There’s an app for that
I am aware of the many app lists that currently exist, so you might ask what sets this one apart? This list is organized into categories based on the developmental domains outlined in the Hawaii Early Learning Profile. The Hawaii Early Learning Profile, or HELP, is HELP is a flexible curriculum based assessment system that includes a variety of assessment and intervention components such as assessing a child's developmental strengths and needs, identifying family concerns priorities and resources, and planning interventions to address assessment findings. HELP is one of the most widely-used (if not the most widely used) curriculum-based assessments in the world. The reasons for HELP's success and popularity are most likely the breadth and detail of the skills covered, the structure of the skill domains and the Strands, the important and excellent family-centered design and support materials, and the optional and practical formats. It is an excellent alternative curriculum for those students who cannot access the Ontario curriculum and is the curriculum that is used in both local school board’s in my area.
This list of apps has been compiled to provide a starting point for choosing and using apps in your classroom. The apps and resources included in this document were selected based on numerous recommendations from colleagues, paraprofessionals (SLPs, OTs, etc.), and personal research. All of the apps in this document were chosen based on their suitability for teaching skills outlined in the HELP and their use of evidence based teaching practices, specifically Structured Learning and Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). If you are using ABLLS, VB-MAPP, or the Carolina Curriculum, you will still find this document useful as many of the skills in HELP are similar to those in these curriculum tools. And while the apps listed in this document were chosen specifically for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), they can be used with a wide range of students, both those who are developmentally disabled and neurotypical students. Whenever possible the description from the iTunes store was included, and it should be noted that many apps could fall into more than one category.
The apps have been grouped according to the six developmental domains included in the HELP: Cognitive, Language, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Social, and Self Help. The apps in this document have been categorized based on these domains and also by the Assessment Strands within each developmental domain. The goal of this system of categorization is to make it easy for teachers and educational assistants to find an appropriate app for teaching a target skill based on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
I have tried to create a comprehensive review of the app features that are most relevant for use in school settings. These include comments on accessibility, differentiation, reporting and feedback, publishing and connectivity. These fields correlate to many of the app rubrics that are used to determine the effectiveness of an app in a particular setting. The apps detailed in this document are just a sample of the exciting apps currently available. New apps are being created every day and it is good practice to research the web regularly for apps that could enhance the teaching and learning in your classroom.