5 back-to-school apps for special-needs students

[Editor’s note: Prices are current as of press time, but are subject to change.]

1. Geometric Cabinet, iPad, $2.99

Created by Mobile Montessori, this app is ideal for preK students to help them identify mathematical shapes. A voice prompt goes over the different geometric shapes including the circle, triangle, and square. A more advanced level includes the pentagon, hexagon, and heptagon. The voice command instructs the user to place the shapes in their corresponding boxes. If the wrong shape is selected it will flash and remain where it is, prompting the user to try again until they match up the relevant shapes in the box.

2. Talkforme, iPhone/iPad, Android, $99.99

Designed with the help from speech pathologists, Talkforme is intended to help students with speech delay. The app supports over 20 different languages and the user can choose different scenarios such as “people,” “what I like,” and “road signs.” In each scenario, a simple sentence script appears which the student can listen to and record over by speaking into the microphone button. This helps the student improve their diction and sentence structure by matching up their voice with the computer’s voice.

3. Dexteria Dots 2, iPhone/iPad, $1.99

Created by Binary Labs, Dexteria Dots 2 helps sharpen children’s motor and math skills. Students learn simple math concepts such as number comparisons, counting, and addition and subtraction. There are four levels of difficulty for each of the three scenarios to offer unlimited engaging and replay functionality.

4. World Landmarks Explorer, iPhone/iPad, Android, $2.99

Peapod Labs designed this app to enhance student understanding and appreciation of geography. Featuring more than 100 landmarks from 53 different countries, students can explore various historical sites simply by touching the photograph on the screen. Students can select a photo of interest and learn more about the image, where it is located, and visually see it on a map.

5. Musical Instruments – A Montessori Vocabulary Exercise, iPad, $2.99

This app by Mobile Montessori aims to teach students about musical instruments. Twenty-seven different instruments are displayed on the screen and students can click on each one to hear the name of the instrument, read a brief description of the instrument, zoom in to see a larger image of the instrument by pressing the magnifying icon, and listen to the instrument.

Michael Sharnoff is Associate Online Editor at eSchool News. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_eSM.

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