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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

iPhone/iTouch Applications for Instructional Purposes

iPhone/iTouch Applications for Instructional Purposes

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I am a special education teacher with a long standing interest and involvement in assistive technology. Although this is often categorized as a topic related to special education, it is directly connected to the field of computer science and engineering. Most recently, iPhone and iPod technology has taken an amazing turn towards varying supports of people with disabilities, specifically in the area communication and voice output. The implications are exciting and far reaching! I am interested in knowing what experience anyone has had in this area. Proloquo2go is the most sophisticated augmentative communication app ($189). Has anyone seen it used? What about other apps? Is anyone using specific apps in their classroom instruction? Is anyone teaching the design and development of apps?

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Jules's picture

Can't wait to hear if this worked well. I have a student who I have in a work training program and all she needs to be successful is improved social skills - this may be a great tool

Jules's picture

Can't wait to hear if this worked well. I have a student who I have in a work training program and all she needs to be successful is improved social skills - this may be a great tool

MK's picture
school social worker

[quote]I just downloaded the free app from Model Me Kids. It has 6 vignettes with narration: Hairdresser, mall, doctor, playground, grocery store, restaurant. I am going to try it out with one of my students with autism tomorrow. If anyone is interested, I can let you know how it goes.[/quote]

AutismClassroom.com's picture

As I wrote in another forum:
I have seen and heard about a few good apps for students with autism.
First Then Visual Schedule

Additionally, there are many more that teach basic skills like identifying pictures, etc.

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Hi Steve!

I sit on our school district's tech committee, and we're trying to get together a list of useful apps for kids at all ages- we have a large ELL population, and perhaps this would be something to review- I would love a promo code if you wouldn't mind sharing and I'll pass it to the teachers working with the ELL kids...

You can get me at ldpodcast[at]gmail[dot}com

Kelsi McHugh's picture

I am planning on going to a conference on this topic April 11th, I am eager to learn about the new technology. I have had a few conversations with other educators that a rubric should be developed on what apps should be used. I have heard stories that some parents and educators download apps because they have a high rating and advertise that it is educational. The problem is not all of the apps turn out to be educational or help with learning. What are your thoughts on developing a guideline or rubric for both parents and teachers on what they should look for in an app? I think there are a lot of things to take into consideration.

AutismClassroom.com's picture

I am especially delighted to see this question as I am a developer of Educational Apps for Teachers. I have created the Autism Classroom app (which gives lesson ideas for young students and behavior support ideas for children and teens), Autism at Home (which gives tips for making the home a learning environment) and Classroom Set Up (which details how to set up a classroom to meet the needs of students with autism or actually any self-contained Special Education Classroom for that matter).

Jodie Jens's picture
Jodie Jens
Special Education Preschool Teacher Specializing in Autism

I have experience using Proloquo2go and think that it is fabulous. I had a student who has autism and severe apraxia who used it this past year. He just started being able to use (imitate) verbal language/words in about December 2010. By the end of the year, he was able to create & repeat 5-6 word sentences with the use of this app. Without the app he could sometimes initiate 1-2 word phrases. This app has multiple categories, is easy to program and has voice output. The child may also type his own original thoughts and then use it as a voice output. I saw a very bright child who has extreme difficulty with initiating communication find his voice and begin to interact with his peers!! I am completely sold on this app.

Vincent Griffin's picture
Vincent Griffin
Special Education teacher inPrinceton TX

I am happy about all the technology that is there to help my class. What I really need to know is who can I contact to help write a grant proposal so that I can purchase ipods and ipod touch for the class room. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated

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