August 7th, 2013
As the iPad makes its way into the classroom, developers are creating more apps for children in Special Education. “What sets the iPad apart from other devices,” writes Randall Palmer in T.H.E. Journal, “is the simple and visually robust user interface that can be used by almost everyone. It’s also a highly customizable device that can be set up with applications and assistive features to support a variety of special needs.”
But finding the apps that are most effective for children with LD and ADHD often presents challenges for parents and teachers alike. Now, thanks to The Children’s Institute (TCI) in Verona, NJ, that problem may be solved—at least to some degree. TCI teachers have reviewed and rated hundreds of educational apps for students with special needs. Their reviews can be found at the school’s app review blog as well as the iTunes App Store.
Although the TCI list of apps is updated frequently, following is T.H.E. Journal’s current Top picks, based on TCI reviews, for children with special needs.
Sosh: Activities and tools for children who have difficulty with social skills
Clicker Docs: Assistive word processor offering support with spelling, grammar, and writing.
Symbol Support: Assistive word processor for students with cognitive disabilities that translates words into pictures and symbols
Time Timer: Helps children to understand time without knowing clocks and numbers
iReward: Highly customizable motivational charts (think old-school star systems) that live on the iDevice and are filled in by parents and teachers.
Read2Go:. Downloadable books through Bookshare (link to https://www.bookshare.org) that can be modified to meet readers’ needs.
ConversationBuilder: a tool to help children who have speech problems.
Proloquo2Go: Gives a “voice” for those who can’t speak.
Pictello: Allows students to create multimedia stories and presentations
Video Scheduler: Incorporates video instruction into activity planning
For more information on the above apps, see The Top 10 iPad Apps for Special Education