Technology can help young students and early learners with basic skills. This can include skills like
- numbers and mathematics
You can also download helpful phone and tablet apps. These are available on iOS and Android devices. They can help to improve basic skills and knowledge.
With very young children, it’s important to monitor the amount of time they spend looking at screens. Parents, caregivers and teachers should supervise children when they are working with screens, such as computers, phones and tablets. They should also set boundaries and time limits to avoid too much screen time or screen addiction.
Here’s a list of early learning apps we’ve found that can help with the first steps of education:
SpeechCentral / FullReader – free
Both these text-to-speech apps read websites, e-books and documents out loud for users. This can be especially helpful if you have dyslexia, which makes reading printed text difficult. Hearing information read out loud can be easier to process than printed information.
Download the apps at the links below:
Rufus Robot app family – paid (about USD4.99/RM21 per app)
This group of apps is designed for young autistic children. They help children to become familiar with common objects, feelings and emotions, numbers and faces.
Find out more about the apps and download them at http://www.rufusrobot.com/apps.php.
Super Why app family – paid (about USD3.99/RM17 per app)
Super Why apps from PBS Kids are designed for children from ages 3 to 6. They help them to learn the alphabet, identify letter sounds, write and rhyme.
You can find out more about each app and download them at https://pbskids.org/apps/super-why-app.html.
ArtikPics speech flashcards – free with paid card decks
This app can be used alone or in groups, which makes it beneficial in more formal education too. It helps you practice the sounds of speech and learn new English words. The app comes with 1 free deck for B- sounds, with more decks available for USD2.99 – USD5.99 (RM12.30 – RM 25) per letter or USD29.99 (RM123.10) for all decks.
ArtikPics is available on iOS at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/artikpix/id383022107?mt=8.
MyTalkTools AAC – free and paid versions
MyTalkTools is an app for AAC, or augmentative and alternative communication. It helps people say what they want with words, sounds and pictures. It is also available as a web application.
You can download MyTalkTools at their website, http://www.mytalktools.com/dnn/2/Products.aspx.
See.Touch.Learn – free & paid versions
See.Touch.Learn is designed for educators and caregivers to help create visual lessons. The app includes a bank of pictures to teach and test words, numbers, safety, emotions and much more. You can also join the Brain Parade community, where other educators share lessons and teaching plans.
There is a free version of the app as well as a pro or paid version that costs USD49.99 (RM205) . You can find out more about See.Touch.Learn at the Brain Parade Website, and download it for iOS:
Fuzzy Numbers – paid (USD5.99/RM25)
Fuzzy Numbers helps to develop early math skills for children aged 3 – 5. It also helps develop children’s sense of ‘less’ or ‘more’. This improves counting, addition, identifying numbers and more.
The app can be downloaded at the links below:
Skill Champ – free
Skill champ was designed for ages 4 and up to boost learning with content based on special interests. Special interests are another name for the topics or things children with autism become easily and deeply interested in. Train 10 early academic skills with any of 10 themes, including boats, trains and animals. Each lesson can be customised to make learning fun and interesting.
Skill Champ is available to download at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id917542124?ign-mpt=uo%3D4.
Learn to Read, Write and Spell – free
This iPad app is designed for children, teens and adults who
- have learning disabilities
- cannot read well or cannot read at all
- know some words by sight but struggle to pick up and understand new words.
It engages multiple senses to help reading, writing and learning new words easier.
Download the app for iOS at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/learn-to-read-write-and-spell/id658169485?mt=8.
There are many apps available to help children with disabilities and early learners. They can make it easier to understand and hold onto information, progress faster with learning, and process information faster and more effectively.
Common Sense Media (2019) Apps for Kids with Special Needs and Learning Disabilities [Accessed: 28 Mar 2019] Available at: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/guide/special-needs
Common Sense Media (2019) Best Special Education Apps and Websites [Accessed: 28 Mar 2019] Available at: https://www.commonsense.org/education/top-picks/best-special-education-apps-and-websites
Easy Tech Trick (2018) Top 16 Best Text To Speech Apps For Android And iOS [Accessed: 28 Mar 2019] Available at: https://www.easytechtrick.org/best-text-to-speech-apps/
Jana R. (2017) 7 Apps for Working with Special Needs Students [Accessed: 28 Mar 2019] Available at: https://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/01/7-apps-for-working-with-special-needs-students/
Mark W., Cat E. (2018) The best free text to speech software 2019 [Accessed: 28 Mar 2019] Available at: https://www.techradar.com/sg/news/the-best-free-text-to-speech-software
Moms with Apps (2010) Apps for Special Needs [Accessed: 28 Mar 2019] Available at: http://blog.momswithapps.com/apps-for-special-needs/
UKS Mobility (2015) 45 Powerful Mobile Apps for those with Disabilities [Accessed: 28 Mar 2019] Available at: https://www.uksmobility.co.uk/blog/2015/10/45-powerful-mobile-apps-for-those-with-disabilities/