Teaching Every Student
By Karen Janowski
January 22, 2015
Do you spend a lot of time searching for the most effective apps/extensions for your students? With thousands to choose from, how do you decide?
The web is filled with collections of recommended apps for special education. Some of the "Best of" lists are better than others. Some are categorized using a system that is difficult to follow. Some Top Ten Apps for Special Education include apps for the widest possible range of special needs, rendering the author's recommendation of the top ten apps meaningless.
Instead, I've compiled helpful collections of resources for educators working with students with special needs. Here are recommendations I believe to be excellent compilations of apps and extensions to use with students with special needs:
- Apps for Special Education - compiled by Spectronics. An extensive list with detailed information about each recommended app.
- Friendship Circle Apps - Excellent app reviews and recommendations by category - Communication, Social Skills, Education, Life Skills, Behavior, Speech and Language and Scheduling.
- The Best List of Behavioral Apps EVAH! - Compiled by Jessica Minahan, BCBA extraordinaire (Minahan is director of behavioral services at NESCA in Newton, MA).
- Learning Works for Kids - Well designed and an innovative way to search for apps by Thinking Skill, Learning Skill or Learning Challenge.
- Bridging Apps - Extensive Search capabilities, search by keyword.
- EdTech Teacher - Search apps by device and learning activity.
- Chrome AT Toolbox - Apps and Extensions for the Chrome browser.
- AzTech Crazy for Chrome - A Symbaloo collections of recommended Chrome Apps and Extensions for struggling learners.
Of course, when considering tool recommendations, it is essential to ask, What tasks does the student need to perform that are difficult or impossible? How do we build upon the student's strengths to promote engagement, success, independence and a joy for learning?
It's not just about the tool, but for many students, the tool makes things possible.
About Karen Janowski, M.S.Ed., OTL
Karen Janowski was formerly assistive technology specialist in the Newton, MA public school system, and an adjunct professor at Simmons College. She says:
"As an Assistive & Educational Technology Consultant, my passion is to remove the obstacles to learning for all students. It is important to make the curriculum accessible to all learners and provide opportunities for struggling learners to demonstrate what they know using principles of universal design. If you are interested in learning more about the services I offer, please call 781-942-1555."