Since the iPad was available April 3, 2010, I have been using one in speech-language therapy with K-8 students who exhibit various disabilities. It is definitely my new favorite tool. I love to use it for push-in lessons in the class, and pull-out lessons in my office. Here are my top 3 reasons why I love using the iPad for therapy:
- The apps – The apps are fun and engaging because they are multisensory, appealing to the senses of sight, sound, and touch. There are apps specifically designed for special needs (AAC apps like Proloquo2Go and TapSpeak Sequence) and apps that can be utilized with special needs (song apps like Wheels on the Bus, and storybook apps like Shrek Forever After). I enjoy using the apps that have been optimized for the iPad’s screen resolution.
- The size and weight – Since the iPad is bigger than the iPod touch, the screen is viewable from farther away. I can easily hold it at a fair distance away from students. Then, when I want a particular student to interact with the iPad, I can easily bring the lightweight device (1.5 pounds) to him/her. The size is also easier for children with various physical abilities to interact with.
- The resolution – The iPads resolution is 2x that of the iPod touch. The higher resolution provides for fantastic looking graphics. As a result, the optimized iPad apps are more visually appealing to students, and are easier to see from a farther distance.