Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ECSE App All Star: Alien Assignment

The Fred Rogers Center developed this scavenger hunt type app and it is one of their best yet. The child is introduced to a cute (non threatening), group of aliens who have a broken ship.  The child is asked to take pictures of objects that can be readily found in the environment in order to help repair the ship.  The aliens describe what is broken, using some great vocabulary concepts in their description.  In some cases, the request is a label such as "find a doorknob" or the request is a related to a concept such as "find something heavy".  The child is asked to take 4 pictures.  The only thing I would change is adding the ability to repeat the prompt because several times the child forgot the prompt as they were walking around the room searching.   

The windshield is broken, find something you can see through.
When the child has taken all of the pictures, he is prompted to give the phone to an adult.  This app gets bonus points for including caregivers in the activity, it is a great app for playing together.  The adult's job is to review the pictures, selecting a thumbs up if the picture matches the request.  If a thumbs down is given, the prompt is repeated and another picture can be taken.   When all of the pictures pass adult inspection, the aliens review the repairs and thank the child for the assistance. This app is useful in Early Childhood Special Education and speech therapy because many of the concepts presented are common targeted concepts in the area of receptive communication skills.  I also appreciate that the app gets kids up and moving, engaging that brain and connecting the real world to the virutal world!  It is also an opportunity to practice recall.  At the end of the activity you can work with the child on recalling  the 4 prompts and pictures. The pictures are not saved to the camera roll so the adult needs to practice some recall skills too.  At the end of the activity you could also do a drawing activity, encouraging the child to draw a picture of one of the objects they photographed, or draw a picture of the aliens.   This app could also be used with parents on home visits.  An early intervention teacher could model the use of this app, demonstrating all of the opportunities it provides for working on a variety of skills. Many thanks to the Fred Rogers Center for this app.  

The compass is broke, help by finding something that points!


  1. interesting! I'm going to go to the app store to find out how much it is.

    1. It continues to be offered for free. Hope you find it useful.