Apps to aid students with additional needs
As an education provider, we’re passionate about making learning accessible for anyone that wants it. In the digital age, there are so many more opportunities for people from all walks of life, with all manner of skills and talents.
Special Education Needs (SEN) provision and understanding has dramatically advanced in the last few years, enabling more young people to enter into the workplace. New techniques utilise cognitive triggers, visual tools and auditory learning to enrich the learning experience for those with autism, dyslexia, Down’s syndrome and ADD.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best apps around, that are helping students to engage with learning in new ways.
Learn with Rufus
Aimed at younger children, in the earlier stages of education, Learn with Rufus uses facial expression training to help children understand social queues.
Dr Holly Gastgeb, the brains behind the app, has found that children with ASD have difficulty identifying emotions from an early age. Since this ability is developed throughout childhood, the game is also beneficial for a wide range of children, including those early achievers without any diagnosed learning difficulties. There are varying levels of difficulty to the games within the app, plus a Team-Player feature that encourages interaction.
For students with additional needs, ADD or difficulties with time management and concentration, video scheduler makes to-do lists fun and accessible. Schedule tasks and add checklists that can be accompanied by explanation videos, diagrams or pictures. There are also timers and custom sounds to encourage task completion through a multi-sensory experience. This app works well in a mentor-mentee style relationship, or for setting tasks for yourself to complete later.
The Sounding Out Machine
Does what it says on the tin. The Sounding Out Machine teaches children how to pronounce words by breaking down the syllables. Overtime, The Sounding Out Machine helps with phonetics and vocabulary – plus it allows children to practise reading in their own time.
It’s highly customisable, can include spelling tests and produces reports on the student’s progress.
Articulation Station Pro
Learning English as a first language? Or simply wish to improve your articulation skills? Articulation Station has a great reputation for helping children as well as adults learn to speak and pronounce their sounds more clearly. With 22 sound programs, each with 60 target words, ASP is pretty comprehensive. Plus, you can add your own unique phrases, images and full sentences to improve the user experience.
Easy Dyslexia Aid
Using clever fonts and colour overlays, this app helps with spelling and literacy in students with additional needs. The voice synthesis technology used is of a high standard; audio output is clear and the voice recognition software is second to none.
Available in several languages, Easy Dyslexia Aid can also help with learning new language and contributes to improved cognitive development all round. Available in different styles for children from as young as 3, to adults of university age, Easy Dyslexia Aid is a versatile and inventive learning aid.
Particularly for tablet users, Clicker Doc is an excellent writing tool. Simply write out anything you like and listen to it spoken back to you in return. Not only does this process help with pronunciation and vocabulary, it helps students with additional needs to improve their writing skills by learning what their prose actually sounds like. With repeated use, Clicker Docs helps students to build confidence in their writing.
There are, quite literally, hundreds of apps out there to assist students with additional needs of all ages and all Key Stages. With our courses, we believe there should be no barrier to learning what you love. Our remote courses and dedicated mentorship allow students to study at their own pace, from wherever they feel comfortable.