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Speech-Language Pathologist Praises Apps With Curriculum!

I have been a Speech Language Pathologist in a public school system in East Central Alabama for 32 years. I work with children ages 3-21 across three schools, two day cares and one home bound setting.   I work in four centralized autism units, and serve children in collaborative and pullout settings.  Of course, as an SLP, I work with all exceptionable and ability levels.  I also work as a PRN SLP in a local nursing home.  I love what I do!   The ability to utilize iPads in therapy has totally re-energized and refreshed me!

 I was the first SLP/ teacher unit in my school system to receive an iPad, in the fall of 2011. Until that time, my technology dept. was not in support of Apple and iPads….we were totally PC.  I borrowed an iPad to use in class, and used an articulation app.  It was an immediate hit!  My students were instantly taking more responsibility for their productions, were recording themselves for instant feedback, were helping each other, and motivation was at an all time high!  A colleague observed her students working with me and called the principal to my room.  He was so impressed that he requested and received permission from the technology  dept. to purchase an iPad for my therapy program.  As news of my success spread, the tech dept took notice…and now all of the teachers in my school have iPads, and most of the teachers in our system have iPads. It would have come, eventually, but I am very proud of my role in our adoption of the iPad for education! 

 I have one classroom iPad, and the new iPad mini will greatly enhance my program!  I plan to allow students to use it independently or in groups of two in center activities. I have wanted to establish a lending library for my students/parents, to try out the technology we use at school. We are Title 1 schools, and many of my parents do not have access to iPad technology. I would also like to trial it in the self-contained classes for visual scheduling and communication purposes. We might use it on a field trip to McDonalds to order lunch!  I have many ideas rolling in my head and will incorporate the mini’s use into my program in January. We are starting Project Based Instruction at our school in January, and I know the new mini iPad will be used! We are also starting BYOD ( bring your own device), and I am hoping to be able to allow some of my students, who do not have devices, to use the mini in their classrooms at school on BYOD days. 

 The iPad mini will improve my job as an SLP by providing increased access to this amazing technology. The mini will positively affect my students’ education by providing instant motivation for practice on communication skills, technology use, and learning educational curriculum.

 I am very excited about Apps With Curriculum!  I feel like this trend will be essential in the continued use of apps in the classroom.  Now, more than ever, there must be identifiable curriculum alignment to justify what we are teaching.  We are preparing  to initiate project-based learning at my elementary school in January 2013, I am so happy to have ideas already developed and aligned for me!  Since this will be our initiation period, we are all a little on edge about how to do this…but I now have access to wonderful plans and I will feel more confident in whatever project we choose.  I am very thankful for the foresight that the Apps With Curriculum developers have provided and I hope that this will be continued!  Developers providing free curriculum can help teachers by soliciting ideas and being responsive to feedback from teachers.  They might even be able to develop a curriculum bank for users to donate ideas to.  I am very thankful to have some of the Apps With Curriculum on my iPad and will be paying close attention to the apps that support this when purchasing apps.

 I would like to see ideas for project-based learning and reading strategies aligned with the articulation apps!!! I would love that!!!!!!

 Thank you so much for sponsoring the mini iPad contest…it will make a difference to my students!

App developers providing free curriculum could really help teachers by making the curriculum alignment/ project-based learning information available within the app!  

 Thanks for all you do!  

 Helen H. Wagner, M.S., CCC-SLP

 

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