Monday, October 28, 2013

'Appy hour review : Wet Dry Try

I love the multi modal design of Handwriting Without Tears techniques. It's language is simple and consistent. Big line, little lines, big curve little curve, magic c letters. Etc. And wet dry try is one of my staples in my therapeutic pocket.

So when HWT announced they had developed an app, I was excited... until I saw it.  For $4.99 originally and for capital letters only, Wet Dry Try was way too expensive and limited.  I immediately reached out to the developers and said, this app is way too expensive for the few things it offers. And I refused to purchase it. Especially since there wasn't even a lite version!  They said thanks for the input.  Then a few months later, version two came out with a few more features including lower case and numbers.  I said to myself, since I am such a loyal HWT user, I will invest the now increased price of $6.99 to purchase the app. I was so disappointed.
The Wet Dry Try app is just a glorified chalkboard. I suppose it is fine for when a you are on the go, and don't have that chalkboard handy.  But there is no feedback, tactile, visual, or auditory that keeps anyone interested.  You get a rotating star. A rotating star?  I mean, where is the playful engagement? Desire to continue?
You go through the motions of Wet Dry Try with an imaginary sponge, an imaginary paper towel and an imaginary piece of chalk.  Maybe if I could come up with a stylus sponge to give the same tripod position of the fingers, and another to simulate the chalk feeling with the resistance I'd be a little more into it.  I suppose I am just purist, that if you are gonna do wet dry try, do wet dry try. It's multisensory for a reason.

Yes you can  customize to students, practice capitals, lower case and numbers, and get progress reports. But there are soooooo many other apps free or at least cheaper than the wet dry try app. I wanted to like it. But I have used it only a handful of times because frankly it did not hold my students' attention. Or mine. So if u have 7.00 on your App Store card, save it.  Or better yet, buy a real chalkboard, a sponge and some chalk. You will get way more use out it.

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