iPad Apps as Assistive Technology in the Classroom

using fluidity taped to slant board

Do you want to use apps as assistive technology in the classroom? To be able to do most functions one must be able to at least tap, slide or swipe. Here are the best fun apps using these motions.

My definition of tap, swipe and slide is as follows. Tap is an up-and-down movement of the hand with one finger pointed. Swipe means a movement that is fast and quick with a release at the end. Whereas slide is a controlled movement from left to right or top to bottom with a release only when arriving at the destination.

For my classroom, I am constantly looking for apps that students can use. I find that these are the easiest apps to use.

Set the Guided Access in the preference and you will have more success. When students accidentally press the home button or swipes on the screen, the selected app will not disappear.

If you have a great assistive app to suggest scroll down and submit

Finger Motion - Hand Training for Rehabilitation
By tyromotion GmbH
Released Dec 14, 2012 - Not enough ratings

I find this a great tool for my users. Students don't seem to think they are using assistive technology in the classroom because it doesn't look specialized. It is great practice to get the finger to the right spot then sliding it to the end of the line. The great idea here is that it is not tracing in one direction. With the many directions it provides the teacher or therapist can see which direction the finger has a difficult time moving. The other great thing about this iPad app is the user does not have the task of holding a pencil, crayon or pen. Just use the finger or knuckle to trace on the screen. The success of using a device and success with rehabilitation. My users like to challenge themselves as well as challenge each other.

FREE Version: - iPad

fluidity HD
By nebulus design
No rating at iTunes

I give the free version of fluidity a 5.

It is simple and does what I need it to do in the classroom. It is a great cause and effect app. Every type of touch causes a swirl of colors.

One student is not able to control her hands. “I don’t want to do it!” she said. “You don’t have to do it with your hands, let’s use your face.” I suggested. She allowed me to place the iPad on her cheeks. She was able to see the swirling of colors. She moved her face and the colors continued to swirl and wave. “Oh, I like this.” she exclaimed. I was exclaiming in my heart, “I like it, I like it too...” She did not think it was assistive technology in the classroom.

The in-app paid version allows you to take a snapshot, store the pictures. Also adds sounds and extra controls.

FREE Version: -  iPhone  |  iPod  |  iPad

Whale Trail
By ustwo™
5 STARS out 5

A simple game but a bit stressful. You need to collect fuel, collect stars, watch for gifts earn krill, trigger treats and keep away from the black clouds. All controlled by tapping on the screen. Tap hold and the whale will swim upward, Release the finger the whale will fall. Tap to keep the whale on the trail, hold the finger down and the whale will loop the loop in the sky. Stay away from the black clouds it will zap energy from the whale. The whale gets zapped twice and the whale falls out of the sky. Earn krill to get to the next level.

Sometimes students are not able to control their movements. Working on fine motor skills are sometimes boring and not fun in the child’s mind. Assistive technology in the classroom can be as easy as this game. Practice, practice with fun games to make the other functional work fun too.

FREE Version: -  iPhone  |  iPod  |  iPad

Whale Trail Junior
By ustwo™
4 STARS out of 5

With the Junior version the black clouds can zap the whale but the whale does not fall out of the sky. And each time the whale makes it to the end, you get to play the next level. And that is less stressful for me, and this is the version I like.

FREE Version: -  iPhone  |  iPod  |  iPad

OREO: Twist, Lick, Dunk
By PikPok
4.5 STARS out of 5

Who doesn’t like to twist open an Oreo, put the two creamy sides together, and dunk it. That’s the premise of this fun game. Swipe at the cookies as they come flying across a room to separate one cookie side from the filling, swipe at the cookies again and they all stick together then tap on the cookie and slide it into the glass of milk.

FREE Version: -  iPhone  |  iPod  |  iPad

FREE Version: - Android

Flock Da Sheep
By Suki Circle
4.5 STARS out of 5

A fun, fun easy app. Sort the sheep by fleece color. They won’t even know it is assistive technology in the classroom to improve their fine motor skill. To add an element of fun and excitement a wolf appears. The wolf will chase the sheep around but it doesn’t seem to do harm. It is more harmful when you miss sorting the sheep. 3 misses and the game is over. It is so simple but to tap on a sheep and slide to the correct direction can be trying. This one definitely does not look like assistive technology in the classroom. Good luck to the user.

FREE Version: -  iPhone  |  iPod  |  iPad

PAID Version: -  iPhone  |  iPod  |  iPad

Milk The Cow
4 STARS out of 5

First if you have to get over the graphic of the udder. It looks so real. Then you need to get ready for some fun. Swipe the teats down toward the bucket. How fast can you fill the bucket? This is a great ice breaker at any get together. Unless of course you know you should not be using it. This app is a great assistive technology in the classroom for strengthening fingers and hand control. The free version gives you one cow to milk.

FREE Version: -  iPhone  |  iPod  |  iPad

The Paid Version allows you to milk 3 different cows and use a milking machine.

PAID Version: -  iPhone  |  iPod  |  iPad

Balloon Darts Challenge - Finger Target Practice Game
3 STARS out of 5

OK... If Milking the cow is too much for you. Here is a tamer game to learn how to swipe with a purpose. Three balloons in the distance. Swipe a dart toward the balloon. Pop it?!? You get a point. This one is a favorite in my class.

ONLY one scene available on the free app with Ads. With in-app purchase 3 scenes with No Ads.

FREE Version: -  iPhone  |  iPod  |  iPad

Balloon Pop For Kids
By rDevsign
4.5 STARS out of 5

Catch as many flying colorful balloons as you can in one minute. Test your tapping skills and set a highscore!

Each hit earns you a point and increases accuracy. Each missed touch lowers your accuracy, but you can pop overlapping balloons with a single tap.

FREE Version: - Android

More Assistive Technology in the Classroom to Come

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