MonkeyThinks is an app designed to help young children develop their vocabulary during the beginning stages of speech. The app’s simple presentation depicts a monkey climbing out of tall grass, thinking about different objects. Users “advance” to the next object by clearly speaking the object’s name out loud. MonkeyThinks uses speech recognition software to determine if the user has employed the correct vocabulary and pronunciation. Should a user hesitate too long or use the incorrect word, the app will display the object title in text format and grant the user a final chance before moving on to the next challenge. This app contains no offensive material, and is easy to understand and use, making it recommended for use with children ages 2 through 8.
Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
MonkeyThinks requires users to correctly identify and pronounce a number of assorted objects. The app, however, only provides the user with a limited number of tries before simply moving on to the next object. To gain the most out of MonkeyThinks users must exercise the Focus thinking skill. The user must maintain attention to the object being depicted and any text-based hints that appear on the screen. Additionally, because MonkeyThinks uses voice recognition software through the iPhone, or iPad microphone, the user must be undistracted by outside conversation or background noise in order for the app to perform.
Recalling and retaining information in our mind while working.
MonkeyThinks essentially works like a flashcard app to teach young children basic vocabulary. The app seeks to teach users to recognize and correctly pronounce a number of assorted objects. Users must call on their Working Memory thinking skill to recall and memorize the different objects' correct names and the correct sounds to pronounce the name. With each new practice session, some objects are repeated providing the user with additional opportunities to commit this information to memory. Successfully passing each new challenge in MonkeyThinks requires users to draw on their working memory to correctly identify and pronounce a multitude of different everyday objects.
When users hesitate or guess incorrectly on their first try, MonkeyThinks will display the name of the object in text above the object's image. Though the app requires extremely little reading, for young children, the pairing of an object's textual name with an image of the object is a great way to begin to develop a familiarity with words, reading, and new basic vocabulary. Users may begin to recognize these words in other places, or simply develop a basic understanding of the different sounds letters can make based on their correct and incorrect pronunciations using MonkeyThink.
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