The Social Express II

App review by
Vicki Windman, Common Sense Media
The Social Express II App Poster Image
Engaging animated lessons help kids learn key social skills.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn coping strategies, how to identify how their peers are feeling, the importance of eye contact, and a host of core social skills needed to function in daily life. The app uses real-life social situations to help kids identify with their own lives and, importantly, allows them to safely explore possible consequences for different courses of action. The printables include visual tools such as emotions and words that kids can keep with them when they're out in the community or at school. The Social Express II covers an all-inclusive set of social stories that will encourage kids to have successful interactions in all parts of their lives.

Ease of Play

Nonreaders will need support. Account setup isn't totally intuitive.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Free to install, but you'll need a subscription, which is $4.99/month per child.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Social Express II is an excellent, animated app for boosting kids' social-awareness skills. Each lesson presents interactive social situations using video modeling, "hidden rules," and suggestions for how to problem-solve in daily life. Though the app is free to download, access is managed through a subscription. Though all kids could potentially learn something from this app, its approach is perhaps best suited to kids on the autism spectrum or kids who have difficulties navigating social situations. Parents should note that kids have the option to participate in the app's private social network, where they can reveal their real names and hometowns. For more information about the types of information collected and shared, read the app's privacy policy.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRebeccaC 1 January 2, 2015

Great interactive tasks to help kids understand hidden rules of social and emotional situations.

This is so well constructed. My kids fall on the "average" spectrum of behavior, and I found this so beneficial. I love the game allows kids to see th... Continue reading
Parent of a 7 year old Written byAnechka August 28, 2014

Boring

My son didn't even want to play it, at all. In theory it is a good idea, but if it is no fun then it doesn't work.
Kid, 11 years old April 18, 2016

great app

I love this app.It helps me so much. I play it on the computer.

What's it about?

After setting up or selecting a profile in THE SOCIAL EXPRESS II, parents or kids choose a beginner, intermediate, or advanced webisode. The fully animated lessons target many of the social skills kids encounter in their day-to-day lives, and kids must help each character make good decisions to successfully navigate social situations. Beginner lessons encourage kids to explore nonverbal cues and the importance of eye contact. More advanced lessons help kids transfer social rules into real life. Every lesson offers the option to stop and replay. The app works in concert with a companion website where, among other things, parents can track kids' progress.

Is it any good?

Interactive episodes do a fantastic job of offering kids a natural way to understand and learn key social cues and skills that are needed for success in life. Each lesson offers kids the chance to make decisions about the choices the characters make -- and witness the possible consequences of those choices. When it's time to make a choice, it's not always clear what the options represent, so kids may choose at random, but they try again until they make the "best" choice. Parents may feel that none of the choices is really the best possible outcome and that all lack nuance. For these reasons, The Social Express II may not be a good resource for all kids. Printables allow kids to have a tangible reminder of coping strategies, feelings, and more; kids can carry these with them or post them on a wall. Part of what makes the app shine is the guidance it gives parents, from the guide for parents (available on the Social Express website) to the "teaching tips" that appear during a lesson (tips can be turned off for kids using the app independently). The clubhouse social network raises some privacy concerns because kids can reveal personal information. Parents can monitor their kids' activities, and it's optional, so parents could also simply choose not to allow kids to participate, and kids can enjoy learning with the other parts of this fabulous app.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about connections between what they're learning with The Social Express II and real-life social situations.

  • Spend some time on the Social Express website before introducing the app. When logged in, you'll see a Getting Started guide that's not available thorough the app.

  • Check out the My DPS app, which can help kids with coping strategies on the go.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, making conclusions, problem solving
    Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions, perspective taking, self-awareness
    Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building
    Responsibility & Ethics: making wise decisions, respect for others
  • Pricing structure: Free to Try, Paid (While the app is free to download and try, the full curriculum requires a subscription that costs $14.99 per month or $69.99 per year.)
  • Release date: October 31, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Friendship
  • Size: 114.30 MB
  • Publisher: The Language Express, Inc.
  • Version: 6.7
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later

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