The APP world is extraordinary and exciting (though to be frank I find the number of apps available quite daunting!)

Assessing an APPs suitability

I could easily spend my whole day downloading, previewing and profiling apps to assess their suitability for different students and their learning or communication needs.

Unfortunately there is no ‘one size fits all’ app, and it takes some careful assessment to determine what might be most suitable for an individual.

Apps for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (i.e. anything other than speech used to communicate) may vary according to:

  • the type of symbol they use (speech, written text, symbols);
  • how many pieces of visual information are available on a display at one time;
  • if the app uses ‘scenes’;
  • if the vocabulary is organised in categories, by core and fringe vocabulary or if it uses word predications;
  • if the content can be modified and differentiated;
  • if you can upload your own photo;
  • if the voice is synthesised or
  • if you can upload your own voice

and, the list goes on.

Feature matching checklists are available to help us systematically compare one app against another, and also to compare apps against the needs of a specific student.

The Consultancy Team at Spectronics frequently review apps available for AAC, special education and literacy and provide a nice summary of the app, accessibility, how the app can be customised and if they need wi-fi to run. The Spectronics blogs are useful resources if you are considering downloading or purchasing any apps.

Rachael Bowen
Giant Steps Sydney
This information has been compiled from the following sources
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