Integrating iPads Into Your classroom: For Learning Support & Special Education (Workshop Handout)


Customising the iPad to accommodate the needs of diverse learners

For students with diverse learning needs including students with special education needs, students with learning and literacy difficulties and students for whom English is not their first language technology can play a key role in removing barriers, differentiating instruction and providing tools to accommodate their learning needs and access to the school curriculum. During this workshop we explored the range of options using an iPad to assist teachers to optimize and differentiate student learning, and to support student engagement.

iPad Basics


More accessibility information via the Spectronics Blog:

iOS-6 Logo
Accessibility Icon

Alternative Access


Additional accessories such as durable cases, speakers, mounts, switch interfaces, keyguards and styluses can also help to make the iPad more accessible for your students. A range of links for these can be found on our Accessories Page

Determining which apps are appropriate

Assessment and Making informed decisions

Assessment and appropriate technology selection is essential to ensure we are addressing the specific needs of individual students. The selection of apps and the implementation of the iPad into the classroom should always be aligned to identified individual educational plan goals and targeted curriculum outcomes for students.

In addition to the curriculum assessment processes a school employs, other frameworks are also available to assist in making informed decisions concerning the implementation of the iPad and associated apps.

Evaluation Rubrics for Selecting Apps

To assist in this decision making process, checkout these two blogs by Katie Lyon:


Adding content to your iPads to support students in special education classrooms

Special Education classrooms are busy and changeable places, and finding the right apps that can work to enhance the curriculum outcomes for students is important. This section will cover apps across a wide range of ages and ability levels to maximise the learning for those students with disabilities in our Special education classrooms.

Disclaimer for the apps we show:
The apps we demonstrate in today’s workshop and highlight in this resource are just some of the many available! We are by no means saying that these are the only apps within each category that you should consider, as each app should be evaluated according to the assessment processes and framework identified above.

Cause and Effect

App suggestions:

Reactickles Magic
Hidden grid
Cause & Effect Sensory Light Box
Finger Paint with Sounds
Hurdle Champion
Space Shooter
Stop and Go! HD


Links to Websites:

Early Learning

App suggestions:

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
Bugs and Buttons
Bugs and Bubbles
Alien Buddies
Play School Art Maker
Switch Accessible Puzzles
Complete Toddler Preschool
Pepi Bath


Help Kidz Learn Apps:

Train Tracker
Bumper Cars
Inclusive Smarty Pants
Aunty Maggie’s Recipe
Peeping Musicians
Big Bang Pictures
Big Bang Patterns


Speaking and Listening

App suggestions:


Cookie Doodle
My playhome
Clicky Sticky
Bag Game
Speech with Milo – Sequencing
Special Words
Dr. Panda’s Restaurant
Mr. Potato Head Create and Play
Fun With Directions HD


Toca Boca:

Toca Boca Tea Party
Toca Doctor HD
Toca Hair Salon 2
Toca Kitchen
Toca Tailor
Toca Tailor Fairy Tales
Toca Kitchen Monsters
Toca Train
Toca House
Toca Boca Store
Parenting’s Birthday Party Playtime



PuppetPals HD

Links to websites:

Reading and Writing

App suggestions:

Clicker Sentences
Clicker Docs


Interactive Books:

Adapted Play Book – EIEIO
When You Grow Up
Collins Big Cat: Playing Story Creator
Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!
I Like Books


Early Literacy/Phonics:

First Words Deluxe
Kids Crosswords
Montessori Crosswords
Alpha Writer
Word Wizard
Monkey Word School Adventure
Simplex Spelling Phonics 1
Simplex Spelling Phonics 2 Syllables
abc PocketPhonics
Starfall ABCs
rED Writing – Learn to Write
Montessori Letter Sounds HD
School Writing ANZ
Eggy Nursery Rhymes
Eggy Alphabet
Intro To Reading by Oz Phonics
Oz Phonics 1
Simplex Spelling Phonics – Advanced Phonograms
Spelling Games Grade 1
Spelling Games Grade 2
Spelling Games Grade 3
Spelling Games Grade 4
Spelling Games Grade 5
Spelling Games Grade 6
Spelling Tutor


Links to websites:


App suggestions:

Math Dictionary for Kids
iTeacher Cool Math for Kids
iBoard – Professional Whiteboard
Kids Numbers and Maths


Early Maths:

Five Sharks Swimming
Five Little Aliens
Monkey Math School Sunshine
Friends of Ten
Bugs and Numbers



Talking Calculator
MyScript Calculator
Panther Calculator
Panther Math Paper
1st Grade Maths: Splash Math
2nd Grade Math: Splash Math
Splash Math – 3rd grade
4th Grade Math: Splash Math
5th Grade Math: Splash Math
Everyday Mathematics Addition Top It
Everyday Mathematics Subtraction Top-It
Everyday Mathematics Tric-Trac
Sail Through Math
Montessori Numbers



Jungle Coins
iCAN Count Money Australia



Telling Time – Photo Touch Game
Telling Time – Digital Clock
Learning to tell time is fun HD
Telling Time – Fun learn to tell time game
MathTappers: ClockMaster


Links to websites:

  • Maths Games
  • Primary Maths Games
  • Smartkiddies

Adding content to your iPads to support students with learning support needs in mainstream classrooms

Students with diverse learning needs can struggle with the literacy requirements of school learning programs and curriculum content. They can find it difficult to access, participate and progress through the programs being provided, due to difficulties with reading, writing and organisational skills, and the way content is delivered.

The iPad can assist teachers to optimize and differentiate student learning, and while at the same time assisting students to manage their own learning. The use of the research based Universal Design for Learning Guidelines ( is an important consideration when supporting students with learning support needs in mainstream classrooms, and was used as a framework to deliver the content of this session.

Apps for Literacy Support list

Universal Design for Learning

Literacy Support Apps:

Texthelp Web Apps

vBookz PDF Voice Reader
ClaroSpeak Australian Edition
AppWriter English
Typ-O HD
WritePad for iPad
Dragon Dictation
Knowtilus Pro
Prizmo – Scanning, OCR, and Speech
Qrafter Pro – QR Code Reader and Generator
Clicker Sentences
Clicker Docs
7notes HD Premium


And try this: dotEPUB is software in the cloud that allows you to convert any webpage into an e-book

QR Codes

Spectronics QR Code


Screencasting and Recording Apps:

Explain Everything
Educreations Interactive Whiteboard
ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard
iTimeLapse Pro
Doodlecast Pro
Draw and Show
Knowmia Teach


Augmentative Reality Apps:

String Augmented Reality Showcase
Dragon Detector + Virtual Toy Dragon
Morfo 3D Face Booth



Adding content to your iPads to support students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder need support in the areas of communication, behaviour and social development. It is important to match the right apps to suit the needs of individual students in your classroom. While the larger area of communication (and AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication)) is not covered in this section, you will learn about appropriate apps for your classroom to use the iPad to create visual tools, positive behaviour supports and social stories.

Communication (Augmentative and Alternative Communication)

Links to websites:

Visual Supports


App Suggestions:

Visual Schedule Planner
Custom Boards – Premium
Visual Routine
Week Planner for Kids
Kids Calendar


Links to websites:

Positive Behaviour Support

App suggestions:

First Then Visual Schedule
Token Board
Autism Tracker Lite
Time Timer
Sharing Timer
Calm Counter
Behavior Support for Autism and Special Education


Links to websites:

Social Stories

App suggestions:

Book Creator
Creative Book Builder
PuppetPals HD
StoryBuddy 2
Strip Designer
Sock Puppets


Links to websites:


Creating customised content on the iPads: Students and teachers as authors

Traditionally students, and their teachers, have been consumers of content provided by others in printed or digital format e.g. via a text book, commercially available teaching resources or the web. Now teachers can for the first time be curators and creators of digital content to ensure access for ALL students, and students express themselves via digital media. The iPad makes it possible for ebooks to be created and customised, shared and published by both teachers and their students.

For a passionate view on the creation of the e-textbook see Greg Swanson’s e-textbook Manifesto

Workshop iBook:

Movie making Apps:

iTimeLapse Pro


See Screencasting and Recording Apps (above)

ePub Creation Apps:

Book Creator
Creative Book Builder


Other templates and Widgets for iBooks Author

Fun Creation tools:

PuppetPals HD
Strip Designer
Sock Puppets
Mad Libs



Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water

Are iPads and other new mobile technology being introduced into classrooms replacing all that has gone before? The answer is no! Technology is just one of the tools available to teachers and their students to ensure learning rich and engaging classroom for all students.

Desktop Software

AAC devices

Web 2.0 tools such as interactive learning websites:

Integrate the iPad into your classroom – share your iPad screen to your VGA-equipped data projector, TV or monitor

Via a cable:

Apple VGA Adaptor or Apple Digital AV Adapter

30pin to VGA adapter30p-AV AdapterLigntning AV Adapter


Apple TV, Reflection, and Air Server

Apple TV

Using iPads with Interactive Whiteboards

Inclusion Study

Video Self-Modeling Research



Today is just the beginning… taking your learning further!

So you have the appropriate assessment and implementation tools in place, but keeping up with the range of apps available and the successful strategies for effectively applying them in diverse learning support and special education classrooms can be difficult. Which ones do you choose for your students? These links will help.

Discover new apps via an app:

i.AM Search
Autism Apps
AppStar Picks



Need to find more? Want to connect with others who are implementing iPads in their schools and exploring the use of the wide range of apps available? Using the time-honoured strategies of occasional conference attendance, as funds are available, or listserve participation or surfing the net is simply no longer enough

However the collection of freely available resources and valuable time-sensitive advice for special education teachers and those supporting struggling students has grown exponentially on social media channels – supporting building of powerful Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) without geographic boundaries.

A comprehensive overview of these online resources and networks, including Facebook Groups, Twitter hashtags, blogs and key influencers in the field around special education and learning is available via this link

App icons for building your Special Education and Learning Support Professional Learning Networks

In the past special educators and learning support teams have been less enthusiastic than their mainstream peers in embracing social media to build powerful, extended PLNs. It is time to accelerate and expand the adoption of these tools by special educators, to connect with like-minded colleagues globally.


Other places to find us!

Explore our website! Like us on Facebook at or join the Spectronics Online Facebook Group. Follow us on Twitter at If you have any questions about the products mentioned in this video please do not hesitate to email our friendly Customer Service Team or phone our Brisbane office on (07) 3808 6833 or phone +61 7 3808 6833 if calling from outside Australia.

Spectronics Consultancy Services

Would you like to learn more? Our clever Spectronics Consultancy Team are available on a fee-for-service basis to provide trainings and consultancy services onsite or online at your school or disability support service. Their many years of experience ensure they know how best to introduce and apply the technologies in real-world settings – resulting in successful outcomes for your students and/or clients. For more information email the Events and Marketing Team for a prompt response. Or phone our Brisbane office on (07) 3808 6833 or phone +61 7 3808 6833 if calling from outside Australia.
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One Response to Integrating iPads Into Your classroom: For Learning Support & Special Education (Workshop Handout)

  1. Hilary King says:

    You lot are BLOODY BRILLIANT!!! You brighten up my SUNDAY even!! (when supposedly sensible people are having picnics on the beach or tramping in the hills and glades, or praying for forgiveness somewhere)
    No! Here i am at my computer being inspired by YOUSE!!! AGAIN!!!!
    Have to love you -so I will
    Cheers, Hilz

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