I just recently purchased an iPhone, and I’m in love! I wanted it for personal and work reasons. My friends previously showed me all the cool applications on their iPhones, and I wanted one badly. Most of the applications were for adults, but I wanted age-appropriate apps to use with my students. I searched the educational category on the App store, and I found some really cool apps that I felt could be used with students who have disabilities. Here are my favorites:
Cute Math: adding and subtracting in entertaining animal and landscape scenes
Herod’s Lost Tomb: I Spy type of activities
Match: concentration activity with anime characters
PreSchool Adventure: activities for colors, body, matching, shapes, and sounds
Word Magic: spelling game that involves choosing the missing letter
BookShelf: eBook reader
WordWhirl: using random letters to create multiple words
So far, I’ve used Cute Math and Word Magic on my iPhone with a 6 year old and 8 old with high functioning autism. Both apps are in my video above. My students were highly engaged by the applications. I was so delighted to see them being so entertained, while learning math and spelling skills. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I also facilitated language production – I did language stimulation (modeling & expanding utterances) during the applications. Additionally, I asked the following questions: What are you doing? What will happen next? How did you play the game?
I have decided to use the iPhone educational apps with my students to prepare them for using an iPhone with augmentative communication. There’s a new, exciting aug comm application called Proloquo2Go, which will be released late March. It will be the first aug comm app for the iPhone. With text-to-speech and over 6,000 symbols, it will be a fully functioning dynamic display device. Not only will Proloquo2Go be very portable and extremely cool with the iPhone, but it will be priced at a fraction of the price of dynamic displays.
I really think that Proloquo2Go is going to be a very useful aug comm. tool for school districts. The cost effectiveness of the tool will sit really well with special education departments. I feel it will be the most effective for students with autism. Children with autism often have the ability to use dynamic displays, but schools have difficulty with funding devices for them. Schools don’t receive low incidence funding for children with autism, so it’s difficult to fork over thousands of dollars for dynamic display devices. But now, hopefully, that’s all going to change with Proloquo2Go.
Some might say, yeah, but we can’t let students use cell phones at school. Well, Proloquo2Go fortunately can be used also with the iPod touch. This solution alleviates administrator worries about the use of cell phones at school; iPod touches don’t have phone or Internet access, just access to applications. That makes me interested in buying and/or writing a grant for iPod touches to use with students as assessment and therapy tools. I can’t wait to share Proloquo2Go and educational applications with many students!