Conversation Coach

Conversation Coach by Silver Lining Multimedia, Inc  teaches the user to understand the natural back and forth flow of conversations. Most communication devices typically only allow for one-way conversations, Conversation Coach fixes that.  Conversation Coach comes in a full version for $79.99 and a limited use lite version for $1.99.

Conversation Coach is set up up into three distinct areas:

Talk to a Friend

Make a Statement

Talk to the Computer

Throughout these three user areas the main objectives targeted will be:

Learning to Take Turns

Staying on Topic

Asking Questions

Listening To The Other Player

Expressing Thoughts and Feelings

Organizing Thoughts

Talk to A Friend

This mode is similar to Mobile Education Store’s Conversation builder.  What’s different is you are able to choose from preloaded conversations or create your own.  You can load your own pictures or choose from the picture library that comes with the app.  To “talk to a friend” you will most likely sit across from one another and with the iPad positioned in between.  The app is oriented so players on both side of the device are able to read the messages.  Here is an example of a simple conversation:

“What do you want to do?”

A coaching theme is used to ‘coach’ the conversation. A player selects the appropriate response and then passes the ball to the other player. A quiet symbol, a charter making the ‘shh’, sign prompts the other player to stay quiet while it’s not their turn to talk. These prompts can be turned off in the settings once the players understand the rules or simply do not need prompting any longer.  You can choose what the  background looks like as well as you will see later on in the post.

Conversations can be customized for each student’s needs. You can also select which conversations are available for a particular student.

Here is the main Conversation Topics Menu

This is an example of how you would edit the flow of the conversation.

Talk to the Computer

This mode allows a player to practice 2 way conversations against the computer.  This mode works pretty much the same  as Talking to  Friend does but the computer randomly selects questions to ask, then the player is presented with appropriate response choices. You can also choose the ‘conversation’ for your student/client. This mode is nice for teaching children with autism to script appropriate conversations. You can also use this mode for quizzes. Here is an example of a quiz.

Make a Statement

This mode is similar to using a communication device. Players are able make requests and comments. Statements can be any combination of text and pictures. Submenus can be programmed to appear after a player makes a selection. In this section you have a lot of variety you can choose from. You are able to use it somewhat like a traditional AAC device using category based menus, you can use it to make visual schedules, and participate in scripted conversations with your conversation partner or “coach”!  Here are some examples :

Initial Topics Menu

Preload Basic 2-way convo

Initial screen on basic 2-way conversation

Simple choice board option

Options to make visual schedules