Wonderscope is an app where augmented reality meets story time. There are several stories to choose from, although only one is free.
The user selects the story and then finds a location around them where they can place their launching pad. This area should be flat, clean, and well-lit. Once they have placed the launching pad, the story begins.
The player is introduced to a character and story-line, set against a backdrop that comes to life right in the real world (as seen “through” the wonderscope of their iOS device). The app also uses voice recognition and the touch screen to draw the user right into the story. Without the user’s participation, the story will not advance.
After the user has successfully completed the story, there are extras that the user can interact with. In the case of Clio’s story (the free story at the time this was written), the user can interact with and learn facts about the planets in our solar system.
This app comes with one story unlocked and several others available to purchase. The ESRB rated it E for Everyone and LW4K stands by this rating. In order to successfully complete a story, however, the player must be able to read. This means that the user must be a confident reader (approximately second grade or older) or must have assistance from someone who is.
Wonderscope helps kids practice and improve the following skills:
Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings.
Wonderscope uses self-awareness skills on several different levels. First, the player has to evaluate and become aware of where they are in their real-world environment. Where would be a good place to launch their story? Will they have room to move around if the story asks them to?
Wonderscope also gives the user a chance to practice social skills (through scripted interactions). The app also models characters evaluating and expressing their own emotions, showing empathy, and appropriate ways to communicate. In the case of the free story, the app evens explores themes of bullying, following our dreams, and working together.
Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.
To complete the stories in this app, the player also needs to be able to use their working memory skills. Specifically, they need to be able to follow directions. First, they have to follow the directions to find a proper launch pad location. They also have to follow directions when reading their scripted lines; they can’t just babble nonsense. Finally, there are times during the story where the main character gives instructions to the user. If they don’t pay attention, engage their working memory, and follow the instructions, the story will not advance.
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