Technology, iPads and Autism - A discussion piece
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Technology, iPads and Autism - A discussion piece

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"Technology is a huge game changer for students with autism and it is important that as educators we use them appropriately. They should not just be used to 'tame' the student who is having a ...

"Technology is a huge game changer for students with autism and it is important that as educators we use them appropriately. They should not just be used to 'tame' the student who is having a meltdown, or as a 'filler' when students can't keep up with the 'mainstream' work.  When used properly, technology (specifically the iPad) can bridge the gaps for the students who have learning differences; and can be utilized to differentiate lessons like never before."

Join in on the discussion, using iPads with children who have autism. A lot is being said in the news, through advocacy agencies, education providers and various social media networks. What does this all mean? Will an iPad give children with autism a voice? Will it improve on their education? We explore all of these questions and look at the situation as a whole.
We come to our own conclusions... What are your thoughts? What has been your experience? Where do we go from here?

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Technology, iPads and Autism - A discussion piece Technology, iPads and Autism - A discussion piece Presentation Transcript

  • iPads, Technology and Autism By Karina Barley – M.Ed. and Digital Learning Tree www.digitallearningtree2.com
  • About Karina Barley – M.Ed. Karina has over 25 years of experience in the education sector, and she has taught in both mainstream and special education schools. It was her interest in autism and how to provide better educational opportunities for her students with autism that led her to iPads.
  • In 2011 she successfully trialed iPads with her special needs class and saw a massive transformation with her students with autism. That year she completed her Master of Education specializing in technology and special education, and received high distinctions for her pioneering work on iPads for autism education. Since then she has developed over 15 courses available to teachers in America, Australia and Singapore.
  • This presentation was created to begin a dialog and discussion regarding using iPads and technology with children who have autism.
  • Please note that each article referenced will have a hyperlinks, taking you to the source. There will also be other links in this presentation for your reference. You will be able to click on words/images and be taken straight to the website.
  • Using technology with children on the Autism Spectrum.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention report that developmental disabilities are increasing in the U.S.
  • What is the media telling us?
  • Washington Post recently reported that industry analysts estimate U.S. schools will purchase 3.5 million tablets by the end of the year.
  • The media and various advocacy agencies are reporting on the benefits of using iPads with children who have autism.
  • iPad gives voice to children with autism Is the iPad a “miracle device” for children with autism? How iPads are helping children with autism iPads help late-speaking children with autism develop language The Advantages of iPads for Special Education Students 60 Minutes – Studying iPads and autism
  • Why are iPads so popular? • The iPad has a large variety of accessibility options, including Voice- Over and Text to Speech • With each iOS update the accessibility options have vastly improved • Easy to navigate • Large variety of apps • Lightweight and easy to hold • Individualised learning is made easy
  • So what does this mean for children on the Autism Spectrum? How will this effect Autism Education?
  • Special Education schools are implementing iPads into their curriculum.
  • Hawaii School Adopts iPad Program for Students with Autism Digital Assessments Evolve for Students with Autism Technology Gaining Foothold in Special Education iPads especially helpful for special-needs students
  • Various organisations are giving away free iPads to children with autism.
  • 5 Ways to Get a Free iPad for your Special Needs Child ASDF iPad Program How to Get an iPad for your Child Ways to get an iPad... iPad’s for Autism Application
  • Autism Speaks recently had over 16,000 applications for their free iPad grant program. 800 children were awarded free iPads.
  • There are many apps being designed specifically for children with autism and being marketed as “autism friendly”. Educational publications, bloggers, and advocacy organizations are creating lists of the “best” autism friendly apps.
  • 22 Best Mobile Apps for Kids with Special Needs Autism Apps 13 Best Autism Apps for the iPad 14 Expert-Recommended iPad Autism Apps
  • Wheel of AAC Apps by Sally Millar and Gillian McNeill of CALL Scotland
  • Apps for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Mark Coppin
  • Including recommendations from Karina 27 Visual, Sensory, and Augmentative Apps for Autism Visual Schedules using the iPad
  • What is the autism community saying?
  • Lets take a look at Carly Fleischmann and see how technology impacted on her life ABC 20/20 Interview
  • Temple Grandin has some insightful thing to say about Kindles and iPads Part One Part Two
  • What does the research say?
  • iPads in Special Ed: What does the research say? iPads May Help Boost Speaking Skills in Kids with Autism: Study iPad and Limitations in Teaching Children with Developmental Disabilities List of Academic papers on iPads and autism Karina’s research
  • Autism Aspect Australia published a short research article on iPads for Autism iPad Update
  • They found that “Recent advances in personal computer technology have revolutionized the options available to support children with Autism for developing their social, communication and daily living skills. With relatively affordable devices and cheap (of free) software applications now widely available, parents and special educators alike have welcomed iPad developments.
  • To date, however, the impact of personal tablet computers on short- and long-term outcomes for students with ASD has not been comprehensively researched. Researchers are advising parents to seek professional advice before acquiring a tablet computer or applications in order to ensure the child’s individual needs are being met. “
  • Regarding iPads for autism education, Disability Scoop reported “Gray, of AIR, emphasized that no technology, no matter how dazzling, can do it alone. ‘There’s no magic here, whether you’re talking about kids with disabilities or general education classes,’ she says.
  • ‘You need teachers who understand technology, the support to do it well, and professional development.’” Tracy Gray, Managing Researcher for Education at the American Institutes for Research.
  • The iPad is not a “miracle device”. For this technology to help your child, there needs to be a trained adult driving the process.
  • And as Carly Fleischmann has shown us, don’t assume anything! All children with autism have a voice, it is up to us to help them find it.
  • Technology could possibly be the key, if it is used correctly.
  • Things to consider before implementing technology • What are you hoping to achieve when using technology with your child with autism? Will it be for educational purposes, communication assistance etc. Creating a clear goal will help you with the next steps • What technology is available? Is there a way you can test the various options?
  • • What are the accessibility options for each device? • What apps/software is available for each device? • How much are apps/software going to cost you? You should incorporate these costs into your budget. • Who else is going to use the technology? (Parents, teachers, carers, therapists etc.) • How will you respond to potential obsessions with themes/apps? • How will you move forward should you not see a positive result?
  • Recommendations • Have a clear goal in mind • Create a “policy” for use of the iPad • Plan around both your goal and policy • Do your research on what apps are available • Learn how to manage your apps and software updates, childproofing options etc. • Have a plan for how you will respond to possible misuse and obsessions. Regardless of whether your child has autism or not, they will try to push the boundaries! • Look at what training options are available • Be aware that this technology may not be suitable for your child.
  • Our response to this issue was to create courses for adults seeking to implement the iPad as an educational tool.
  • We are continually trying to raise awareness and we are advocating for more funding to support autism health, the health of their families, autism education, and also support for the teachers/carers/therapists who are committed to the wellbeing and future of children.
  • Autism iPad Techniques to Bridge Learning Gaps
  • Strategies for using the iPad with Students who have Autism
  • Turn Your iPad into an Augmentative Communication Device
  • All children have the right to an education and educational resources that enable them to: 1/ Learn how to learn 2/ Have their lessons differentiated and individualized 3/ Achieve success in their learning, according to their own individual learning style. Introduction to the iPads for Autism Education Course Series
  • Children with autism learn differently and it is the view of many researchers and experts such as Simon Baron-Cohen (2005) and Temple Grandin (2010) that autism is not so much a disease but indeed a difference in learning styles. There is significant research that supports the use of technology for students who are on the Autism Spectrum as a tool to assist their learning outcomes. In the past eight years of working with students with autism I’ve discovered students who have distinct learning differences, but despite the difference students can learn.
  • We just have to find the door in to the way each child's brain works. Technology is a huge game changer for these students and it is important that as educators we use them appropriately. They should not just be used to 'tame' the student who is having a meltdown, or as a 'filler' when students can't keep up with the 'mainstream' work. When used properly, technology (specifically the iPad) can bridge the gaps for the students who have learning differences; and can be utilized to differentiate lessons like never before.
  • I hope you have enjoyed this presentation. I look forward to hearing your feedback.
  • Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions Karina Barley karinabarley@gmail.com