Question Builder

Common Sense Media says

App offers great practice with answering abstract questions.

Age(i)

2
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5
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

An info section has full explanations of the app for parents. The app is designed for adult-guided use and opens directly to the settings menu, where adults can customize the learning experience for individual kids. The play mode is very simple, but kids will need strong reading skills or an adult nearby to select from the text-only answers to each question.

Violence & scariness

A few of the pictures involve very mild violence, such as one fish eating another.

Sexy stuff

A few of the animations that follow correct answers are just a touch crass, such as a donkey shaking its butt while shouting "Oh, yeah!"

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Parents can provide an email address to join the Parent Center and receive information about the app and other family activities, including age-targeted apps. There are also links to purchase other apps. A simple math problem tests whether users are parents before taking them to the store.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • asking questions
  • making conclusions
  • thinking critically

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively
  • speaking

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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!").

Learning Approach

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.

Support

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 kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • asking questions
  • making conclusions
  • thinking critically

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively
  • speaking

Kids can learn to make inferences and answer abstract questions with this learning tool for elementary-age kids and kids with special needs. The options for difficulty level, question type, and types of reinforcement (audio, text, and color) make this very customizable for kids with various learning styles and challenges. This flexible tool can can also serve to help kids develop communication skills such as asking questions, communicating effectively, and speaking. Question Builder supports kids in learning key developmental skills and can be a useful resource for parents and teachers.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Wilkey Oh

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$5.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:January 7, 2011
Category:Education
Size:77.70 MB
Publisher:Mobile Education Store LLC
Version:1.7
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1.3 or later

This review of Question Builder was written by

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.

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

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