Writing activities are often embedded throughout the day for many of our students. Whether it’s completing a worksheet, answering comprehension questions or composing a story, these activities can address many different goal areas for our learners. However, writing activities can sometimes be a source of student frustration. The physical act of handwriting can be challenging. Students with emerging literacy skills may have difficulty coming up with ideas, sequencing them together to form sentences and spelling words. So in these situations, what can we do? You may want to explore technology supports! The use of technology can be a game-changer for so many students. Today, I want to highlight 3 of my favorite iPad apps that can help students complete writing tasks more independently.
Pixwriter is an amazing app by The Attainment Company. Check out their website here. I love that this app offers so many ways to scaffold the writing process for our learners. It is super intuitive and easy to use. You can use the app to create custom word banks for students based on the activity. The word bank not only offers picture supports, but also auditory and visual feedback. The app will speak the word out loud as the learner is building the sentence. You can also have the entire sentence read out loud, and the app highlights the text at the same time. This can help students independently edit their work. This is a pricier app at $70, but I find there is a lot of value in it and to me, it’s worth the cost!
Keeble is an adapted keyboard app by AssistiveWare. Check out their website here. This adapted keyboard can be installed onto the iPad and utilized across applications. The website says it makes typing easier and more intuitive, and I have to agree! I LOVE the high contract and larger letters. Almost everything about the keyboard is customizable, including colors and fonts. The keyboard can speak back as well which helps with editing. Word prediction is also included which can help with efficiency of typing. It is even compatible with switch control! Keeble costs $24.99 and may be a great tool for your students.
Snap Type/Snap Type Pro
This is another fabulous app! This app allows you to take a picture of any worksheet and complete it on the iPad. The original Snap Type app is free, but students are really only able to type in text boxes. SnapType Pro is $14.99 and offers additional features, such as the ability to draw on the worksheets, store unlimited worksheets in the app and adjust colors to accomodate for vision needs. It is easy to use and intuitive, and kids are often excited to try it out. If you use any of The Autism Helper Curriculum materials, like the Functional Literacy version pictured here, this app could be a great option for students to use when completing their worksheets. Check out the SnapType website here!