I love my iPad. Of course, if you have an iPad, you know that goes without saying! And there’s no question that my students love it, too. The challenge is using it effectively in therapy, so that it is a useful tool and not a distraction or time vacuum. With that in mind, I am always on the hunt for apps that make my professional life easier and provide the students with appropriate, goal-oriented therapy. It is impossible to keep up with the explosion of apps, but I hope to keep you informed as to my new favorite apps in this blog. There are many blogs and websites that list apps for special education, to the point of being overwhelming. That’s why I thought listing a few new apps with each entry, and explaining how I use them, would be much more manageable. A great place to make suggestions and ask questions about apps for therapy is on my Apps and Technology message board.
Here are just a few of my gazillion favorite apps. All can be found at the App Store. Most are free or really cheap.
Age Calculator from Super Duper — love it. Just plug in the child’s birthdate and you immediately get the chronological age.
QuickVoice Recorder — a super simple way to record, play back, and store a student’s speech.
Board Game Tools — this great app has up to six dice, a countdown timer, a loud buzzer for wrong answers or “time’s up!”, and pad for recording scores, and indicator for whose turn it is.
Make Dice — create large customized dice that look and sound realistic! I’ve created dice with “wh” question words, pronouns, verb tense phrases, regular and irregular verbs, regular and irregular plurals, specific speech sounds, etc. You can roll more than 2 dice at a time, then have the student generate sentences using those words/phrases. Quick, easy, and no dice to chase on the floor!
Bugs and Buttons — fantastic graphics and sound effects in this app that, while developed for teaching concepts (counting, patterns, sorting, etc.), is very useful in assessing a student’s ability to point, touch, scan, and move. I use this when I consult for students who are being considered for dynamic display AAC devices.
Cat Fishing — OK, this one isn’t for therapy, but if you have visited my site and clicked on Meet the Staff, you’ll understand that Ms. Parks pressured me into including it. Not only can she open the cover to my iPad and start the program (after I bring up the app — she’s not THAT good!), she can score 10 points in a flash.