This morning I came across an article about a school in Los Angeles that uses the iPod Touch and the iPad to teach special needs children. Honestly, I see articles just like this one popping up rather frequently in newspapers across the country. It’s great to see more and more school districts embracing the iPod touch and the iPad as an assistive technology device. These are powerful tools that can greatly enhance a special education student’s learning experience. The devices themselves are very powerful, but the huge selection of applications that are available for download through the iTunes App Store allows you to personalize the learning experience for each individual. No matter what their needs are, there are applications that can assist them in learning as well as everyday living.
What Child Wouldn’t Want to Play on an iPad All Day?
One of the most powerful benefits of using an iPod or an iPad is the motivation to learn that comes along with using the device. Children jump at the opportunity to get their hands on the technology, even if it means they have to use it for educational purposes. In this article, Keri Borzello, the Westmark School director of marketing and public relations says that “I’ve seen the motivation level skyrocket.” Here at Conover Company, we call this “the cool factor” – using an iPod touch or an iPad is “cool”, so the student wants to use it. As a result, they retain a lot more of what they learn because of the technology that they’re using.
The Technology Behind Functional Skills
One of the areas that schools are using the iPod touch and the iPad is with functional skills. We are very excited about this trend in special education and are pleased to offer our comprehensive functional skills system on the iPod touch and the iPad. We currently have 87 different applications for both iPod touch and the iPad that teach and reinforce these critical life, social, literacy, work and math skills. Just go to iTunes and search for “Conover Company” to see all the applications that are available. You’ll notice several of them are free.
Whether you use this mobile technology to teach academic lessons in the classroom or functional skills for everyday living, the iPad and iPod Touch allow teachers to reach out to special needs kids like never before. The Westmark School is just one example out of many of schools across the country embracing this breakthrough in Special Education.
Source: Lauren Rosenblum. “Change the Future of Special Education? There’s an App for That.” Encino Patch. May 24, 2011. <http://encino.patch.com/>