5 iPad apps for SEN

I recently bought an iPad as an alternative to carrying around my laptop all the time. I’m very impressed with it as a bit of kit. I’ve downloaded lots of apps – some for business, some games and some just for the hell of it.

I was recently in a college where an SEN teacher was being shown an iPad as a possible device to use with some of her students with severe special needs. These apps include simple interactions, light, sound, no fiddly buttons and provide a sensory experience.

Here are some of them:

Magic Piano (£0.59)

This is a fun little music app. You can choose from different shapes of keyboard, or just click anywhere on the screen to play notes with bubbles of light.

You get to determine what your keyboard looks like – if you want fewer keys or wider keys or different modes, just use pinch and touch gestures to the side of the piano keyboards.

Pocket Pond (free)

Create relaxing ripples while you enjoy the sounds of nature. Interact with the fish – scare them, feed them, and watch their schooling behavior. It’s your own personal pond to cleanse your worries and free your mind.

Kid Fireworks (free)

There are other fireworks apps out there, but this one is free so it’s a good place to start. Just keep tapping the screen and the Fireworks keep coming, lighting up the sky just like your childhood on a warm summer night. A nice visual tool

Drawing Pad (£1.19)

Drawing Pad is a mobile art studio designed exclusively for the iPad! The beautiful user interface puts the fun into creating art :-) Create your own art using realistic crayons, markers, paint brushes, colored pencils, stickers, roller pens and more!

Tesla Toy (£1.19)

Tesla Toy is a very fun interactive particle toy. When your fingers touch the screen they generate a powerful electrical field that makes the thousands of particles react beautifully. Experiment with different numbers of fingers in different locations to create amazing effects. See what secret combos you can find!

Thanks to Judith Jakes at Smart ICT for showing me some of these.

If you’re interested in iPod and iPad apps in education then there are some excellent guides out there, for starters you should check out:

iPossibilities for Those with Significant Special Needs and their Teams

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch Apps for (Special) Education

Thirty (and counting) Ways to use an iPad in the Classroom

Why the iPad Absolutely Matters

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Author: Danny Nicholson

Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and computing / interactive whiteboard trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. Please get in touch with your training requests.

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