
- asking questions
- conveying messages effectively
Engagement, Approach, Support
Illustrations are colorful but clip-art quality, and the narration is pretty emotionless. Despite the low design quality of the animated praise, kids will get a kick of the silliness (like a sheep listening to an iPod saying "Excellent!").
Question Builder focuses on one thing: helping kids with learning differences infer and think abstractly. The design is cartoonish, but customization makes it adaptable for kids at various levels. Feedback is immediate and fun.
Detailed stats show individual progress broken down by question type and level. Adults will need to choose the highly customizable settings, which are explained in easy-to-understand written instruction in the Info section.
What's it about?
In the settings menu, adults can choose the type of question (why, where, how, what, or random) and whether to use color, text, and audio reinforcement. The three difficulty levels provide a range in the amount of abstract inference required to answer the questions and the number of answer choices. When playing, kids see a cartoon picture and hear a question related to that picture. They then select an answer from the multiple choices. The app records detailed statistics on kids' answers by question type and difficulty level.
Is it any good?
This is an excellent app for its stated purpose: to help kids learn to answer questions. The multiple difficulty levels make it very customizable for different ages, and the use of color, audio, and verbal reinforcement helps reach kids with different learning styles. While the animations can sometimes be a bit garish, kids will find them delightful. Unlike StoryBuilder, the stats from this app cannot be shared -- which limits it somewhat, but also means it's safer for kids. (This app also has more diversity in its cartoon characters than StoryBuilder!) At the higher difficulty levels, kids may need adults to understand why their answer is correct, because some answers require a lot of abstract inference.
Families can talk about...
Set up the app based on your kids' learning needs.
Talk through the questions with your kids. If they are struggling, explain your own thinking process for a few of the questions.