Using iPads to Support Students Struggling with the Literacy Requirements of Schools and Beyond

Presentation Handout

Greg O’Connor – email: Twitter: @gregoconnor

Greg’s Literacy Support Apps YouTube Playlist

Literacy Support Apps

Presentation Resources

Reading and access to learning content

The presentation explored the built in accessibility features and other settings that provide accommodations for students to access text. As well, a range of additional reading support apps were demonstrated and highlighted. Of course, content can be provided to our students in more ways than just via text. The use of audio and video apps to support student learning, and the creation of content for our students via e-book apps, was explored.

Reading apps

Reading resources

Readability web sites:

Rewordify – a web based option to help students understand what they read by supporting understanding and vocabulary.

URL shortening at

Over – annotating photos on your iPad

VDownload Plus – Video Downloader

An option to share YouTube videos without the distractions of the stuff that happens on the side and below the video window – Nicertube

QR Codes in the classroom

Explain Everything iBook Manual

Explain Everything Video Tutorials

Book Creator Blog

Spectronics Blog

Creative Book Builder Blog

Creating Accessible iBook Textbooks with iBooks Author

Understanding eBooks – Doug Loader blog post

Ebook Readers on devices other than an iPad:

Organisation and other executive functions

Many students experience difficulty being organised and planning their study and workloads. The presentation touched on the range of apps available for these and the other executive functions many of our students struggle with including time management, note taking and task completion. Helping our students understand workflows on their iPad is important, as often it is more than just one app that will be required to meet their own learning needs.

Organisation and other executive functions apps

Organisation and other executive functions resources

Using iPads and Other Devices for Executive Functioning by Gerry Kennedy

Best iPad Audio Recording Apps

The 7 Best ADHD Organisation Tools You Can Start With Today by Rob Hanley

Writing and the new literacies

The iPad can support students struggling with writing, so they can communicate and tell us what they know, what they have learnt and what they feel. Not only using ‘traditional writing’ frameworks that incorporate tools such as word prediction, spelling and vocabulary support, but also via the use of audio and video apps, the use of ‘cloud’ based apps, and the use of alternative formats including epub.

Writing apps

Writing resources




YouTube Capture


Literacy Support Resources

General Resources

Literacy Support and Technology: Research and Good Practice



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About Greg O'Connor

“I firmly believe that saying “we’ve always done it this way around here” is dangerous! I enjoy disrupting that way of thinking and watching the excitement of teachers being re-motivated. Adding new technologies into the mix is powerful in driving that positive change. Driving that positive disruption”

Greg has been actively involved in supporting the learning of students with diverse learning needs for over 30 years. During this time he has worked as a classroom teacher, school executive, district consultant, regional manager with the New South Wales Department of Education and Training, and Professional and Consultancy Manager at Spectronics.

Greg is committed to exploring the possibilities that exist for ALL students through the use of technology, wherever and however teaching and learning takes place.

Greg presents at national and international conferences, and provides training and consultancy across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. He is a Google Certified Educator, Certified Apple Trainer, and a Certified Texthelp Trainer. Greg is a committee member of the NSW Australian Association of Special Education, and is a member of the editorial committee for the AASE Journal, Special Education Perspectives. He recently became a member of the International Committee of the Inclusive Learning Network of ISTE.

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