A really insightful day looking at how professionals and schools working with SEN have implemented the iPad as a tool to support teaching and learning, in addition to breaking down some of barriers to learning that are in place for many of these learners. The theme from all of the delegates was that the iPad was not the answer to all problems, however it was a tool with so many uses and enables students with SEN to lead the learning.
This post is part one of the two where I will give an overview of some of the presentations that occurred in the morning. The second part will look at the other presentations and the discussions that took place in the afternoon.
John Roberts @johnmroberts – Presentation about how the iPad has helped develop his sons fine motor skills and his communication.
John gave an excellent presentation from the view of a parent and how the iPad has helped his son to develop his fine motor and communication skills. Through the use of apps like Peppa Pig and Talk 4 Me, his son is able to work on these skills and has helped him engage with others. Of particular note was that his son will now ask for the iPad when he wants to use it, whereas he would not communicate his needs verbally previously. Also he talked about how YouTube was a great motivator for his son to complete his work. More interesting though, was through the use of YouTube, they were discovering that he was able to follow threads to find things that interest him just by accessing videos and following similar links.
A really inspiring presentation to begin the day and it was great to see how the iPad had opened up the world of learning for his son.
Sean McDonald @seanfmcdonald – Richard Cloudesley School – iPads and Communication
Presentation about some of the apps that they have used in his school, with a particular focus on communication. Have added link to the App Store for each app:
Tap Speak Choice – allows scanning with a Bluetooth switch, PCS Symbols and you can add your own communication book.
Tap Speak Sequence – can store multiple conversations, Bluetooth switch and Airplay compatible.
Tap Speak Button – works like a big mac on the iPad!!!
Predictable – predictive text for those who use AAC devices. Allows switch access and the ability to update Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Gridplayer – Communication boards which use Widget symbols, comes with three complete grid sets. Sentences are spoken in English. Grids can be customised with PC software The Grid 2.
Proloquo2go – Another AAC app. Use of iPod touches to help communication in group settings. Showed an example of this, with a video where students were able to respond to group discussions with the use of iPods connected to external speakers. Excellent example of how the use of technology is helping students communicate and collaborate.
Diviya Garg – Willow Dene School – iPad ideas
Using the schools VLE/website to communicate with staff and parents about the apps they use in school, so that parents can continue learning at home. VLE also included booking section for staff to book out the class set of iPads. Well thought out use of VLE to share experiences of students using the iPad.
Bea Moreno – DownsView School – iPads and communication
Excellent presentation about the need to assess students on the suitability of the iPad as a communication tool. Key point was to ensure that clear aims were in place for using the iPad as a communication tool instead of other AAC devices. Communication app that was used was the Grace app which is a non-speaking, picture exchange app to help students communicate their needs independently.
Flo Longhorn – Sensory apps
Presentation about how the iPad can be used by all learners with the focus on accessibility. Flo demonstrated that the iPad is a device that can be used with your finger, hand, nose, tongue, well pretty much anything!!! Also championed its mobility by suggesting it can be used anywhere floor, table etc. I really liked the video of the student, who used a shoulder sling to enable them to use the iPad to play the harp – excellent example of how the iPad can be accessed by all. Flo also gave some examples of apps that she had used with learners:
Milk the Cow – very sensory and does what it says.
Brushes – great for drawing
Peekaboo Barn – students have to guess the animal from the sound and open the barn doors to see if they are right.
I will endeavour to write the second part of this post within the next week where I will cover the rest of the presentations and the discussions that took place in the afternoon. For the meanwhile have a think about ’What makes an Outstanding iPad?’………
The second part is now available click the link here iPad and Networking Part 2