“On a recent Monday morning at West Prairie South Elementary in Colchester, Ill., Ray Hart, 11, used a stylus to trace a small ”t’ on an iPad screen,” Lainie Steelman reports for GateHouse News Service. “After he successfully traced the letter, the tablet computer made a cheering sound. Ray looked up at his teacher, Lori Thompson, and smiled.”
“Working on the iPad, which was released by Apple in April, has helped Hart dramatically improve his handwriting and boost his confidence,” Steelman reports. “‘The first time I showed this to one little guy –– and he is verbal –– he was able to start writing letters, and that’s carried over into his paper work,’ Thompson said.”
“Most of the students in Thompson’s special needs classroom have autism, a developmental disorder that makes communication and social interaction difficult,” Steelman reports. “‘We’re always looking for new ways to help our students come up with ways to communicate and be motivated,’ Thompson said. ‘We have another (non-verbal) student who uses an augmentative communication device that’s very heavy and bulky and hard to carry around, so we were looking for an alternative.'”
Steelman reports, “Thompson’s two iPads were received after West Prairie Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth suggested the idea. ‘There was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that talked about iPads as a useful communication tool for children on the autism spectrum who could not otherwise communicate,’ Heerboth said. ‘I knew that Mrs. Thompson had experimented with a similar idea on her iPod touch.'”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “John F.” for the heads up.]