Welcome to Part 1 of “There’s A Special App For That” series on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps for students with special needs. Have a look at our others in the series:
- There’s a special app for that – Part 2 UPDATE: 6 apps to create social stories
- There’s a special app for that – Part 1 UPDATE: 9 MORE apps to improve organizational skills for students with learning disabilities
- There’s a special app for that – Part 11: Creative apps for digital storytelling
- There’s a special app for that – Part 10: Apps for behavior management and intervention
- There’s a special app for that – Part 9: Apps for college/university students with learning disabilities
- There’s a special app for that – Part 8: Apps that support the development of autonomy and independence
- There’s a special app for that – Part 7: Apps that support literacy instruction
- There’s a special app for that – Part 6: 3 Methods of Using Augmentative Communication Apps To Support Different Languages
- There’s a special app for that – Part 5: 5 Mind Mapping Apps for Students with Learning Disabilities
- There’s a special app for that – Part 4: 16 Apps for Elementary Students with Non-Verbal Learning Disability
- There’s a special app for that – Part 3: 5 Apps that develop fine motor skills
- There’s a special app for that – Part 2: 5 (+1) Apps to develop social skills for students with special needs
- There’s a special app for that – Part 1: 5 Apps to improve organizational skills for students with learning disabilities
As educational consultants, we are always searching for reviews and recommendations for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps for students with special needs. While there are many excellent blog posts on using the iPad with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (such as here, here and here), there are very few posts on using these new devices with students with learning disabilities.
We decided to start a series focusing on apps that we have found to be effective for different areas of difficulty associated with a diagnosis of learning disability. One of our previous posts focused on low-tech solutions for students with learning disabilities and organizational difficulties. Now for some high-tech recommendations!
We are big fans of the latest innovations for organization and productivity to assist with the guidelines in our “11 tips for improving organizational skills“, as well as to encourage independence. These apps go beyond general recommendations and give students support in many different areas of organization.
Here are a few of our low-cost (or free!) app recommendations for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad in the area of organization:
MyHomework allows you to enter your homework by subject or due date. Nice interface, free and a great organizational tool for upper elementary or high school students. Macworld’s AppGuide also has a great review of this application.
We love this app; the possibilities are endless for organization; to do lists, sharing information, etc. Its essentially a “corkboard” where a student can map out ideas, brainstorm, store notes, etc. Great for home use.
They have a great YouTube video giving an overview of the application.
3. Time Timer
Time Timer is an app based on the visual timer that is commonly used with students in school who need a visual timing system for behavioural intervention or for organization. Students can actually see time passing on the timer and solves the problem for those who ask, “how much time is left?” Useful for elementary students.
4. Picture Scheduler
Picture Scheduler allows the student to create picture task and to do lists. Also allows you to set alerts for when to do this task. We like this app because it’s multi-use; it can be used to show step-by-step pictures of a task (ex. how to cook macaroni) or it can be used as a visual “to do” list. You can add audio to the picture as well, very helpful for many students with LD. All levels.
5. Soundnote / Note Taker HD
We had a big debate about the 5th, so we decided to include both. These are not organizational apps per se, but they are great apps for the organization of writing and notetaking. One is more designed for typing, the other for writing.
Soundnote syncs audio and notetaking at the same time. It is great for typing notes with the occasional drawing. So if a student is having a hard time keeping up with the notes or has difficulty writing, he/she can write one word, hit audio and listen to the playback of the lecture when he/she taps on that one word later. Useful for high school and university students. There is a good review of Soundnote from Notebooks.com which awarded it iPad App of the Week.
Note Taker HD:
The big key benefit to Note Taker HD is that it was designed from the beginning to be a written notetaking application. You can write with your finger (or a stylus like the Pogo Sketch) in the larger area at the bottom of the screen. The innovative part of the design for this app is that you can write in large (and messy) letters, but then see your full page of smaller notes at the top. A student does not have to write neatly or precisely when notetaking but still benefits from a full page of notes. You can also store and organize all your notes in sections to retrieve them later. Amazing…good for older high school and university students. Some more detailed reviews on Appadvice.com and iPad.net.
If you are a user of these apps, or have other suggestions for organizational tools (high tech or low tech) for students with learning disabilities we would love to hear from you-drop us a line anytime. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next in our series!