Sunday, May 12, 2013

iPad app: Kokako 123 Audio and Visual Training

Kokako 123 App
Kokako 123 Audio and Visual Training app on iTunes (free)

What it is: Described as a game to "help auditory/visual training". This app's description on iTunes specifies that it is not intended to replace therapy, but to go hand in hand with it by providing repetitive practice to enhance skills. It definitely is targeted at children, but manageably so.

The game only does one thing: it gives a series of cards with numbers one at a time (see screen image 1) and asks the user to repeat them by using the keypad to enter each number below its card. One of the best things about it is that the user can choose what order to put the numbers in (same order they were presented from left to right, or backwards from right to left, or random).

Screen Image 1
Settings for this game include choices for how many cards will be presented (from 1 to 8; the example in the screen shots has 4 cards), and for how to present the cards (visually by flipping them over, auditory presentation where you can choose one of two male voices, or both visual and auditory). There is also a setting for how much time to space in ms between cards as they are presented.

Screen Image 2
Once user puts in the sequence and presses "go" feedback re accuracy is presented. As you can see in screen image 2, feedback includes which cards were correct, how long the turn took, and a count of how many turns were correct (screen shot 2 says "0" because not all 4 numbers were correct).

The themes are rather childish (you can choose car, flower or star; I have it set to the least annoying star) and there's a happy or sad star that comes up at the end of each turn. Not overwhelming, but nevertheless, it's there.

How we can use it in Tx: Set the activity to fit your client's needs in terms of how many numbers to remember (start with 3, and increase complexity to 4, 5 or even 6 if you think it's appropriate for your client's level).

Depending on the goals decide if you want the target number list presented orally or visually, and how fast. Maybe you'd like to have the client repeat each number as it is presented? That's a good memory strategy, and if you decide to go that path you may want to put in a longer delay between cards. Then have the client either tell you the sequence to enter or, if they have the dexterity, have them enter the numbers using the keypad.

What's nice is that you can also use this as a memory/mental manipulation activity and ask for the sequence backwards (since you can enter the answer in any order you want). You could also ask for the number sequence to be repeated in ascending or descending order. If you have the capability, you can enter the numbers in their correct spots; otherwise you can just enter the numbers in ascending or descending order and not worry about the game telling you the answer is incorrect--since it will flip the cards over at the end you'll be able to check accuracy that all numbers were recalled.

Goals we can target in Tx with this app: You can customize the settings and activity to target memory, immediate recall, spaced recall, working memory, attention,  and visual & auditory processing to a lesser extent.

Some specific examples:

The memory and attention activities are limited to numbers which is rather rote, so you don't want to spend too much time doing only this activity, but it can be useful for a short task or two.

1. As I mention above, if you want to work on memory and mental manipulation you can ask for the sequence of numbers to be given backwards or in ascending or descending order. If you ask for the numbers in reverse order, you can just enter them in reverse order and let the app tell you how accurate you were. If you do ascending or descending, you can just ignore the app's feedback on accuracy (since the game expects the numbers to be entered in their correct spots, not just be the correct ones) and judge for yourself when the cards are turned over whether all the numbers presented are accounted for. Should be just as effective and simple enough (except for the frowny star that will show up).

2. For spaced retrieval: you would think that you'd be able to use the running timer on the screen during the turn to space out input from output, but in fact this timer doesn't run during the turn--it merely returns the total time it took once the turn is over (and "go" is pressed). So you'll need your own watch/timer to space out this task. But otherwise, it's doable (although frankly, I'm not a fan of doing context-free numbers in this sort of activity).

3. If you are not working on mental manipulation that involves returning the numbers in a specific sequence, you can--like advised in #1 above--just ignore the accuracy of the order of the replies, and focus only on whether the client remembered all the items on the list. Again, you would not use the game's accuracy feedback for this and just keep track of it separately.

4. Brain-training: for the regular (not rehab-patient) population, this game can provide great training for memory and focus. Since you can set the game to provide you with a sequence of up to 8 numbers, with very little delay between them, visual or read, you can really set the task up to challenge anyone's function. You can also make yourself give the numbers back in ascending or descending sequence while getting them in their correct slots. And you can motivate yourself to return the answer faster each time as well.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Naomi,
    Thank you for your review of our first app. We like to know what new features you will like to see in version 2.0. Let's have a conversation.
    Best Regards,
    Creative Director - Kokako - Kiwita Technology