All About Apps for (Special) Education

I keep finding more and more excellent resources around using iPads, iPods and Apps in (Special) education and wanted to share some of my favourite links with you.

iPads for learning

The first comes from the great Victorian Government site called Ipads for Education. There are a number of resources in the support section, including the handout ‘iPads in Special Education’. Apps are grouped into topic areas, such as Organisational Apps, Writing Apps and Maths Apps and are rated at different levels.  This handout is a great resource for considering a range of apps and the website also provides excellent information, case studies and ideas about using iPads as an education tool.

Pacer center

Another good resource is a handout from Bridget Gilormini at the Simon Technology Center.  This handout ‘iPod/iPad for Education: App 101‘ covers resources for finding App reviews, accessories and blogs which provide information about Apps.  It even covers basics, such as the differences between a iPod touch and an iPad.  This handout is a good starting point for those just starting to think about using Apps and iPods/iPads in an educational setting.  This handout includes a link to my own Apps for AAC list as well as Jeremy Brown’s list of App Recommendations for Students with Autism.

inov8 logo

Another resource, which I was very excited to find, is a series of excellent handouts by the people at inov8 Educational Consulting.  They have an excellent series of articles called “There’s a Special App for that“.   Each article covers a different topic area, such as organisational skills or mind mapping.  They provide an in-depth review and analysis of a number of apps in each area, which really give you a feeling for how each apps works.


And if you want further information about how apps work – you can’t go past the collection of over 185 videos at “Apps for Children with Special Needs“.  The videos aren’t rated – they are just intended as a way to give you a sense of what each app is about.  A good way to get a feel for an app before you purchase it.  You can also request that an App be videoed and added to the site.

And finally, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center has published a report called “Learning: Is there an App for that.” This report discusses trends in mobile device learning, three studies undertaken to try and determine the feasability of using apps as part of an early childhood or early primary educational program, and the implications of these studies.  Definitely worth a read.

I am sharing lots of these resources as I find them via Twitter – so please feel free to follow me on Twitter @janefarrall – and I would also love to hear about your favourite resources too via this blog or through Twitter.



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About Jane Farrall

Jane has been working in the disability and assistive technology field for over 20 years. She has extensive practical experience in both Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and in teaching children and adults with disabilities to acquire literacy.

Jane has worked as a school and adult service based therapist and literacy teacher. She has also worked as an assistive technology specialist at both ComTEC and at Spectronics and is currently working as an independent consultant in literacy, AAC and Assistive Technology.

She has completed a Masters in Special Education focusing on literacy acquisition in children and adults without speech. Jane is a former Chairperson of AGOSCI (Australian Group on Severe Communication Impairment) and is the founder and organiser of the Big Mouth Camp, a camp for school aged students using speech generating devices and their families. You can get more information about Jane at her website

9 Responses to All About Apps for (Special) Education

  1. John says:

    Awesome – thanks Jane. Great links and lists. As always, love your work!

  2. Jane Farrall says:

    Thanks John!

    And BTW – Apps for Children with Special Needs now has videos of 210 apps available.

    Jane :)

  3. Michael Barca says:

    Hi Jane,
    I was at the Broadmeadows SDS inservice last night and I was wondering if you explain your comment of the $100 reimbursement for Apps on the ipad. Also the list of Apps that can be chosen from and the process involved.
    Cheers Michael

    • Jane Farrall says:

      HI Michael,

      The $100 reimbursement only applies if you purchase the iPads through the National Secondary Schools Computer Funding (NSSCF) – you’d need to speak to your principal about how your school is handling this funding. We’ll have the list of Apps up on our site in the next few days (probably early next week) and the process involved in this should be being distributed to principals in school eligible for the funding soon – although some schools said in today’s workshop that they have the details already.



  4. John kalwig says:

    Hi, I was at your Ashwood presentation and I asked about apps for higher order thinking. I know the focus seems to be on lower levels however you suggested what I am after is available. I have been searching the web, Apple education and special Ed section etc and have not found much. I teach secondary level students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Can you suggest any particular apps or sites?

    Many thanks, John.

  5. mlboles says:

    Thank you for sharing this important information. Do you have any particular apps you find useful for young adults with special needs?

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