iPad Apps useful to assist the learning outcomes of special education students

Hello everyone,

I am new here.  I'm a fourth year university student studying special education.  As part of an assignment, I have to complete a curation project.  For this, I am focusing on the use of iPad apps to assist special education students.  I was wondering if anyone has used iPads within a classroom before.  If so, have you found them to be an effective tool towards reaching intended learning outcomes?


If you have time, would you mind listing a useful app you have used and how it was effective in your classroom?


Thanks for your time,


Andrea McMillan

Tags: iPad

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I hope to hear about some great apps from this discussion.  I'm an elementary librarian.  I have a class set of iPads in my library.  I'm pretty comfortable finding and using apps for my students.  However, I have 2 classes of students with severe cognitive disabilities that some to the library with their general education peers.  I'm looking for good apps for those students to use.

Hi, I’m not a special education teacher but I have heard about an app that is really great for nonverbal special education students that you may be interested in knowing about. My school’s autism teacher said the app has worked wonders for autistic students who get frustrated by not being able to verbally communicate what they want to say. The app is called “Tap to Talk”. This application can be used in the classroom for students who are unable to communicate. The app allows those students the opportunity to convey what they are thinking. Students are able to convey how they are feeling, that they are hungry, what they want to do, that they need to use the bathroom, and more. This is a useful tool for students who are autistic, speech delayed, and etc. While using this application students are able to convey their thoughts quickly by looking at the picture or reading the sentence under the picture that they want said aloud. Then, they tap on that picture/icon and the sentence is read loud. This is a much quicker way for those students to communicate than typing out a sentence. This would be especially helpful for students who are younger and unable to type. The voice can also be changed to have a child, adult, female, male voice, or have it speak a different language. Another great thing about the application is that it is free to upload from the Apple store and is available on ipad, iphone, and itouch devices.

Rachel, thanks so much for the suggestion of Tap to Talk!  That sounds like a really good one.  I've had a teacher mention it to me before, but she hadn't ever used it.  She had only heard of it so your description is really helpful.

I would suggest using the app Confer. I would use the paid version of the app because it has more features. In this app you can set up a class list of students and the topics you are working on. You can then go in and add notes under the specific topic you are working on about what the students strength is, a next step, a teaching point and their level if it is appropriate. I used this with my students during our writing conferences to keep track of what we had already worked on and what we needed to work on this time as well as our next meeting.

I am a general education third grade teacher that works with inclusion special ed students in the general ed classroom.  I have one iPad that I use with my students (I would love to have more, but one is what I've got.)  I use my iPad to meet the IEP needs of students in my room. Many of my kiddos need to have specific practice with words with specific sounds. I like the app SightWords Pro to practice those words.  I can generate lists for specific students and I can have students practice the words and then listen to hear if they pronounced it correctly.  I can even generate student specific words and then have them record how to say the word and they can listen to themselves to see if they pronounced it correctly.  This is a paid app, but Sight Words free is another app where they can practice writing their words although it is not as customizable.  Hope this helps.

Alot of times I conference with individual students to set up the list and generate the verbal portion of the word a lot of times this is during computer lab time when the whole group is working on programs.  I will try and pull them daily for practice, usually informally (like in line for the bathroom, or during individual work times) and will meet with them at the end of the week to conference and see if they have the concept.  I will keep the ones in the list they are still struggling with and will shelf the ones they seem to have down (I try to revisit these about once a month to see if they have stuck). 

Augie AAC - is an augmentative and alternative communication app for students with Autism. 


It's great that you want to use iPads in your classroom one day! There are tons of apps out there, and hopefully you'll get to use many of them one day. I like See.Touch.Learn as well as LetterSchool. If you need anymore ideas just go to this link http://a4cwsn.com/free-educational-apps/

They have a great list, and I've used a couple so it's a truthful website. The apps that I listed get the children really involved, and actually teaches them at the same time. If you get a chance, try See.Touch.Learn first. It's very hands on and it is perfect for special education students.

I know they have a lot of great apps for students with autism. I have been an Aplied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapist for 10 years and found a great joy working with the iPad and these apps, plus my students love working with technology.

I teach preschool and to encourage students to talk I have used the Talking Tom Cat app. The cat will repeat everything the the students says. It is funny and the students talk more so they can hear the cat say it. They also get creative in what they are saying.



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