By Suzan Mullane.
IPads have revolutionized the world, but perhaps the greatest achievement of the IPad is how it revolutionized teaching and communicating with children who have disabilities. No surprise, IPad Apps are creative fun differentiated teaching tools! But given the plethora of apps and limited teacher time, it can be challenging to find the appropriate one for individual needs. Interventionists need guides on what’s engaging for students and for what price; it also helps to know if the Apps will collect data and if they will work with existing IEP’s.
Well, three cheers for Bridging-Apps and its creator Sami Rahman! BridgingApps is a website where educators can explore recommended vetted lessons. Rahman’s Review of Lesson Apps are not only described in detail given a visual simulation, but ranked in quality given 1 to 5 stars. Quality control counts; our students demand it. Special education teachers, speech therapists and the students who have used them are involved in assigning the star quality.
Here’s a sample that would work well for students with autism or students with articulation goals.
Autismxpresspro: helps students visualize feelings on their IPad, such as happy or angry with mood based colors and graphic faces. Download on iTunes for $1.99 ranked 4 stars. http://a4cwsn.com/2011/08/autismxpress-pro
Little Bee Speech, Articulation Station Pro: an assistive communicative device for the correction of articulation errors through pictures. There’s even an interactive colorful game to measure comprehension. No mundane articulation drills here! Download iTunes $39.99 Ranked 5 stars-collects data for IEP’s! http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=491998279
Story Patch: allows a kid to illustrate their own stories with characters and colorful backgrounds. Student self-determination skills are enhanced with this App. Perfect tool to teach social stories. Download on iTunes for $2.99. Ranked 4 and ½ stars. http://bridgingapps.org/app/?id=388613157
Have questions on whether the IPad 2 would be a better choice for students? Some educators choose to keep their first generation IPads to save money. But an informed choice is often the best choice. Check out: http://mashable.com/2011/07/25/ipads-disabilities/ to get an answer to these questions on hardware and to discover how IPads are changing the lives of students with disabilities.