My first step is to purchase the iPad and the iPad case. Unfortunately the iPad is not eligible for an educational discount as of today. I was advised to check back frequently as these things change rather often. The updated version of the iPad comes out on 3/2 so I will wait to purchase until that time. I purchased a case from Amazon for my personal iPad which was quite a bit cheaper than those available in Apple stores and works great. I plan to purchase the same one for this project.
Now, to the App Store. I want to start by purchasing one or two apps in each area of social communication, language and articulation. I want to start with one speech app called the Pocket SLP app. Another app I checked out was the Mobile Articulation Probes app. I still may try this later but I went with the Pocket SLP app for now because the reviews seemed better, indicating the word lists were more accurate and developmentally appropriate. The Pocket SLP app offers over 2000 target words, 29 phoneme selections, on the spot scoring and percentages and an email feature that allows you to send the summary page to parents. Can’t wait to give it a try!
For language apps I have already tried out an app called Story Builder. It offers a variety of pictures and scaffolded prompts in order to encourage students to use language to develop story ideas, practice age appropriate grammar, make predictions, read contextual cues and answer WH- questions. I have also found it to be a useful tool for providing feedback for students with articulation needs working on targeted sounds in structured conversations. The voice recording feature allows you to easily save and email language samples for easy data collection and better communication with parents. My limited experience with this app has been a good one! I plan to also purchase the Language Builder app put out by the same company, Mobile Education Tools. This company also has Sentence Builder and Question Builder which I may try at a later time. I went with the Story Builder and Language Builder because I liked the open-ended format (it offers fill-in-the-blank opportunities rather than a scroll down menu of possible responses). I feel like I will be able to use these apps initially across a wider range of abilities.
I am going to try out an app called Everyday Social Skills for kids with autism. I don’t know much about it but it’s cheap and uses real pictures of social scenarios. Autism apps deserve their own blog post so I will share more about my selection process/choices once I’ve done more research.