The Social Express II
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Social Express is an excellent, animated app for boosting kids' social-awareness skills. Each lesson presents daily interactive social situations using video modeling, "hidden rules," and suggestions for how to problem-solve in daily life. The two levels of play are differentiated with basic cues for beginners and more social situations for intermediate users. Parents should note that kids have the option to participate in The Social Express' private social network, where they can reveal their real names and hometowns. We don't recommend allowing kids to reveal this kind of personal information.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- making conclusions
- problem solving
- identifying emotions
- conveying messages effectively
- friendship building
Responsibility & Ethics
- making wise decisions
- respect for others
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
Exquisite graphics and animation. Kids will feel as if they're interacting with a character from their favorite animated movies. Each scenario will be familiar to elementary and middle school children, making this a go-to app.
Kids are actively involved in determining appropriate social cues as they help the characters make choices in a variety of real-life situations. These are skills kids can use while playing with friends and classmates.
The app contains a detailed tutorial for both parents and students.
What's it about?
After setting up or selecting a profile, parents or kids choose a beginner or intermediate webisode. They'll see an introduction screen with the title of the webisode, the goal, and a summary. The fully animated lessons target many of the social skills kids encounter in their day-to-day lives. Kids help each character resolve social situations at locations around town including a cafe, a fire station, a music store, and a park. Beginner lessons encourage kids to explore nonverbal cues and the importance of eye contact. Intermediate lessons help kids transfer social rules into real life. Every lesson offers the option to stop and replay.
Is it any good?
THE SOCIAL EXPRESS does a fantastic job of offering kids a natural way to understand and practice key social cues and skills that are needed for success in life. The app uses beautiful visuals and animation to present realistic day-to-day social scenarios. Each lesson offers kids the chance to make decisions about the choices the characters make, and kids can try again if they respond incorrectly. Repeating the lessons can help increase a child's social awareness. Printables allow kids to have a tangible reminder about 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). There are not many downsides to the app, but the Clubhouse social network raises privacy concerns because kids can reveal personal information. It's optional, though, so parents can simply choose not to allow kids to participate until the privacy issues are corrected, and kids can enjoy learning with the other parts of this fabulous app.
Families can talk about...
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.
Help kids make connections between what they're learning with The Social Express and real-life social situations.
Check out the My DPS app, which can help kids with coping strategies on the go.