DialSafe is an iOS app developed by LittleBit Studios. You can read about it here: http://www.littlebitstudio.com/dialsafe.html
This app is a fun way to teach your children how to use the phone: it shows kids how to use the phone safely, gives them a way to practice using the phone, helps them memorize important phone numbers and teaches them how to call emergency services. It currently supports the following countries:
What do I like about this app? Quite a lot actually:
- Its child-friendly. Colourful, fun graphics and music that’s up-beat without being irritating.
- The phone pad actually looks like a real phone! The numbers and buttons are large and easy to read and all the sounds are very realistic. Its as close to a real phone experience as you can get without the fun of letting your children crank-call your friends and neighbours.
- The “Learn” section goes through how to use a phone, what 911 (or equivalent) is for, and how to deal with calls from strangers.
- It’s programmable. You can put in your home phone number, parent’s cell phone numbers, grandma’s phone number, etc. (More on that below).
- The “Practice” section – takes children through step-by-step how to call home and 911. Both visual and verbal cues are used – this is excellent!
- The “Memory Home” game: playing this teaches kids their home phone number.
- The “Challenge” section: lets kids call any of the numbers that you’ve programmed into the app. A bonus feature is that you can record up to three phrases to use when the child calls that number. So, if Grandma records “Hello Oliver and Owen” “Thanks for calling” “I love you, bye for now!” – they will hear her saying that when they call her number. There are pauses in-between so they can practice responding appropriately. I have managed to get Oliver to play with this section and he thinks its especially funny to ‘call’ people who are actually with us. I love this feature!
All-in-all this is a fantastic app and well worth the price for the full version (although I have 10 copies to giveaway so you can get it for free!) There are also some things that I would love to see incorporated in the app if at all possible:
- The “Learn” section has far too much audio information for my children to process. What would be perfect for us is something that breaks down each step into simple components represented by: a visual of the step, a word or two labelling that step and an audio cue of that label.
- Similarly, the 911 section has visuals for fire, medical and police personnel but most of the other information is provided by audio commentary. There are no visual cues provided for words like “fire”, “emergency” etc.
- For non-verbal children, it would be great if they had a way to interact with the simulator. If they are practicing calling 911, adding buttons that would allow them to select fire, police or ambulance would be great.
- Perhaps add games that would allow children to practice what to do in certain situations. For example, present them with scenarios like – there is a fire in the house, a parent has hurt themselves and can’t talk, their toy has broken – and then get them to choose what the best response would be. Games could also be used to practice the correct response to wrong number calls and calls from strangers.
- An expansion of the “Memory Home” game to include other numbers we want our kids to learn.
So, here’s how you can win a free copy of this app:
‘Like’ my blog’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Small-But-Kinda-Mighty/265221686839625
‘Like’ DialSafe’s Facebook page and say that I sent you! http://www.facebook.com/DialSafe
Edited to remove references to A4cwsn whom I can no longer support
I will be picking the winners on September 15th, 2011. Thanks for reading and good luck with the giveaway!