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My school is getting iPads to work with our students in special education next year. We’ve had one to “play with” and have used many of the educational applications that our computer center downloaded for us. Are there other specific apps out there that you would definitely recommend for using with students in special education? Are there any apps you would recommend for use with upper elementary students? We’ve found that many are aimed at students in the primary grades but would love to have more choices for our older students.

As more and more schools look towards integrating the iPad and iTouch into their classrooms, the range of educational(opens in a new window) applications(opens in a new window) available is growing(opens in a new window). For specific apps that may be helpful for students with disabilities, you may want to check out iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Apps for Special Education(opens in a new window), an extensive list compiled by assistive technology specialists and helpfully broken down by category (communication, math, writing, music, art, etc.). For another view of how the iPad might be beneficial for students with disabilities, The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son with Autism(opens in a new window) chronicles one mother’s use of assistive technology and educational apps with her autistic son; she has some great suggestions and videos of her son using different apps.

For older children, apps like The Elements(opens in a new window) are exciting examples of what is possible with the iPad, as students can explore the Periodic Table in an interactive, media-rich and engaging way. Penultimate(opens in a new window) is a popular note-taking app that students may enjoy; students may also do well with fun games that teach math skills, such as Alien Equation(opens in a new window). Apps for astronomy, Star Walk(opens in a new window) and Solar Walk(opens in a new window) would also be good choices for older students.  BrainPop(opens in a new window) has just released a free app(opens in a new window) that delivers a new featured movie every day, teaching students about a wide variety of topics.

There are so many educational apps available, with new ones coming out every day, that it can be hard to keep track of them all. You may want to check out reviews of educational apps from other teachers to help you find those that are worth checking out for your students. I Education Apps Review(opens in a new window) has a collection of reviews from teachers that can help get you started.

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