The First List of Favorite Apps Generated by the Minnesota DeafBlind iPad Project

From the time I got off the plane in Minneapolis and was greeted by Cathy, the magic began. We could barely wait to be seated at the Good Earth Restaurant before whipping out our iPads and launching into an endless round of show and tell. Truth be told, we didn’t wait. We whipped them out while waiting for a table. Middle-aged geeks and loving it!

The magic continued the next morning when we began our “official” show and tell with all the teachers and their iPads. For anyone doing an iPad workshop where all participants have their own iPads, an opening forum where people get to browse each other’s app collections is a perfect launch! From there, in my opinion, we had the perfect day.

After learning about how to be great consumers in the app store (how to read between the lines of ratings, reviews, and lists), we began the first phase of exploration and investigation that will lead to a teaching protocol. Keeping in mind that the magic is in the teaching, we began our focus on 3 key questions related to our student’s learning.

As a result of using the iPad with this particular app:

  1. What new skill(s) has the student acquired? And FYI, “being engaged” is not a skill on it’s own. Being engaged in order to do something is key. That “doing something” is the skill. As I ask my graduate students every year, “For the sake of what?” does that child need to attend to something?
  2. What current skill is increasing/improving and/or how is a current skill generalizing to other skills.
  3. What challenging behavior has been changed?
Next month, when I return, these questions will be the focus of our time together. And now, for the results of our exercise about our “favorite app” (and yes, it was very hard to pick just one): 

3 thoughts on “The First List of Favorite Apps Generated by the Minnesota DeafBlind iPad Project

  1. Thanks so much Phyllis–it was a perfect day! Show and tell is always so fun–there is just too much–it’s nice to see what others have found! I have used your tips for finding the right app soooo much! Every time I pull out my ipad–I hear “For the sake of what?” in my head!! Love it!! Thanks again!

  2. Help iPad colleagues! Does anyone know how to “lock” the apps so when our students with cognitive/physical disabilties are working with the iPad and hold the app icons to long and it begins to “shake” that they can’t delete them? I had that problem this morning. I’m glad I caught her early or she would have deleted my whole iPad!!

    • It’s been nearly a year so you’ve probably figured this out by now, but there is simple way to lock your apps so they can’t be deleted. From your home screen choose the “Settings” app (looks like silver gears). Then select “General” about half way down the left side. On the right, find the entry for “Restrictions” and select it. At the top select “Enable Restrictions”. Key in any 4-digit code ofmyour choosing, then key in the same code again. Write this down somewhere safe, wherever you keep a record of other important passwords. In the “Allow” section find “Deleting Apps” and turn it to “Off”. That’s it. Now if someone holds an icon too long, they will wobble so you can still rearrange them, but they won’t have that ‘x’ on them and can’t be deleted.

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