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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Michael Leventhal's picture
Michael Leventhal
Retired Special Educator. Advocate for technology with autism education

I have not had personal experience with this app. However, readers may access information and user reviews of iApps at these sites:
VIDEO REVIEWS of Apps for children and those with special needs before you buy

I maintain a free portal listing sites for autism and video modeling.

Chris Thompson's picture

As an app developer I would like to know what kinds of apps for Special Ed are still needed? Interested in collaborating on such developments.

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Hi Phyliss -

I actually just wrote a blog post that reveals some resources:

(Blurb about special ed)
8. Engage Special Education Students
Mobile handheld technology have had success in engaging disabled or special education students. Check out Apple's many accessibility resources that includes assistive gaming and technology. And for those developers out there, you can also learn how and why it's important to make their applications accessible.

You can read the full blog post here: Ten Ways to Remember Steve Jobs

Hope this helps,

Mary Kattreh's picture

Hello-I started this Fall using the IPad with my students, K-5th graders. Because I am teaching in a resource room, I work with students with a variety of disabilities, including 5 students under the age of 7 years old, who have autism. With very little money spent, I have used several apps with much success. I have seen an increase in verbal communication skills and time on task. I have been teaching special education students for 18 years, and feel very encouraged with this technology. I also use both a SMART Board and Table, but the IPad has been the most successful. The SMART table has been great for collaborative learning, and teaching turn-taking skills. Can't wait to see the new apps coming for the IPad.

Myers's picture
Autistic Support Teacher grades 2 3 4

Hello All,
I am new to this but think I may really enoy it. I teach 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade Autistic Support. Just recently my district provided me with 2 ipads to use in my classroom with my students. The students REALLY enjoy using them. There are so many apps that are out there that help with all the students needs. We had a slight training on the different apps but I am currently looking for training on how to better implement them into my classroom. I found that the students really work for playing games on the ipads as well as educational games/lessons.

Nick Weiland's picture
Nick Weiland
AT Consultant at Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence - OCALI

A colleague referred me to this group. AT OCALI we have been trying to keep up with this ever-changing world of apps. Matching the features of the app to the features the student needs is key, so I developed a spreadsheet of all the Apps that call themselves AAC, "AAC Apps: Good, Bad, Ugly". It is available for download on our site: go to click on the Document Archive button and this will take you to a page of downloadable handouts. Check out some of our other handouts regarding apps. A Spectrum of Apps for Students on the Autsim Spectrum has been popular.
Check back, as we update these regularly.

Jennifer's picture
Special education student teacher, Seattle, WA

Nick - I'm currently an education student and keep wondering how I can keep track of all the wonderful apps that we can use with our special education students. Thank you for your wonderful spreadsheet. It's a great layout, visually appealing and gives just the right amount of information. I also really like your website. I look forward to spending more time there.

lisa yeoman's picture
lisa yeoman
MA Special education multi-cat/autism

I have been following this group and value your comments! I would also like to ask if anyone would please take this short survey (less than 5 min)concerning special education teachers only (past or present) it is necessary for my master's research. We need this information to move forward! Thank you!

Lisa Miles's picture

Thank you for this resource! I recently purchased the IPad to use with my students and have been searching for apps that are educationally relevant to the students I work with.

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