Technology for Life
Mobile technology is helping Nathan, a Kindergartener with autism, meet his educational goals. Technology projects that require Nathan to not only write about his creations, but also explain them in words have helped him to work towards his communication goals.
use reading apps like Endless Reader to build vocabulary and word pronunciations. One of their favorite apps is the You Tell Me Stories series, where he reads along, using their patented WordWinks and then Nathan has to go back and retell the story using the in-app recording feature Retell, Record, & Share. As a reward for focused learning, and if he has not had much screen time that particular day, Nathan gets to play some of his favorite apps like Angry Birds 2 and Cut the Rope. Unbeknownst to him, these games are also great for developing problem solving. Nathan’s parents and tutor use the iPad’s Guided Access feature found in accessibility tools to help Nathan stay in the apps and set a timer for the amount of time that he needs to work in each app. Nathan is motivated by technology. And, although it can be used for educational purposes, if not used correctly, it can be counteractive to his social goals so his teachers and therapist monitor usage closely.
This is a fantastic app! It is a great tool for language development as well as pretend play. Think of it as a virtual doll house. We have used this app with children between the ages of 3 and 8. Boys and girls enjoy the app. The app is appropriate for children to use independently as well as an assistive app for the caregiver, therapist or teacher. The child can move 5 family members throughout the house and interact with many features in each of 4 rooms, activating elements as they go along. For example, the characters can shower and then dry off with a towel in the bathroom! They can brush their teeth. The toilet flushes!
You Tell Me Stories
You TELL Me Stories are bright, colorful ebooks created by educators and language experts. But, behind them is cutting edge science designed to show you HOW to read to your child in a way that stimulates conversation and builds listening, thinking and language skills, along with the knowledge and confidence that will serve as the strong foundation for the reading, writing and thinking abilities they’ll develop in school and beyond.
Cut The RopeCut The Rope Reviewer
This physics-based puzzle app kept our group of students engaged for extended periods of time as they worked to cut the rope in a way that would allow candy, cupcakes, and other objects to drop into the little green monster’s mouth, collecting stars as bonus points. We found that the ease of trying again to reach the next level, excited and motivated students, keeping them coming back for more. Although it was often use of trial and error, we saw a plethora of opportunities that built on creative and critical thinking as students worked to figure out the best ways to cut the rope.
Price: IOS FREE / Android $0.99
Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds as an educational app!? We are saying YES! Teaching and learning opportunities exist everywhere for the creative educator and parent, and we at BridgingApps, believe that even includes games such as Angry Birds. Keep on reading to find out how to turn this app into a great learning tool.
This app introduces “sight words” because kids need to recognize these words by sight in order to achieve reading fluency. Recognizing sight words is advantageous for beginners because many of these words have unusual spellings, cannot be sounded out using phonics knowledge, and often cannot be represented using pictures.
If you are interested in reading more about how children are using technology to improve skills and enhance their lives, please go to BridgingApps.org.
Amy Barry is the Content Manager and Editor at BridgingApps and mother of five children.
Tara Rocha is the Digital Content Specialist with BridgingApps and mother of four young children.
Cristen Reat is co-founder of BridgingApps and a mother who found success when using a mobile device with her children who have special needs.
All share a passion for mobile technology in education.
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This post originally appeared on our July/August 2015 Magazine