One-to-one instruction with students with special needs is undoubtedly priceless. However, with the onset of digital technologies such as iPads we see that there are other avenues through which we can create engaging and effective learning environments for our special learners.
Technology has been an integral part of the development of education in today’s digital age. With devices such as laptops and iPads, students can participate in simulations and other behavioral learning exercises. Students may also be more motivated to complete tasks if the digital experience is personalized and engaging. But how does technology help students with learning disabilities such as autism? According to recent studies, iPads have proven to be an effective tool for students all across the autism spectrum. The functionality of the device has made the academic experience accessible and ideal for visual learners. The touch screen is especially great for children who have difficulties with fine motor skills which can impair typing or writing. Another key advantage of the iPad is that academic programs and activities are highly interactive. This allows children to think visually and to exercise other skills in their development.
There are several iPad applications to help your child learn everything from reading to mathematics. For instance, Story Builder
is an application to help children create, record and share narratives in their own voice. The app includes 50 form-generating story lines and 500 audio clip questions to guide narrative development. Additionally, Story Builder is designed to help children form paragraphs, integrate ideas and make high-level abstractions from inferences. If your child needs extra help in mathematics, Math Bingo
is an engaging math-focused game that helps build basic arithmetic skills. For children who have difficulty with verbal communication, Proloquo2Go
is an incredibly useful tool. The app provides natural sounding Text-to-Speech voices that help children identify and match symbols with various vocabularies. Its purpose is to guide children from symbolic communication to full literacy. Other interesting iPad apps include Super Duper: What Are They Thinking
and Conversation Builder
To better understand how the iPad can positively impact a child’s learning experience, here is a video
of a nine year-old boy named Leo who is using an iPad app called First Words
. Leo has autism but he is doing exceptionally well with spelling and pairing pictures with words.
What really inspires us about the iPad is that it is so adaptive and user-friendly. It has significantly changed the academic experience for individuals with and without learning disabilities. Apps are readily available online which is convenient for parents to pick and choose from the comfort of their home. Since no child responds to technology in the same way, it is important that parents use a variety of tools and applications to give their child the best chance to succeed. The iPad, and other education technologies, is a supportive resource for every student, regardless of abilities, and continues to revolutionize the way we think about learning.
TutorBright Appears on CityTV’s Breakfast Television
On Tuesday, August 9, 2011, TutorBright’s founder/CEO Sunny Verma appeared on CityTV’s Breakfast Television to speak about Social Media in Education.
Watch the video here.