differentiation · Discovery Education resources · professional development

effective use of iPads with students with Autism

Discovery Education puts on these fantastic events called VirtCons. They offer educators an opportunity to hear from some of the DEN’s best on a wide range of topics, all from the comfort of your couch. I participated in today’s VirtCon in my pajamas. Awesome. All sessions are available in video form afterwards so you don’t have to miss out on any of the greatness.

My favorite session of the day was about effectively using iPads with students with Autism. Here’s the blurb from DE about her session:

Using the iPad Functionally with Students with Autism
presented by Sam Blanco
Many learners with autism are highly motivated by the iPad. This presentation will focus on how to utilize that motivation to gets students interacting with you while using the iPad functionally.

You’ll learn how to set up guided access, teach students to use the iPad appropriately, and make good decisions about when to use this technology. She suggested that teachers should not to use an app that they have not mastered themselves and offered some great resources for evaluating apps. Her steps for introducing the iPads are terrific! I found so much of it helpful – for students with Autism, of course, but for classroom management in general.

Be sure to check out Sam’s website because it has tons of helpful information and resources. Here’s a bit more about her from her blog:

Many educators struggle to find motivating items for students with autism. Through ten years of experience and teaching well over 400 students, I have a unique ability to help teachers learn how to find motivating materials. My mission with this site is to help educators understand how to thoughtfully integrate games, toys, and technology for students with autism and other developmental delays. On rare occasions I will feature materials that are specifically designed for learners with special needs, but the primary focus is to utilize mainstream games, apps, and books to teach skills and provide more opportunities for social interactions with peers and siblings. 

This is also not a traditional review site. Everything featured on this site is stuff that I actually use with my students. You won’t find negative reviews or information about materials that I couldn’t successfully use.



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