Have you considered using technology to enhance the learning of special needs children and those with learning differences? Have you found any good resources to help these children learn digitally?
I recommend looking at Common Sense Media's Power Up! Apps for Kids with Special Needs and Learning Differences and share how you might use these resources with your students. Note that these apps are available in three levels--Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced--as well as 6 categories:
Do you have other technology devices, software, apps to suggest? Please share your experiences using technology with special needs children.
I use the iPad extensively with the visually impaired children I work with. There are wonderful apps that engage them visually, encourage cause and effect, and provide a constantly renewable and changing "bag of tricks". There are numerous educational apps that can be used for communication, repetitive practice that isn't boring, some apps that track kids responses and progress, etc. And the best part is that most kids seem to intuitively know how to use the iPad. They find features to many of the apps that I didn't know were there! Technology for them is essential. When they can't read or see well, they have options to have things read to them. When they can't hold a book and turn pages, they can just swipe the screen and move on to the next page, or have the app autoplay. I have a large list of apps I use which I would be happy to share if anyone wants them. It's a wonderful feeling to see a child's face light up with interest and enthusiasm after you have tried so many different things to engage them unsuccessfully. It's readily individualized, it's cool 'cause all the other kids want to use them too, and apps are constantly being developed that can open doors for special needs children in the areas of communication and even building social skills. Some apps that I use often are from GrasshopperApps.com, Night & Day Studios, Inc., CJ Educations, Little Bear Sees, Innovative Mobile Apps, MyFirstApp.com, SNApps4Kids, iiiCreations, Kids Games Club, SoundTouch, and many more.
Thanks for sharing this list of apps and encouraging teachers to use the iPad with special needs children. It's always wonderful to see the expressions on children's faces when they become engaged in learning and enjoy exploring new lessons. It might be helpful to include some of the links to the resources you have mentioned.
You obviously have spent time locating good, educational apps to interest your students.
Could you give us a description of Starfall and how you used it with the special needs students?
I volunteer in special needs preschool classrooms and have helped to use some of the technology strategies like starfall. They only have computers so far. One is still a touch screen that I used several years before I retired. The special needs children find it easy to use so I can see where I Pads would be wonderful if school's could afford them. I will try to find some sites that their special ed coordinator has found that are free or nominal fees for my next posting.
Are your students having difficulty reading long passages? Check out Rewordify.
According to Richard Byrne in his blog "Rewordify Helps Students Read Complex Passages" published in Free Technology for Teachers (August 25, 2013), Rewordify is "a free site that was developed by a special education teacher and former computer programmer for the purpose of helping students read complex passages." This site is designed to increase reading comprehension and vocabulary development.
In what ways can you use Rewordify with your students in the classroom?