The Intellipad App was an exciting find shared by a member of the Qiat list serv where information is shared by AT gurus.
Intellipad App is the first notepad that I have seen that provides basic text to speech capabilities, word prediction, picture support and a customizable keyboard. Used for word processing, completing assignments or as a notepad with a customized keyboard to modify and adapt. The ability to modify is something that OT’s, special educators rely on to allow students access to their curriculum. Intellipad provides that in a basic writing environment.
Word prediction is available with the ability to hear each word before selection. Customization for text to speech, word prediction, spelling is limited at present, primarily allowing that function to be on or off. There are six different voices (UK or US English) but rate and pronunciation correction setting are not options. The text to speech is all or none. It reads the text from beginning to end when you press the speech button. No pausing or starting from the point of the cursor.
Available to customize is the keyboard to be used as a word processor or as a word bank with modifications for size and color of the keyboard and what the keys will represent. The app provides sharing of other users customized keyboards which is a time saver and a springboard for other creative ways of using the app. Here is a great example of a modified keyboard to support basic sentence generation:
Another great feature is the ability to split the screen with a photo, providing great visual support for students. This example shows how it can be customized to complete an assignment.
How do you manage the created document? It can be printed, emailed or copied to clipboard for use in another app.
Forward thinking of other ways to use this, I opened Dragon Dictation, voiced a note which was then transcribed via cloud computing to text (you need wi-fi connectivity for this), copied the text and pasted it into an Intellipad document or note. The standard paste function was available to enter the transcribed text created with Dragon Dictation into the Intellipad note. This would be a way to review and edit transcribed text for individuals with decoding or spelling challenges. Using the two programs in tandem would require the physical and cognitive capabilities of navigating on the iPad and between apps, but it provides an support to student composing on the iPad.
Another use is to perform basic math on the iPad. I have been searching for quite sometime for a simple app that will provide a number keyboard and word processor that students can keyout path problems, something our dysgraphic students have a difficult time doing. I have visualized students sitting at their desk tapping/keying out their math problems using a simple number line and symbols for addition, subtraction and equal. They don’t need a calculator they just need to be able to write the problems and answers as a practice. With Intellipad this can be done!!
Are there other apps that provide word prediction and text to speech? Yes there are, but not with the ability to customize the keyboard which provides wonderful options of word banks and keyboard layouts for student access and cognitive scaffolding. Are there some limitations to it? Yes there are but there are few other apps that I know of that comes even close to the functions in Intellipad unless you want to pay a lot for an Aug Com app.
Created for iPad only, this $19.99 app allows the ability to modify the writing needs of special needs students using an iPad. Is it as robust as what we might be used to using Co:Writer, Read&Write Gold, Kurzweil 3000, Word Logic or other dedicated word prediction software on Win or Mac OS? No, but for the iPad this is a great step in the direction of apps that are customizable for special needs students.
Kudos to Cheryl Bregman for the creation of Intellipad. Check out her website for screen shots and Intellipad in action videos featuring the app. It will be interesting to see if there will be updates and upgrades to this app.
Thank you Cheryl, as an OT and AT person it is what I have been waiting for!