My Brain on Apps

This infographic reaffirms how difficult it can be to “sift and winnow” apps when there are more than 67,000 educational iPad apps. Finding the right one to support individuals with special needs can be a challenge and take time!

Courtesy of: AvatarGeneration

Here are some suggestions to “sift and winnow for apps:

App review websites that cover the age or topic/curriculum areas that you are searching for provide a good starting place for content specific apps. There are many app review websites and here are a few of my go to resources:

  • Appitic – Apple Educators website with apps categorized by Bloom’s Taxonomy, Topic, Preschool, Multiple Intelligence, NETS, SPED, Tools, Teachers and more. Expert advise and reviews of the curated apps.
  • AppAble – Link to their blogspot with listing of daily free apps and app reviews.
  • Bridging Apps – (formerly SNAPPS4SN website)Website developed by Easter Seals allows searching by parent, therapist, teacher, doctor, institution for apps to support individuals with disability.
  • A4cwsn (Apps for Children with Special Needs) – Website providing categorized lists of apps with reviews and some videos
  • Edudemic’s searchable app data base for all educational needs and subjects.
  • AppAdvice – General app review website. Provides apps categorized by topics.

There are also more and more apps created by website that provide app reviews. Here are just a few I use:

KinderTown app – Reviews apps for ages 3-7 years. KinderTown website provides great review information. Their educational blog has practical app and hands on lesson ideas.

Autism Apps – App with apps for autism categorized and searchable.

AppAdvice app  (1.99) – From AppAdvice website which provides an app guide, app reviews. App Applists, App Guides, AppNews in categories. Extensive lists both in app and on the website.

Checking on apps in iTunes can also provide more information on the app and its worth of even downloading:

  • What are the ratings of the apps?
  • How many people have rated it and what are their comments? Just a quick review can be helpful. Three stars or under – you might want to check more before downloading.
  • Has the app be updated lately. If not recently supported or updated, I think twice about downloading it.
  • Check out other apps at the bottom of iTunes app screen to see what others have bought. You might want to take a look at those apps if they are a similar topic area (watch out this can go on forever, right?).
  • In the App Store turn on Genius located at the bottom menu. iTunes Genius will supply you with suggestions of other apps that you have recently down loaded.

Use an app rubric to think about the quality and the application of the app you are considering purchasing or downloading.

Jeanette Van Houten’s iEvaluate App Rubric  and worksheet:

Evaluation Rubric for iPod Apps from Learning in Hand, created by Harry Walker –

I also find looking at what the possibilities of what you can do with finished products, such as publishing books, documents multimedia on the iPad are almost as important as the app. What are the Wi-Fi capabilities? Where can you send/move it to? Do you have email, print capabilities? Does the app have email, print or cloud based storage to share or store?

Finding the right app to match IEP needs can take time, but can be mobile learning and achievement for your student.

What are your favorite review sites? Where go Android users go to find app reviews?


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.
This entry was posted in App Reviews, App Rubric, Apps for Special Needs, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Occupational Therapy, Special education, Special Needs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to My Brain on Apps

  1. Pingback: St Greg This Week » Blog Archive » My Brain on Apps

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