There are times when something makes you think, “you’re meant to write a blog post today” and today is one of those days. I received an alert via AppShopper that an app I use and one I’ve been wanting to write about dropped in price. So here I am, writing a post so that maybe you can take advantage of iRewards being on sale. Both of the apps below are great apps to use for behavior plans.
There are many ways to utilize iRewards but recently I used it with a student who needed a lot of external motivation in order to persevere through challenging tasks. Who would have thought the cognitive assessments that require a student to get 5 or 6 wrong in a row would be frustrating?!
I think of iRewards as similar to token strips meaning you have a set number of tasks, steps, behaviors, expectations you want the student to complete before they will receive a break or reward or preferential activity. An example would be 5 math problems before earning time on an iPad. Within iReward you would choose “reward after 5” and then the picture might be one of an iPad or a picture of the student playing on the iPad.
Pros / Features
- Multiple student rewards can be set-up
- Multiple goals/rewards for each student
- Ability to email and then import already set-up rewards
- Ability to record voice praise for completion
- Lock the screen so the number of behaviors can’t be changed without knowing how to unlock the app
- Google image search built in so you don’t have to first search google and then save the image to your camera roll.
Cons / Improvements
- I wish you could customize the stars to make them something else like other shapes especially if a student is especially motivated by earning coins, cars, trains, etc.
The main screen you see once you have the goal and rewards setup
Multiple goals for each student as well as the ability to share and import
- Change the number of tasks for child to receive before reward. Import images from google. Record verbal praise
Additional setup features such as locking.
Who doesn’t like a little excitement delivered by a random reward? Win a Spin is a 6 space spinning wheel that you can customize for what rewards are displayed. This would be great to use as the reward for the tasks completed with iRewards app. If you’re thinking, whatever happened to a good sticker chart, why so many bells and whistles? I think about that sometimes as well.
Pros / Features
- Plenty of places to put in potential rewards
- Great exciting way to provide random reinforcers
Cons / Improvements
- Have to fill in all 6 options otherwise you might land on a blank space
- Can’t have multiple spinners/students set-up
- Only text rewards, not images
Additional Ways to Utilize these Apps
I love utilizing both of these apps in conjunction with Intervention Central’s Jackpot Reward Finder. I often have teachers look at which rewards they’re willing to offer to students and then I work with the students to have them indicate which rewards they would really like to earn. I’ve stopped being surprised by how many students want rewards such as adult attention through game time, or talk time, etc.
What other apps to you use to support behavior plans of behavior interventions? I’d love to see some more and try out other ones!
BehaviorLENS is an iOS app for school psychologists, social workers, behavior specialists, teacher consultants, etc., really anyone who observes behavior. I took the leap and purchased BehaviorLENS ($29.99) to see if any of the cons I noted with SchoolPsychTools were addressed in this app. The quick response is…some but not all which is pretty typical because I doubt we’ll ever have the perfect solution. My review includes mostly information about the interval recording, frequency count, and duration options and not the ABC observation because I have yet to use it. So even though I don’t discuss does not mean that I don’t like or that it is great and no areas to improve upon, just a lack of information to share.
- One feature I really like in BehaviorLENS is the ability to note behaviors as they happen and have a time stamp added to note. While this doesn’t lead to a structured observation it does allow you to add notes about other behaviors, classroom events and such while completing a structured observation such as an interval recording method. This also allows you to see how some things unfold during the observation.
- The pre-loaded lists of behaviors is outstanding, I can’t complain at all about how much is already included which is less work to set up. Also, the pre-sets of certain behaviors being “not engaged or “engaged” and “not disruptive” and “disruptive” are helpful as well.
- The ability to combine reports is great although there is one trick I figured out. You must run a report for a single observation and then run a second report where you can choose all of the observation sessions available. If you don’t first run one report, the option to add other observation sessions is not available. Weird, but a pretty easy work around.
- Reports are broken down in multiple ways. For example a report provides the percentage of intervals on-task versus off-task but then also another report of the percentage of intervals of all the on-task behaviors (ex. listening to discussion, interacting with teacher, transitioning, seatwork, etc.)
- Reports are easy to email to myself to include in my psychoeducational reports. I usually end up copying just the graphs from the BehaviorLENS report and adding them to my own reports, not using the whole report.
- Password protected. Always good.
- While their support on their website isn’t stellar when I sent an email asking about running multiple observation reports they did get back to me and were helpful. It is always nice to have helpful support personnel.
- Good video tutorials on their website.
Weaknesses – Reports
- My biggest disappointment overall is when you create a report rom duration observation the total time for each behavior is not provided. A graph with some approximation is provided but this lack of information forced me to write in my report, “on-task approximately 15 minutes”. Not ok.
- Surprisingly, even though I’m very happy to be able to add notes while the observation is in progress with time stamps, the time displayed is only the hour and minutes, not seconds. This makes it difficult when I’m going back in my notes to remember if two notes happened 5 seconds apart or 59 seconds apart, if the notes happen to take place at 2:15.01 and the next at 2:15.59, currently both are noted as 2:15.
- When you run the Duration observation report you’re only provided with duration data, not frequency data even though the instances of behaviors is actually counted in the app. Seems weird and an easy fix to add the instances to the report.
Weaknesses – Functionality
- As I stated above, one of the strengths is the amount of pre-loaded behaviors to choose from. The down side to this is that there are so many to choose from. A “favorites” list or a list of focus behaviors for that particular student might be helpful.
- Within the Duration observation section, it is great that you can choose 1-4 behaviors to focus on during the observation but I’m so surprised that the GREAT behavior lists from the interval recording method isn’t included so instead you write your own. Pros and cons to this.
- The recording button within the Duration observation method doesn’t change much and makes it hard to quickly determine if you’re recording or not. I’ve had mini heart attacks when I look and think that I haven’t been recording a behavior when I have been.
- A requirement to choose the activity at the start of the observation would be helpful because sometimes I forget to “change the activity” at the start of the observation.
Overall, BehaviorLENS is a good observation tool. What I’m most excited about is the ability to add notes while I’m observing and not having to switch between an observation app and note taking app to make notes during the observation.
Any pros or cons that you’ve found when using BehaviorLENS?