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iPads in the Classroom: 5 Awesome Apps for Students with Special Needs

Dr. Katherine McKnight

5 Awesome iPad Apps for Students with Special NeedsiPad Apps for Special Needs Students 

As we teach and prepare students for 21st century careers and college, the effective integration of technology is an effective pedagogical tool for meeting the needs of diverse learners.

Technology tools, like iPads in the classroom, are particularly useful in meeting the diverse needs of our students with special needs.  Technology makes what was once inaccessible for many of the students accessible. Since iPads are relatively easy to use and don't have a significant demand on fine motor schools, they are becoming increasing popular for instruction of our students with special needs. 

There are thousands of apps that can be used to develop students’ skills.  I am always collecting apps that can be effectively integrated into instruction.

Here are some of my current favorite apps that benefit all children but are particularly useful for reaching and teaching students with special needs

My Top 5 Language Development Apps for iPads in the Classroom

Audio Boo allows for quick and easy recording.  The recordings, or boos can then be emailed, posted, or saved.  I have used this app for the following:

  • Recording comments regarding student work and emailing to parents.
  • For students who find writing motorically challenging, they can record answers and information.
  • English language learners can use this app to practice oral language skills.

Dragon is a speech recognition app.  Students can speak and Dragon will transcribe what students say into text.
For students who struggle with reading and writing, they can actually see their words in print.


Speech with Milo is a series of apps designed by a speech pathologist.  These affordable apps give students the opportunity to practice with verbs, prepositions, and other language skills that can be challenging for students with special needs and can also be used as a support for neurotypical children. 



Mobile Education Apps has several great language building apps that support students’ development of language skills.  There are several apps that build students’ questioning, sentence building, and story building skills. I use these apps with my son, who has speech and language challenges and we love these. 


5 Awesome iPad Apps for Students with Special Needs

Bob Books The delights and effectiveness of the Bob Book series is also available as an app. 
The app allows students to interact with the text and pictures in this popular book series for beginning readers. 


Do you know some more great apps for students with special needs?  Please share them in the comment section!

Book author, Dr. Katie McKnight, for an Education Technology or Literacy workshop!

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