Apps & Education

The use of mobile devices and apps continue to increase exponentially not only for the typical learner or user but also to support special needs children, students and adults.  This infographic provides some statistics about mobile device use, apps in general education :

Connecting Apps & Education
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Many of the statements “why mobile devices work” are the very reasons for the use of the iPad with children/student and clients with a disability:

  • They are ultra portable and supply resources on demand
  • They are flexible – they can be used anywhere to study, access the curriculum, communicate,  access or produce information and provide assistance
  • Engaging (I have witnessed melt-down defused with mobile devices and students participating in tasks they might not have otherwise performed or for as long)

And a few more for individuals with disabilities (not only students!):

  • They are also ubiquitous and for individuals with special, these mobile devices (as appropriate) blend into the environment as a “typical” (and cool) device.
  • They can reduce the stigma associated with other kinds of adaptive or assistive equipment
  • Provide endless solutions due to their flexibility, plethora of apps and connectivity (for most tasks – there still are some tasks requiring accessibility that are not as robust as a computer)

Mobile devices generally provide huge possibilities for typical as well as special needs individuals.  It is important however to consider individual needs, tasks to be performed, where they will be performed when choosing a tool.  Mobile devices have many, many applications for many individual but not for everyone!

I wonder what the statistics would be for individuals with special needs? A search on the topics thus far did not yield any results. It would be very interesting to see those statistics. I would also wonder, what would be in the list for great apps for special needs?

What would the app list be for individuals with Autism, high functioning ASD, PDD, those with communicative challenges, motor changes, learning or organizational challenges?

What do you think?


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
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