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iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning
Citation for published version:
Nisbet, P, Millar, S, Mill, C (ed.), McNeill, G & Wilson, A 2014, iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy
and Learning. 2nd edn, CALL Scotland, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh.
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© Nisbet, P., Millar, S., Mill, C. (Ed.), McNeill, . G., & Wilson, A. (2014). iPads for Communication, Access,
Literacy and Learning. (2nd ed.) Edinburgh: CALL Scotland, University of Edinburgh.
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Download date: 01. Oct. 2017
© CALL Scotland 2012
A CALL Scotland Publication
© CALL Scotland 2012
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy
and Learning (iCALL)
By Craig Mill and CALL Team.
Published by CALL Scotland, The University of Edinburgh
September 2012
ISBN 978 1 898042 35 8
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.
A Catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library.
© The individual authors, CALL Scotland and the Scottish Government Learning Directorate.
Copyright is acknowledged on all company and product names used in this publication
This book may be re-produced in whole or in part, so long as acknowledgement is given of the authors’
work. On no account may copies of the contents, in whole or in part, be sold by others.
This book was prepared with the support of the Scottish Government, but the views expressed are those
of the authors and not necessarily those of any Government Department.
© CALL Scotland 2012
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
© CALL Scotland 2012
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
Introduction ........................................................................................... 1
Chapter 1: Getting to grips with the iPad ........................................................ 7
Chapter 2: Apps to support teaching and learning ............................................. 23
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options .................................................................. 54
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories ....................................................................... 69
Chapter 5: iPad Resources ......................................................................... 82
Chapter 6: iPad in Assessments and Exams ...................................................... 89
Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad .............................................. 95
Glossary of Terms ................................................................................. 107
Appendix 1: iPad Management using iTunes: some useful tips. ............................ 110
© CALL Scotland 2012
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
Thinking of buying an iPad and some Apps for your child, pupil, student,
class, or for the whole school? Or for one or more of your speech and
language therapy clients?
Mobile devices such iPads, iPods and
iPhones have taken the world by storm
and are increasingly used in teaching and
learning, and/or in therapy, to support
learners with additional support needs,
as well as for personal use. We are
aware that people are all at different
levels of experience in their use of
You may be just considering purchasing
an iPad and some Apps, or perhaps you
have already purchased a device - maybe
you’ve even already planned or adopted
a school-wide iPad implementation,
providing access for all learners.
We hope this Guide will provide you with
helpful information and resources to
help you on your way.
The primary aim of the Guide is to offer
support to readers who are not
necessarily technical specialists and who
want to use the iPad with children or
adults with some kind of additional
support needs, special educational needs
or disability.
We are imagining such readers to be
parents and carers, teachers and other
education staff, speech and language
therapists, occupational therapists and
other professionals.
Section 1 of this Guide should help you to master the basics of getting to know the
device and mastering some of the new and interesting features that it introduces.
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
Who can benefit from using an iPad and Apps?
It seems that the iPad and Apps can potentially offer ‘something for everyone’ in
education. If you search the internet, you might find a large number of links relating to
the iPad and autism. But many other different types of users can also benefit.
For example:
Pre-school and Early Years children.
Learners with: speech, language and communication problems; literacy difficulties,
developmental delays and learning difficulties; visual impairments; as well as autism.
The iPad can also be used as a communication aid (augmentative and alternative
communication – ‘AAC’).
iPads may sometimes engage and motivate reluctant pupils/students where other
approaches have failed.
Older and more able learners – and indeed staff – may find iPad Apps that help them
to organise and manage their work flow efficiently.
We have included a short ‘Glossary’ on
Page 107 of the Guide, as the world of
iPads, iPods and iPhones introduces a
number of new terminologies and
The key new term is ‘App’, which just
stands for ‘application’ and which refers
to programs that you can run in your
iPad/iPod/iPhone. (An iPad is useless on
its own; the important thing is finding
the right Apps.
In Section 2 of this Guide, we suggest
some headings and categories that may
help you to sort through the vast, rapidly
changing and ever-growing field of Apps
in order to identify and evaluate those
that might be useful.
We do not attempt the impossible, so
there is no totally comprehensive list of
Apps here, but rather informative
suggestions for each category.
As well as providing information, the
Guide also asks some reflective
questions and raises issues for you and
your school or organisation to consider.
Hopefully these could help to inform
your plans and decisions, to ensure
everything runs smoothly when you do
start using iPads with your learners.
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
Why iPads?
iPads are undoubtedly very desirable and popular. But iPads are certainly not ‘miracle
solutions’ for every user in every context! Here are some possible ‘Pros’ and Cons’.
iPads are ‘cool’ - attractive and potentially motivating.
iPads are light, slim and highly portable and shareable (but also easily droppable,
lose-able and steal-able…)
As mainstream technology aimed at the mass market, iPads are:
o relatively affordable at least compared with specialist technology such as
interactive whiteboards, touch monitors, dedicated communication aids
o inclusive and age-appropriate – less risk of users feeling stigmatised or
standing out as ‘different’.
Excellent design: intuitive and easy to use; very bright clear screen (a bit overreflective / glarey, though, for some users); innovative features; immediate ‘booting
up’; fast processing etc.
Pioneering technology – new developments and new Apps and accessories appearing
all the time.
Versatile, easy to share between pupils – and fun!
Parents can buy and have ownership of their child’s use of educational /
communication technology.
Limited access possibilities – though this is gradually improving; keyguards and switch
access are now starting to appear (see Chapter 3 of this Guide: Accessibility
The Home button and access to other Apps can be highly distracting.
Over-hyped – may raise unrealistic expectations.
You can’t always try Apps before you buy.
You can’t run standard computer software on them.
Tricky to manage iTunes accounts, multiple devices and backups etc. in schools and
therapy settings (see Chapter 7 of this Guide).
Service providers (schools, local authorities, NHS) may see iPads as a way to save
money, and start delaying or blocking access to other more specialised technology that may be needed.
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
Puts additional support needs professionals and learners at the mercy of commercial
Unlike with specialist equipment, little or no support or training is available from
Parents can buy and have ownership of their child’s use of educational /
communication technology.
While there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence to suggest that iPads are beneficial
in education and therapy, it is too early perhaps to be able to point to solid research–
based evidence.
There are no options to expand the memory or use external memory cards and/or
USB memory sticks.
To use an iPad effectively, some degree of cognitive and physical skill and flexibility
is required:
o Physical /coordination skills – accurate touch, swipe, pinch (sometimes in
o Operational skills – basic device controls, mastering navigation etc.
Having said that, children seem to learn very fast how to operate an iPad, and we have
seen evidence that some of those that can’t at first, seem to be willing to persist and
improve their techniques.
For specific functions - for example, for communication, use of an iPad does not replace
the need for key skills such as: communicative intent; initiation, requesting and other
functions of language; conversational repair, etc.
And of course, without the proper preparation, a clear idea of what you are trying to
achieve for/with your learner, and appropriate support, iPads and Apps, just like any
other technology, could turn out to be an expensive failure.
Managing your iPads(s)
A word of warning before you start! There is a big difference between buying and using
an iPad for yourself or a family member (pretty easy!) and buying an iPad - or
several/many iPads – for a client, pupil, class or school, or as an assessment tool (pretty
Because all App purchases, synchronisation and backups, are done through an iTunes
account, you have to have a clear plan about how the account will be managed. If you
get started too quickly using your own credit card you may end up in trouble later, when
you try to update or transfer Apps, synch several devices to one computer, backup client
data, and so on.
Chapter 5 and Appendix 1 in this Guide will take you through some of these somewhat
tricky manoeuvres.
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
iPads only? What about iPods and iPhones? What about other mobile
Throughout this Guide, we mainly use the term ‘iPad’. This is really just a convention
that we have settled on, partly because the iPad tends to be the most popular device,
and partly because using the full phrase ‘iPads, iPod Touches and iPhones’ every time is
In practice, although some content in this Guide might refer exclusively to the iPad - for
example, some technical details – much of the Guide is equally applicable to the iPod
Touch (but not the original iPod Classic, or the iPod Shuffle or Nano music players) and
to the iPhone. In particular, most of the content relating to Apps is applies equally to
iPads, iPods and iPhones (or if it doesn’t we will signal this).
This particular Guide does not cover Android or other mobile platforms at this time
(there may be scope to add this later). For now, we feel that the Android market is too
new, too unregulated, and too vulnerable to virus infection to recommend for use in
educational or therapeutic environments.
Which device and model should I get? How much do they cost?
There is no clear-cut answer to this, as it depends who is going to use the device, in
what settings, and what they want to do with it. And of course, what you want to spend.
Many people will go for the iPad just because it seems to be the most versatile device.
It is not too big and not too small, with a startlingly clear and bright screen visible to
most people even those with some visual impairment.
The iPod and iPhone are more portable, but can be slightly too small for many users,
especially those with difficulties with vision and/or hand function.
The latest iPad is the New iPad (that is, the third generation of iPads) which is currently
available in a range of models varying in terms of the amount of memory (16; 32; 64
GB), and whether or not, in addition to Wi-Fi, which is built-in to all iPads, they have
‘3G’ capability. 3G gives access to the internet more or less anywhere there is a 3G
signal for the chosen provider - 02, 3 or Orange (not tied to the positioning of wireless
routers and accessible networks).
A basic iPad 2 with 16GB of memory (Wi-Fi & Bluetooth as standard) can start at about
£399. If you’re looking to buy a top of the range 64gb iPad with 3G you could pay up to
as much as £650 - £700 (plus 3G costs – you need a mini SIM card and there are datatransfer costs on top).
You will find further discussion of when and why you might (or might not) need 3G in
Chapter 5 of this guide.
iPods are cheaper. The latest model is the iPod 4G (fourth generation). With 8 GB of
memory this costs around £180, rising to about £350 for 64GB of memory. iPods don’t
offer 3G at present but may well have it soon, as newer versions come out.
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning: Introduction
If you absolutely need a phone function then obviously you need an iPhone. But many
parents or education or therapy professionals specifically do not want to pay for a phone
contract nor wish their child/client to be able to phone.
Pricing iPhones is complicated as it depends not only the model (4S is the latest) but
also on which phone service provider and what type of contract you want.
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Chapter 1: Getting to grips with the
The iPad's functionality, with its
camera, microphone, Apps and iOS,
has the potential to be a personal
learning studio. With a bit of
imagination the iPad can be a science
lab, a literacy tool, an art canvas, a
language lab, a music studio, a video
editing suite, a games console and
even a library with all your favourite
eBooks. For some, it can also be a
tool for communicating.
available through the App Store, your
iPad can open up a whole new world
of possibilities - learning, usability,
accessibility, functionality, enjoyment
and fun! With its improved battery
life and range of Apps (there are now
over 200,000 Apps to choose from)
the iPad can potentially be an
‘anywhere, anytime’ learning device
making it ideal for projects and
learning taking place both in and out
the classroom.
Whether you have your own personal
iPad or you have iPads belonging to
your school, there are some basic
issues that are worth considering at
the outset. From the built-in Apps,
such as Contacts, Calendar, Safari and
Accessibility to the added extras
This chapter gives some practical
advice on getting to know your iPad
and getting to grips with the iPad
including helpful advice on protecting
the screen and offers 20 hints and tips
to help you make the most of the iPad
for yourself and your learners.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
First, second or third generation iPad – what’s the difference?
Since the release of first generation iPad in 2010 (iPad 1), each new version has
boasted new and improved features than the previous; a faster processor, better
connectivity and improved battery life. In March 2011 the second generation iPad
(iPad 2) was released. As well as having an improved and more powerful processor
than the iPad 1, the iPad 2 was thinner and lighter but also came equipped with
new front and back facing cameras.
The iPad 2 & New iPad.
At the time of writing the current iPad is the New iPad which was launched in midMarch 2012. A significant feature of the New iPad’ is the high resolution screen,
sometimes referred to as Retina Display.
This means that Apple have used millions of pixels (the dots that make up the LCD
display) to make the App icons appear as if they are tangible objects, i.e., the
icons look like real objects rather than flat screen images, and fonts look as if they
are ‘printed’ rather than looking pixelated, particularly when magnified.
Not only does the New iPad feature a faster processor the back facing camera has
been upgraded to 5 megapixels and can now take improved digital stills and high
definition (HD) quality video.
As the iPad has developed so too has its operating system (iOS), currently iOS
5.1.1. The amount of built-in features has improved greatly, particularly
Accessibility (see Chapter 3: Accessibility Options) which provides significant
enhancements, particularly for users who have a visual difficulty.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Getting to know your iPad
The illustration below provides an overview of the main generic features of the
New iPad and iPad 2.
Figure 1: An anatomy of the iPad.
1. Home button. Press this button when you want to exit an App and return to
the home screen. The Home Button is also used to close non-responsive Apps
and to rearrange Apps.
2. Dock connector. This is where you plug in the USB cable to synchronise the
iPad to and iTunes/computer. The Dock connector is also used for pluggingin the Camera Connection Kit (see Chapter 3: Accessibility Options) and
other external compatible devices such as Mp3 players etc.
3. Built-in Speakers.
4. Volume Controls. Use this button to increase or lower the volume of the
audio played through the speakers at the bottom of the iPad.
5. Volume Mute/Screen Orientation Lock Button.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
6. Back Camera. This camera takes digital still photos and video at HD 1080 dpi
resolution. The Back Camera is located in the top left corner on the back of
the iPad.
7. Hold button. This button locks the iPad screen and puts the device to sleep.
It is also one of the buttons to restart a frozen iPad.
8. Front Camera. This camera can record video at 720p HD resolution and
works with FaceTime (face-to-face video calls).
9. Headphone Jack for plugging in headphones or speakers.
iPad Settings
If you haven’t already done so, a good starting point is to familiarise
yourself with Settings. Settings can be best explained as the ‘Mission
Control’ of the iPad, the place where you can control, customise,
expand, restrict, connect to Wi-Fi or external devices via Bluetooth
and more. Settings also contains Accessibility where you can increase
the magnification of the icons and text and even control the iPad by
listening text-to-speech using VoiceOver.
Many of the Apps installed on the iPad can also be customised in Settings,
particularly some of the AAC Apps which have built-in scanning options. Settings
will be explored in more depth in the 20 hints and tips so it is recommended even
at this early stage you tap the Settings icon and start exploring to maximise the
potential the iPad offers.
Figure 2: Settings is at the heart of controlling the iPad.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Protecting your iPad
Protecting your iPad from the start can not only save money but can protect you
from the emotional stress of having your device scarred with scratches. A
scratched screen can limit the experience and enjoyment of using your favourite
Apps. Even more so if you have a New iPad with its Retina Display high definition
There is a range of iPad accessories including protective cases, wheelchair mounts
(see Chapter 4: iPad Accessories). Protective cases are widely available; some
come equipped with Bluetooth keyboards, built-in stands and screen protection,
some are available in luxury leather portfolio cases and others are more
specialised, particularly for children with mobility difficulties and those with
challenging behaviour who may not understand or appreciate the value, cost and
fragility of an iPad.
If a protective case is outwith your budget then the least you can do to protect the
screen is to consider a screen protector – a transparent overlay which covers the
entire screen (often with holes providing access to the Home Button and front
A quick Internet search for ‘iPad protective screen’ or iPad case’ will display an
array of options. Typically prices can range from basic screen protectors (usually a
thin, clear plastic overlay which fits on the screen) from about £3.00 and/or cases
from about £14.00. A disadvantage of screen protectors is that they can be fiddly
and difficult to fit. A poorly fitted screen protector can often leave a patchwork of
air bubbles which are impossible to disperse despite constant smoothing. A credit
card or soft plastic can help to flatten out bubbles – but please take care!
For many people the iPad’s ‘glossiness’ and shine
is a major attraction but for others it can be
disadvantageous as the glare and/or reflection
produced by a combination of refracted light on
the glossy screen can be distracting and painful
to the eyes.
While it is possible to purchase an iPad with a
matt surface (a more expensive option and takes
longer to order) a matt anti-glare cover is a good
So too is a frosted cover which not only minimises
glare but can also help tone down the brightness
of the iPad’s backlit display.
Figure 3: Protective screen also available in Matt.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Figure 4: A frosted cover can help to tone down the iPad's backlit display.
While the colour rendition (less vibrant colours, not quite so deep blacks) of the
iPad differs to an iPad without a matt anti-glare overlay it can make a big
difference to those who find the reflective light difficult or impossible to view.
Similar to protective screens a search on Google or Safari (the iPad’s default web
browser) for ‘iPad matt screens’ or ‘iPad frosted screens’ will provide fruitful
20 Top hints and tips for making the most of your iPad
1. Lock Rotation
Love it or hate it, the rotation feature on the iPad is here to
stay. But what if you find the constant rotating of the screen
One minute you’re reading your favourite website and
suddenly it spins out of control - from landscape to portrait,
portrait to landscape, then back to portrait.
The good news is that you can switch the auto rotation off.
Figure 5: For some users Rotation can
be frustrating.
Double click the Home button (the Circular button on
your device).This takes you to the ‘multi-tasking’ feature (see 4: Renaming
folders for more details).
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Swipe left as far as you can go until you see the Lock Rotation icon (a square
icon with a padlock) at the far left hand-side.
Tap the button to lock rotation. Double tap the Home button to close the
multi-tasking feature.
Figure 6: Lock Rotation - double click the Home button.
You can set this option to either Lock Rotation or Volume Mute depending on your
preferred choice. To choose go to Settings, General and under ‘Use Slide Switch
to’ select either Lock Rotation or Mute.
2. Rearranging Icons
If you want to rearrange the icons on your screen, tap and hold on any icon until it
starts to shake or jiggle – jiggle mode. When in jiggle mode drag the icon to its
new location. Ensure you do not press the ‘x’ on the icon as this will delete it.
Press the Home button to exit jiggle mode.
3. Create Folders
You can create folders on the iPad in the same way as you would create a folder on
your desktop or laptop computer. Putting Apps into folders helps to keep your
screen organised and helps you to find Apps quickly without endless scrolling
through pages.
Creating folders on the iPad is straightforward. In order to create a folder, follow
the steps below:
Tap and hold an App on the screen until it and the other Apps start shaking
or jiggling – jiggle mode.
Choose the Apps you want to put into a folder and then drag one App on top
of the other. Repeat until all your chosen Apps are in the one folder.
Press the Home button to finish the process.
Follow the same steps to create more folders.
To remove Apps from folders, tap and hold the folder until they start
shaking or jiggling, then drag each App out of the folder onto the screen.
Press the Home button to complete the process.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Figure 7: Folders help to organise your screen.
4. Renaming folders
If you want to rename a folder, tap and hold on the folder you want to rename
until it starts to jiggle.
While the folder is jiggling tap the folder to open it. Click on the folder’s title. The
keyboard will appear – now enter the appropriate text to rename your folder.
Figure 8: Rename folders.
5. Keyboard Options
The keyboard features a range of options which allow you to move, split and dock
the keyboard. Most of these options are found in Settings, General and Keyboard.
The Split keyboard may not be to everyone’s taste but for some users it could
provide a useful alternative, particularly if you want to use both hands to input
text (as opposed to a hunt and peck style of typing), e.g. thumb typing.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Figure 9: Split Keyboard can be accessed from Settings, General and Keyboard.
Figure 10: An example of the Split keyboard.
In iOS 5.0 and 5.1.1, there is a new marking
on the keyboard show/hide key – 4 horizontal
lines one above the other just to the right of
the key.
When you tap and hold your finger on the
horizontal lines an option for Dock or Split
will appear, similar to the illustration on the
The Split option is another way of splitting
the keyboard, or alternatively, returning the
keyboard to a full single keyboard.
The Dock option allows you to position the
keyboard next to a line of text making it
easier to see what you’re writing as you
type, similar to the illustration below.
Figure 11: 4 horizontal lines on the keyboard.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Figure 12: The iPad's Dock option
To move the keyboard up and down, tap and hold the show/hide key and move the
keyboard into your chosen position. To undock the keyboard, repeat the process
and select ‘Dock’.
6. Shortcuts
If you are familiar with Auto-Text in Microsoft Word then Shortcuts is very similar.
Word’s Auto-Text is like abbreviation expansion, you type the first two or three
characters into your document and then you are prompted with the complete word
or phrase. By pressing the Spacebar or Enter key you input the text with the
minimum of fuss.
Shortcuts can therefore help to cut down keystrokes while at the same time
allowing a user to enter large amount of text with the least amount of input. It can
be particularly useful for someone with poor mobility difficulties. However, if you
have collated a large number of Shortcuts a good memory is essential to remember
each abbreviation that has been created. In the example below ‘ab’ is used to
expand the sentence; ‘This feature can help to cut down keystrokes by using
abbreviation expansion’. First of all you need to create a bank of Shortcuts, or
short abbreviations that you want to expand.
Figure 13: Shortcuts can help to cut down keystrokes and increase text input.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
To start go to ‘Settings’, ‘General’, and scroll down until you see
In the keyboard screen tap ‘Add new Shortcut’.
Type the phrase you want expanded.
Type the shortcut.
Tap ‘Save’.
Figure 14: Create a bank of abbreviations in Shortcut.
Now try typing your new Shortcut in Notes, or email or any other text-based
application which uses the iPad keyboard. Remember to tap the Spacebar on the
keyboard to enter the abbreviation.
7. Multi-tasking Feature and Spotlight Search
The multi-tasking feature allows you to have one or more Apps open at the same
time. Multi-tasking also allows you to keep individual Apps open without closing
the App, then starting another sequentially.
You can easily switch from App to App seamlessly and speedily. You can use multitasking in landscape and portrait layout.
Figure 15: Multi-tasking for finding and opening multiple Apps.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
To start the multi-tasking feature, double click the Home button on your
Double clicking the Home button pushes the screen upwards and fades the
screen icons into the background.
Simply swipe or flick the active icons (in the bottom row) to the right or to
the left until you find your chosen App. Tap the App to start.
To open another App without closing the App you’ve just started, double
click the Home button and repeat the process.
Double click the Home button to close the active icons and the multi-tasking
feature. The screen will return to its normal view.
Spotlight Search
The Spotlight Search is an easy
way to quickly find an App. If
you’re finding your screen is
becoming cluttered with lots of
Apps, and finding Apps is
becoming increasingly difficult
and time consuming, then
Spotlight Search will make all
the difference.
To find Spotlight Search simply
swipe or flick the screen until
you come to the first screen.
A quick way to get to Spotlight
Search (particularly if you are
on screen 4 or 5) is to press the
Home button once. This takes
you to the first screen of Apps,
Figure 16: Flick to the first screen to find Spotlight Search.
(Settings, Calendar etc.) – then
just a simple flick to the right will show Spotlight Search.
Finally, type the name of the App. As you can see in the illustration above you only
need to type the first letter (in this case ‘S’) and the App Sono Flex Lite appears
Figure 17: Go to Settings, General and Spotlight Search to define the search.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
In Settings and General and Spotlight Search
you can define what items you want Spotlight
Search to find, e.g. Contacts, Applications,
Music, Podcasts, Videos etc.
Just tap to select or deselect the item(s) you
want then return to main screen – General and
Figure 18: Define your Spotlight search.
8. Safari Reader
New to iOS 5 (and continued in iOS 5.1.1) is Reader feature in the iPad’s Safari
browser. Some websites have too much clutter making it difficult to read or
identify the main information. Safari Reader lets you view web articles in an
uncluttered linear environment and also offers font sizing options.
Not all websites offer the Reader facility but when Reader is available the ‘Reader’
icon appears in the URL/search pane. One example where you can view the Reader
option is Wikipedia. Go to www.wikipedia.org and type a subject to see the Reader
Option appear. To activate Reader touch or tap the Reader icon and a new page
will appear. The Reader icon also changes colour to ‘purple’. To close the Reader
panel touch the purple Reader icon.
Figure 19: Reader icon in Safari
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
9. What does HD mean?
When browsing for an App on the App Store or in iTunes, it’s more than likely
you’ll come across the letters HD next to some Apps. What does this mean? Native
iPad Apps run at a higher screen resolution than other Apps due to the iPad's larger
screen size.
The iPad can run Apps designed for the iPhone's relatively small screen, but to do
so it either has to run them in a small window or scale them up (x1 or x2) to fit the
iPad’s screen. The New iPad features ‘retina display’. At its most basic, retina
display means smoother, more readable text. Assuming you don’t have a problem
with looking at a backlit screen for long periods, the New iPad HD provides all over
increased clarity and features a 9.7-inch 2048×1536 (264 pixels per inch) display.
What is iOS 5.0/5.1.1
iOS (formerly known as iPhone OS) is Apple's mobile operating system. Originally
developed for the iPhone, it has since been extended to support other Apple
devices such as the iPod Touch and the iPad. iOS 5.0 is the latest upgrade (iOS
5.1.1 at the time of writing) which among other things, offers new features such as
free storage space in the iCloud. You can read more about iOS on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS You can find out everything you need to know
about iOS 5 and the iCloud on the following link:
Volume and mute
The volume controls on the iPad are located on the top –right hand side of the
1. Volume control for increasing and decreasing sound volume.
2. Mute button to mute all sounds.
3. Main power on/off button.
Figure 20: Volume and mute controls.
Sleep and power off mode
There are two power modes for the iPad; sleep and off. To put the iPad into sleep
mode (and conserve battery power) hold the Power on/off button (see Figure 20
‘3’) until the screen goes off. To turn the iPad off, hold the Power on/off button
down until you see the red/white arrow ‘slide to power off’ option at the top the
screen. Slide the red/white arrow to the right hand side to switch off the iPad. To
turn on, hold down the Power on/off button.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Take a screen shot
To take a photo (screen shot) of your screen or an App or any part of the iPad –
hold down the Home button and Power on/off buttons together at the same time
until you see the screen momentarily turn white.
Let go of the buttons. If the volume is on you will also hear the ‘snapshot’ camera
sound. Look in the ‘Photos’ album to see your screen shot.
Restrictions, also known as Parental Controls, allows you to prevent access to
specific features and content on the iPad such as the web browser Safari,
YouTube, as well as options to prevent a user from installing or deleting Apps. To
set Restrictions follow the steps below:
Tap Settings.
Tap General.
Tap Restrictions.
To Enable Restrictions, tap Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode. The passcode
will be required to make changes to these settings or to disable restrictions.
Switch Access
So how do you set up switch access with an iPad? Current switch access devices
tend to rely on a Bluetooth connection between the switch box and the iPad, e.g.
the Therapy Box Bluetooth Switch Box.
To connect the Switch Box to the iPad it first of all needs to be ‘paired’ i.e. the
iPad and the switch box need to ‘talk’ or ‘communicate’ with each other. Each
Switch Box will have its own particular setup procedure but to activate the iPad’s
Bluetooth follow the steps below:
Tap Settings.
Tap General.
Tap Bluetooth.
Turn on Bluetooth – it will automatically search for Bluetooth devices in the
This video tutorial provides a step-by-step guide:
The Komodo Open Lab project is developing a system (Tecla: a set of tools to
facilitate access to electronic devices) to make the iPad’s interface switch
accessible which means that switch scanning will be available throughout the iPad,
i.e., selecting and opening Apps etc. This is an exciting project and one worth
keeping an eye on: http://komodoopenlab.com.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 1: Getting to Grips with the iPad
Switch2Scan and Switch4Apps
The Switch2Scan and Switch4Apps also provide switch and scanning access to the
iPad: www.inclusive.co.uk/hardware/ipad (see Chapter 3: Accessibility Options)
for more information on switch access).
Highlight and Speak paragraphs of text
You can highlight individual paragraphs of text by tapping the text four times in
quick succession – this highlights the paragraph. If you have iOS 5 or later you can
then press the Speak option to have the paragraph read back.
Save Images from the web
If you find an image or a photograph that you would like to keep when surfing the
web then simply press and hold your finger on the photograph or image for a few
seconds and a pop-up menu will appear. Simply tap on the ‘Save Image’ button –
you can then save the image to your iPad’s photo library.
Create web thumbnails
Although the Bookmark option in Safari can help to organise all your favourite
websites you can also create web clippings or thumbnails of your favourite
websites. Choose a website and then select the ‘Add Bookmark’ icon at the top of
the page (to the left of the URL address box). When the drop-down menu appears
select ‘Add to Home Screen’.
This creates an icon or thumbnail of the website. You could also create a folder
and drag or organise all your favourite web clippings into one folder.
Add full stops to sentences
To automatically add a full stop at the end of sentence and type the next letter as
a capital, double tap the space bar.
Protect your iPad and data
Always try to keep your iPad and data secure by using the passcode option –
Settings, General and Passcode Lock and select Turn Passcode On.
You can create more complex Passcodes by typing in your current passcode and
turning off Simple Passcode. This allows you to create a new code that contains
both numbers and letters.
More iPad Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials
Only a few of the iPad’s hints and tricks are covered here, there are many, many
more! To see the complete list of tips, tricks and tutorials the ‘How to Geek’
website is an excellent resource: http://bit.ly/complete_list_of_iPad_hintsandtips
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Chapter 2: Apps to support teaching
and learning
The success and usefulness of the
iPad is largely due to the extent,
range and comparative low cost of
Apps available for download. Current
estimates at the time of writing are
of well over 200,000 Apps specifically
for iPad, a figure that is growing
larger day by day.
There are Apps for just about
everything you might possibly want to
know, do, see, hear, say or share.
But, with so many to choose from,
how do you find the best App for you
or your learners’ needs?
The purpose of this chapter is to
provide you with guidance on
searching and identifying Apps, and
making your selection, including
suggestions about features to look out
Many people will begin their search
for Apps within the iTunes App store
(either on their iPad or on their
‘main’ computer) amongst the many
Apps for supporting learning and for
general use by children, teenagers
and adults.
However, for individuals with
additional support needs and/or
communication needs, you may need
to select from Apps written with
these special needs in mind. These
should incorporate features and
settings that make them more
accessible and more usable.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
For example: visual and auditory stimuli and prompts; special access options,
including, potentially, switch access; support for low vision; different levels and
the ability to increase task complexity for progress through an activity; and a
facility for saving and transferring any personal work or information.
Start your search with lists of Apps, whether within the categories of the iTunes
App Store itself or by reading lists of Apps compiled by independent individuals for
websites or blogs (see Chapter 5: iPad Resources). These lists are organised under
headings, to direct you to the types of Apps best fitting your requirements. This
can make finding the right App easier and quicker (although under the heading
‘Education’, in the iTunes App Store - it can still mean trawling through thousands
of possible Apps). Bear in mind also that any third party website or blog list will be
up-to-date for a short time only, given that developments are happening so quickly
in this field.
Making mistakes when selecting Apps can be costly, not just from a financial point
of view, but also in terms of time wasted and frustration experienced if they turn
out to be of limited use to learners. Chopping and changing to new Apps all the
time is not a good learning environment for learners. Here are some suggestions
for assisting you in refining your criteria and making good choices.
General features to look for in any App
The following features relate to any App you may wish to use with learners who
need support for communication, language and learning.
US version
Many Apps are written and developed in the US and reflect that context. However,
depending on the type of App you are looking for, you may wish to look for one
which is more culturally appropriate to your own country, with appropriate
vocabulary and topics, and based on an appropriate school curriculum. It is worth
checking the App description carefully for details on this. For example, US
educational Apps will use upper case letters and letter names instead of letter
Access options
Most Apps are operated by direct touch control with a finger or specialised pointer
requiring accurate fine motor control. Certain Apps are designed to accommodate
those with reduced physical ability and allow for minor adjustments to be made to
the screen response, such as touch delay in the case of tremor. Such Apps may
incorporate larger target cells or the ability to customise the size of a cell or
button. Some Apps let you ‘hide’ the editing controls (from prying little fingers).
If further access support is required, then switch accessible Apps may be the best
option. These allow control with any chosen switch and with onscreen scanning, in
which cells/buttons are highlighted, one-by-one by a moving cursor, then selected
with a switch press. What you’re looking for, above all, is flexibility and a range of
options (see Chapter 3: Accessibility Options).
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Editable content
An App will be more motivating and useful to the learner if it has content that is
personal to him/her, or takes account of personal preferences. It is worth
checking whether Apps can be edited and personalised to include relevant and
familiar photographs, pictures, symbols, vocabularies and topics.
Tutorial materials, guides and support
Information to assist you in setting up, configuring and using an App, apart from
very basic Apps, is essential. Some Apps have a basic help option within them;
others will direct you to the developer’s website, where more comprehensive help
and support may be available.
Other Apps may also have video guides on YouTube or hints and tips written by
other users within web forums and blogs (see Chapter 5: iPad Resources).
Free or Lite versions versus paid-for Apps
There are 6 types of Apps:
Free App
Paid App
Lite App
Free ad-supported App
Freemium App
Subscription App
(But the iTunes App store only really uses the terms Free, Lite and Paid Apps)
The paid App is an App you buy costing anything from £0.69p upwards. Free Apps
are not always as free as they seem to be, (though some are). The Lite App is
usually free or very cheap and typically provides the first few levels or screens of
the paid App, to give you a ‘taster’ and get you started with it, while you decide
whether to go on to purchase the full paid App (the opportunity to upgrade to the
full version is generally offered as an ‘in-App purchase’, that is, you do not need to
go back to the App store to download another App). Freemium Apps are similar;
you will get the basic App free but will be asked, in-app, if you want to purchase
some additional items (e.g. extra characters or activities). A Subscription App is
similar - a recurring payment is required, for example, as a magazine subscription.
A free ad-supported App is typically the full App free of cost, but will contain
banner advertisements often including video. Be aware that touching the banner
ads will redirect the user away from the App and into the ad site, which, apart
from being annoying, will not be regulated for age appropriate material.
There is an option within the iTunes App store to select the display of paid-for
Apps and alternatively to display free Apps, the default is to display those that are
paid for. Clearly most people love a free or cheap App, but unfortunately free does
not always equate with good. (Although expensive does not necessarily equate
with good, either!) Downloading a free or cheaper version, if this is an option, does
at least allow you to try it out before parting with too much money.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Customer ratings and reviews
Many Apps have been given customer ratings and reviews, with personal feedback
from those who have already used them. These are well worth reading, to inform
you in your search and can be found in the App Store and/or in websites and blogs.
App searching
Searching for Apps in the iTunes App store can be done by App name, or by
choosing a category and/or heading and browsing through a list. Within the
Education category, for example, there are headings for a range of curriculum
areas. Another category is ‘App Store Essentials’ which displays a further sub-set of
Apps for Kids with a range of early learning and fun activities. Other relevant Apps
may be found in Games, or Medical categories.
An alternative to using the App store directly for searching is to carry out a Google
search. If you want to find the best puzzle games or example, search on Google
for the “best iPad puzzle game”, or insert any other keywords such as best iPad
Apps for toddlers or signing or AAC or spelling or SEN.
This may well yield better search results than a time consuming browse and will
often provide links to websites and blogs offering a helpful review of the Apps
Another very useful approach is to refer to an App list. There are a growing
number of these, which are often compiled by experts in relevant fields. Some list
examples that are particularly relevant to Additional Support Needs and
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), are described in Chapter 4 of
this book, titled iPad Resources, in the section:
Finding Apps to support learning and teaching.
There are, increasingly, Apps that help you to
find Apps such as Kindertown, or try Quixey; a
dedicated search engine designed specifically
for finding Apps: www.quixey.com.
Figure 21: Quixey is a search engine for Apps.
Apps by Disability?
What you won’t find in iTunes App Store is Apps categorised by specific disability,
though you may find third party lists that claim to do this. These may lead you to
some useful or appealing Apps, but only as much as any other list might; in reality,
there is no such thing as ‘Apps for Autism’, say, or ‘Apps for Learning Difficulties’.
(That’s a bit like saying ‘clothes for autistic children’ – really? – What size? What
colour? What style? What make? What weight / texture? and so on.)
In fact, there are Apps that focus on particular topics, skills or activities such as
visual effects, drawing, number, letters, photos, communication etc. some of
which may be found to engage and motivate some individual users who have
autism. Probably the key feature is that they are immediate and interactive.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Specific features to look for in an App
The following description of specific features is designed to guide you in your
selection of Apps and has been organised into: Apps for Communication; Apps for
Learning and Additional Support Needs (ASN); Apps to support Literacy Difficulties;
Apps to support Visual Difficulties. This is not a list of all the Apps in each group, it
just discusses a few examples.
Apps for communication
The purpose of these Apps is to provide learners with support for their
communication needs by using photographs, pictures, symbols, text and/or voice
output to help them to share information and communicate with others. They have
been sorted here into categories (although some Apps might fall into more than
one category, depending on how they are used) with the most important features
highlighted and a few examples within each heading is provided. Some important
general features of communication Apps to look out for are:
Degree of personalisation – can the content of the App be edited to include
content and enable communication that is relevant for the user? Some
Apps, especially the no cost or low cost Apps, do not allow the content to be
Speech output – is there an option to record speech or if it's synthesised
speech, what are the voice options, e.g.: male, female, child? and what is
the voice quality? Does the country of origin/accent match that of the user?
Do you have to pay to buy voices? Can you switch voices easily?
Access methods – is this touch only or are there switch access options? Are
there different switch settings including step and automatic scanning, and a
scanning auditory prompting option?
Usability – how intuitive and simple is the App to edit and use? As these Apps
will often be used by young and inquisitive children, can key functions such
as edit and delete be hidden or locked to prevent accidental loss of buttons
and pages?
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Saving and/or sharing – as communication is a two-way process, what
options are there for saving and sharing messages produced (as well as
speech output), e.g. emailing, publishing, storing/sharing via web or cloud?
1. Simple Communication
Simple communication Apps are designed to support and encourage communication
at a basic level. Many have been designed specifically for young children and/or
children with autism (but will also be relevant to other users). Some were designed
by parents for their own children.
These Apps vary in price and in how simple they are to set up, edit and use. Some
are geared specifically to the highly structured PECS style of communication.
Examples in this category include:
Grace-Picture Exchange for Non Verbal People
Grace-Picture Exchange for Non-Verbal People is a PECS structure in which
learners select pictures to form a structured sentence. There is no speech output.
Look2 Learn is similar to the above, but with speech output.
iConverse is a basic picture/photo communication system with some pre-stored
pictures and recorded messages for basic needs and wants and the facility to add
your own photos and to record your own messages.
Tapspeak Button Plus
Tapspeak Button Plus turns the iPad into a large coloured button. It is customisable
with pictures and includes a recorded single message output, just like a BIGmack,
only you can store dozens of different messages. Tapspeak Button Plus is useful for
teaching cause effect relationships, for expressing basic needs and wants, and for
participating in group activities.
Figure 22: Left to right: Grace Picture Exchange, iConverse and TapSpeak Button Plus.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
2. Symbol based AAC Apps
The following Apps are full-scale and highly featured interactive communication
aid-type Apps, with a symbol interface and speech output. They offer multiple
linked pages of symbols, with the ability to edit and save vocabulary layouts, and
some come with starter vocabularies aimed at different levels of users. Symbol
based Apps are dearer than most other Apps because they include a built-in library
of pictures/symbols (or they offer in-App purchases of symbol sets, as an extra).
This library is usually a recognised and copyrighted communication symbol set such
as SymbolStix, Widgit Symbols or Makaton Symbols that will have been licensed
with the developer.
As there are more steps involved in setting up and personalising user vocabularies
and access settings in complex communication aid Apps, it is particularly
important to have access to good tutorial materials including videos, downloadable
guides, online support and discussion forums.
Some AAC Apps allow only one vocabulary set to be used in an iPad at any one
time, whereas others provide the option to swap between available sets. This is an
important feature to consider if you are assessing and managing a number of
different learners at the same time, with one device.
Some also offer the ability to share and download vocabularies from online or
cloud storage, requiring a registration process and sometimes a paid-for
subscription. Some have the facility to set up and save vocabularies on a PC, which
may enable easier and safe management of vocabulary sets. Some are universal
and will run across the range of iPod touch, iPhone and iPad, whereas others need
separate purchases for each type. You need to think through what you require.
Examples in this category include:
Proloquo2Go Version 2.00
This highly featured and wellsupported communication App
containing more than 14,000
SymbolStix symbols and, in its latest
version, includes multi-user support.
It comes with a choice of two prestored vocabularies; Basic
communication (9-36 buttons per
page, mainly single word / message
communication) and Core Word (964 buttons, 2-4 word sentence
building level) that you build upon
to personalise.
It has US, UK, Australian and Indian
Figure 23: Proloquo2Go Version 2.00
English voices and also includes
onscreen keyboard with text to
speech and good word prediction. There is no switch access.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
TouchChat HD - AAC (Lite version available)
This is a sophisticated communication App using SymbolStix symbols. There are six
starter vocabulary sets built-in that you can duplicate and personalise for users.
There are more are available to buy, including Word Power. There are US and UK
voices, or you can record your voice. You can share your message to email as well
as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. It has a simple button and page editor. There
are separate versions for iPad and iPod touch, cloud storage and share facility and
a PC editor, which all incur extra costs. There is no switch access.
Grid Player
Grid Player comes with two built-in symbol vocabularies, Symbol Talker A and B
(and a text vocabulary, Text Talker). Although this App is free, to set up a new
user and to edit grids, or to download more grids from the Online Grids resource,
the communication aid software The Grid 2, must be purchased and installed on
your PC. From that software, grid sets can be shared with any number of mobile
devices. SymbolStix and Widgit symbols are included, currently no other symbols
are possible.There are Acapela UK male and female voices but no switch access.
Go Talk Now (Free version available)
Go Talk Now features a built-in Imagine
image library with Widgit and/or
SymbolStix symbols as an extra optional
purchase and a direct link for downloading
images from the Internet. It has recorded
speech and text-to-speech output.
Different styles of communication pages
are possible including visual scenes.
Buttons can speak, jump pages, as well as
play music and video.
It is really simple and easy to use, lets you
hide the editing buttons from the user,
and is one of the very few communication
Apps with switch access and auditory
scanning. Go Talk Now can also save and
backup vocabularies to DropBox.
Figure 24: Go Talk Now with built-in Imagine image library.
Sono Flex (Lite version available)
Sono Flex is a communication App containing SymbolStix and a large editable prestored vocabulary. It is less complex in content than other similar Apps, as the
focus is on face-to-face communication without multi-media and sharing options.
It is well designed and logical (core vocabulary is based on the Fitzgerald Key
layout), fast for building sentences, and has innovative context-linked vocabulary.
Contexts/categories can be added (and new or existing categories can be hidden to
suit the user). It includes a history of previously used words/sentences. The page
layout itself is fixed (5 x 7 cells), and although no vertical scroll is needed, a
sideways swipe reveals additional cells within a category. There are five American
voices to choose from and no switch access.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
3. Text based AAC
This category covers a range of Apps with keyboard input and text to speech
output. They are for use by individuals with functional literacy skills. Some are
very basic and make use of the iPad’s inbuilt keyboard, offering no stored words or
phrases. It includes a few other settings such as voice and access options. Some
are much more comprehensive, having been designed specifically for AAC use, with
many more options such as alternative keyboards layouts, word prediction, and
touch and switch access options.
The fully featured Apps here have numerous keyboard layouts - QWERTY, ABC,
optimised scanning layout and in some cases the layout is fully customisable. They
have word and next word prediction, and have large prediction dictionaries
offering the most accurate predictions and the ability to learn new frequently used
words. They also have a word and phrase store, and a list of recently used phrases.
Examples in this category include:
The Rolls Royce option – this has an App specific keyboard with different layout
options, a straight forward word and phrase store, an excellent word prediction
engine and an editable dictionary. An important feature, especially for adults with
degenerative conditions, is the switch scanning options. Predictable includes US,
Australian and UK voices.
Assistive Chat
Assistive Chat is a (relatively) cheap and cheerful option. It has a small fiddly
keyboard, with average prediction and you can store favourite phrases for re-use.
Only US voices are available.
Talk Assist
The free option features a keyboard and speech output. Talk Assist stores recently
used phrases (editable) for re-use. It does not include prediction.
Grid Player
Grid Player can be text or symbol based. All page layouts can be fully customised
allowing for any design of keyboard. It offers good prediction.
Mintyvox AAC
Mintyvox AAC is more for chat than full scale communication. It includes a small
core vocabulary, with the iPad keyboard used to add novel messages that are then
stored as ‘history’ and available for re-use. It includes built-in speech
interjections, to keep conversations flowing.
4. Photo Stories
Many children are not ready to use a formal communication system or may not
understand or respond to symbols. They need photos that are highly concrete and
linked to their own immediate and familiar contexts. This not only helps children
to make sense of their world and understand what is going to happen, but can be
used expressively as well, using Apps to sort, label and add language to the photos.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
‘Photo Story Apps’ is a general way of describing Apps that let you quickly create a
talking story book, with pictures or photos linked together in a series of pages,
either just a few pages or longer, each picture accompanied by some text and
recorded speech /narration.
The end result can be a talking photo album, a talking Communication Passport, a
talking Social Story, or a talking visual schedule etc. These can be useful for
teaching social skills and storytelling, and allow learners to recall events, and
share their news and interests with others. They can also be used for writing and
retelling social stories. The Apps in this category vary in their usability, their
overall ‘look’, whether they use recorded or synthesised speech, and in the
amount of text that can be inserted on each page. Some also allow a video to be
inserted into the album as well as photos or pictures, and sound files. One of the
key issues is if / how your story can be shared once it’s made e.g. passing news
between home and school, directly or via email or social networking sites.
Examples in this category include:
Stories2Learn comes pre-loaded with six
autism-friendly social narratives to teach
social skills in reciprocal play, non-verbal
communication, playground and school
rules and turn taking (with two different
ways to view the story depending on the
individuals’ developmental level).
This is one of the simplest of all the Apps to
master. It is very easy for school and
families to use for personalised news,
stories, and quickly breaking down events
into steps.
Figure 25: Stories2Learn.
Book Creator
Book Creator is as cheap as chips but a Rolls Royce option. It is simple and logical
to use, supports video as well as pictures, sound files and recorded speech. You
can create audio ‘hotspots’ or add a sound track if you want to get fancy. Book
Creator can also import text. There are lots of excellent sharing options including
Dropbox, email, send to iTunes, or publish to iBooks (or others, e.g. Stanza, Kobo
etc.). There is also an option to publish to PDF. Online Help notes are also
Each page in a Pictello story contains a picture/photo and up to five lines of text.
Pictello is the only photostory App to offer both recorded and synthetic voices
including British English child voices. It has a comprehensive list of settings and
various sharing options, which makes it a bit complicated for rapid day-to-day use.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
All about Me Storybook
This App provides a structured approach (with twelve ’starter’ chapters built-in,
which can be hidden if unwanted) for users to organise personal photos, and add
text, and record audio. Stories can be locked to protect content from being
accidentally deleted. The same authors also offer a series of related Apps, to
teach and support other personalised information e.g. family photo album, classfriends album, and also i-See-quences (e.g. Going to a Restaurant, Going to the
5. Signing Apps
These Apps are for helping individuals to learn and use sign language for
communication. They are useful for individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired,
and additionally for those with language and communication support needs rather
than deafness, for whom signing can be an effective communication tool. Signing
Apps may also be useful for communication partners to learn signing.
There are quite a few Apps for learning the finger-spelling alphabet that are
generally low cost, as well as those for British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton
signs. A key issue to look out for is whether a signing App uses BSL or American
Sign Language (ASL), as many are based on ASL (though they don’t always make
that clear in the blurb). Some of these Apps have real video to demonstrate the
signs and some use ‘avatars’ (virtual people). Some have text subtitles and/or
voice over, others are sign only (i.e. silent and without subtitles).
Examples in this category are:
Baby Sign and Learn
Baby Sign and Learn is an App to help you teach your baby to
communicate by teaching basic sign language (based on BSL).
Animated baby characters model and say each sign and the
App includes flashcards and an interactive quiz.
BSL Level 1 Steps 1/2/3
This is a series of instructional Apps for teaching, learning
and practising BSL covering the level 1 signing curriculum. It
has real video of signs with subtitles, but no voice over.
My ChoicePad
My ChoicePad (Lite version available): this unusual App which is a cross between a
signing App and a communication aid App, offers a combination of 450 core
vocabulary Makaton symbols and Makaton signs.
My ChoicePad has video clips of signing accompanying the symbols, as well as line
drawings of how to make each sign, and speech output.
You can also use your own photos and voice recordings.
It is useful for communication partners that are non-signing, who need to quickly
learn a specific sign for use, as well as for learners who use signs and symbols to
make choices and communicate.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Apps for Learning and ASN
Apps can facilitate and support learning for a wide range of children, teenagers
and adults with additional support needs. Some important general features of Apps
for Learning and ASN to look out for are:
Age appropriateness - check that Apps are appropriate to the age as well as
the developmental level of the learner using it.
Progression – does the App have different levels and allow for progression
through them?
Recording – can progression through the App be recorded and printed out?
Independent use – does the App have controls, such as enlarged or spoken
text that allow the learner to make selections, to save or print work and to
quit the App independently?
1. Sensory, Cause and Effect, and Early Years Fun
These Apps aim to prompt and motivate the user to look, listen and pay attention.
The simplest are just experiential or ‘sensory’ level, while others encourage the
user to explore, respond and interact with the iPad. They are useful for
encouraging persistent gaze, eye tracking, and for developing understanding of
cause-effect relationships. They can help the child to develop accurately targeted
touch and to explore and develop dragging. Apps typically provide multisensory
stimuli and feedback - spoken language, sounds, music, and bright, contrastive and
animated visual displays.
There are hundreds if not thousands of these, as they are popular with parents for
all young children, not just children with ASN. Many are free or very cheap. There
are many ‘Apps lists’ that will provide suggestions, or just do a Google search for
‘apps + kids’. However you need to remember that many of these were designed
to keep children entertained, rather than to be educational as such. Conversely,
some of them although aimed at young children are actually assuming quite high
cognitive and hand-eye skills. So you need to evaluate each with a critical eye,
with your own learners’ developmental level in mind.
Apps with settings options that allow adjustments to the way content is presented
can be useful, so that options can be turned on and off to suit the learner and to
enable progression through different stages of learning. On the other hand, too
many settings can make an App too complicated for a child to use independently,
or can make it too easy to set up wrongly for particular learners. For example, a
potentially lovely App like ‘Art of Glow’ can be fun, absorbing and potentially
instructive but if set wrongly it can counter-act rather than reinforce cause and
effect learning (because the effects produced may stay on the screen when the
child removes their finger).
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Some examples in this category include:
Fluidity is a fascinating swirls of colourful, sparkly fluids.
The user can just watch, or the child’s touch can ‘stir’ and
move the fluid around.
Hidden Grid
Hidden Grid is an introductory activity for those working
at a cause and effect level and designed to encourage
Figure 26: Fluidity - swirls of colour.
exploration of the screen and to teach basic touch/tap
and drag skills. Drag your finger around the screen to reveal coloured shapes and
patterns, with melodic sound effects.
Touch the screen to create beautiful firework displays with 3D graphs and real
Play a piano keyboard. There are lots of piano and xylophone Apps, with
interesting variations, e.g. Piano Free, Kid’s Xylophone. Try Burping Farting Piano,
Cat Piano or Dog Piano for popular sound effects!
Fish Fingers
Touch the pond and fish swim to your finger. Tap to feed them and they grow
bigger. Again, there are lots of fish Apps, try Pocket Pond, Koi Pond (Lite).
Peeping Musicians
Peeping Musicians is designed to encourage early visual skills and basic touch
targeting. The activity involves watching for the musician as he or she ‘peeps’
from the top or side of the screen. It involves touch as they appear to make them
move centre stage and play a piece of music.
Hatch! Plus
In Hatch! Plus an egg appears on screen, the child has to tap and tap, it cracks and
cracks (5 steps) and then hatches and a different ‘special friend’ emerges each
Nighty Night
Nighty Night is a beautifully illustrated and narrated
interactive story. Children can touch the animals to
hear the sounds they make and see what they do.
Touch the light switch to turn off the lights. This App
introduces the use of an arrow, to prompt touching of
a hot spot or for a page turn.
Figure 27: Nighty Night illustrated interactive story.
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
2. Speech and Language
Speech and language Apps are for facilitating speech and language development in
children and range from those that are mainly just a bit of fun to those that focus
on speech sound practice games or on the acquisition / development of language.
The built-in microphone on the iPad permits new types of interactive games, often
aimed at younger children, although potentially enjoyed by all, encouraging
practice of speech sounds, words and phrases. Other Apps target development of
skills in vocabulary building, grammar, following directions, asking questions and
Speech and language Apps do not replace speech and language therapy, they are
tools that can enhance therapy and make repetitive practice tasks more
interesting. One therapist known as ‘GeekSLP.com’ has written blogs on how to
use even Angry Birds and Cut the Rope to promote language skills! See
www.geekslp.com/2012/03/ for more information.
Some examples in this category include:
Sound Touch (Lite version available)
This is a listening and vocabulary building exploration activity App for very young
children containing hundreds of photographs of animals, vehicles, musical
instruments and household items with spoken word and sound output. This
provides fun play that is also highly educational.
Captain Cal S
Captain Cal S is an engaging story that focuses on the ‘secret sound’ (s) and
provides practice games to practice (video hint shows correct articulation).
Voice Morph Pro
Say something into the iPad and then choose from 22 morph selections, to make it
sound quite different. This App may encourage reluctant speakers to talk, through
having fun.
Articulation Scenes
Articulation Scenes is part of the valuable Smarty Ears series designed by speech
and language therapists. This is an elaborate App that embeds phonology work and
articulation practice (which many children get fed up with!) into a creative movie
Articulation Station (Lite and Pro versions)
This App provides help for teaching and practice of selected sounds at word,
sentence and story level.
SentenceBuilder for iPad
This App is designed to help children learn how to experiment with and build
grammatically correct sentences, with100 stimulus pictures to build sentences
around. It contains statistics for recording progress.
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Splingo’s Language Universe
Splingo’s Language Universe is designed to develop listening and comprehension
skills. This motivating game-based App is carefully structured to ensure balanced
linguistic input matched to developmental language levels.
Figure 28: From left to right – Sentence Builder and Splingo’s Language Universe
3. Early Learning and Emergent Literacy
The iTunes App Store has a large selection of Apps to support early learning and
emergent literacy, providing endless games and activities to support basic
cognitive skills and concept development such as visual perception, matching,
memory, sequencing, listening, following instructions, colour, shape, size etc. (and
in the process practising accurate touching and dragging).
Match it Up (1, 2, & 3): drag to match the toys/missing half/ animal’s food.
Giraffe’s Matching Zoo: match the animals in a ‘pelmanism’ game
Beware of Apps with over-stylised or cartoony style graphics that might be too
‘busy’ or sophisticated for early learners especially those with visual processing
difficulties or poor language and inferencing skills. Beware also of over-animated
multimedia offerings. There can be a thin line between Apps that are motivating
and Apps that are over stimulating / distracting.
Apps from the company Inclusive Technology tend to be switch accessible, though
most others are not.
Many Apps support phonics learning and bring letter and sound correspondences to
life with colourful visual imagery and audio.
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Phonics Genius teaches word recognition through phonic awareness using
flash cards and letter/word sequencing supported with audio.
ABC Phonics Word Family Tree is a colourful fun way of learning phonics
spelling, beginning sounds, word family phonics with short vowel sounds and
is supported with animated matching picture and word games.
Pocket Phonics (Lite version available): based on Jolly Phonics synthetic
phonics approach. The App teaches and practises letter sounds,
handwriting, and first words in a simple, clear and satisfying manner.
Figure 29: Pocket Phonics based on synthetic phonics.
Access to Stories
Early phonics work, see above, is only part of the process of acquiring literacy.
Becoming a reader means having access to books, and learning to listen to and
follow (and tell!) stories. There are many wonderful interactive storybooks
available, many free or low cost. For example, at the very earliest level:
Ladybird Book: touch a picture of a lion or tiger and it will growl.
Peppa Pig Me Books: colourful games along with an engaging storyline.
The Three Pandas: charmingly illustrated and animated panda version of the
three bears story, set to auto-narrate or to allow child to control.
Some are very ‘book-like’ - but just add a spoken word, often with expressive
actors’ voices reading, focussing on the language of the story and building listening
skills. Others are more visual and/or more interactive. Some allow the child to
record his/her own voice to tell the story. Generally, it is desirable to look for
Apps or settings that force the child to interact as much as possible – we do not
want to use the iPad to replace an adult story-reader, or to behave like television
that the child passively ‘consumes’, we want them to engage with the story
process and have their attention drawn to the story text, even if they’re not at a
stage to read it themselves.
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However, children who struggle to maintain auditory attention to language may
respond to the multimedia Apps that include video, games and activities, such as:
Toy Story Read Along is a free multimedia App - you can listen to the story,
with the feeling of being inside the movie. There are options to call up a
song or a game in mid-story.
A number of Apps act as a bookshop/ library and enable parents to download (buy)
new books regularly:
The Story Mouse Talking Books offers traditional stories, charmingly
Read Me Stories is a library of animated storybooks –a child can choose and
read a new book every day.
Apps to support Literacy difficulties
The iPad offers a range of benefits for learners with literacy difficulties such as
dyslexia. However, there are also limitations to what the iPad can offer in terms of
adapting or fine tuning its global features, such as background, font colours and
font styles of the iOS. These features are particularly important for pupils who
experience light sensitivity or visual stress and find colour combinations such as
black text on a white background difficult or impossible to read. For example, on a
Windows based computer it is possible to customise a range of settings such as
background and font colours as well as font styles. Some companies are producing
screen coloured overlays which are placed over the iPad’s screen as an alternative
to colour changing options: http://bit.ly/colour_overlays
While the built-in accessibility features in the iPad offer some adaptions such as
White on Black or Large Text, they are better suited to a user with a visual
impairment rather than someone with a dyslexia related difficulty. This is worth
considering when choosing a device for a dyslexic pupil. Nevertheless there are
other built-in benefits that the iPad has to offer, such as Speak Selection, Speak
Auto-text and VoiceOver; which read aloud selected sections of text in Apps such
as Mail, Safari and Pages (Apple’s word processor). It is also possible to use Speak
Selection and VoiceOver in some eBooks, although many are narrated.
There are also numerous Apps available for supporting reading and writing which
are increasing in both quantity and complexity. Increasingly Apps to support
literacy allow the user to fine tune personal preferences, for example,
customisation of colour, font size, font style as well as recording and annotation
tools, text-to-speech and speech recognition. Unfortunately fine tuning users’
preferences is still App specific. While some Apps offer a range of adaptations
others contain much less. Finding the most appropriate App to meet individual
needs can be a minefield, time-consuming and costly.
The Spectronics ‘Apps for Literacy Support’ is an excellent resource and is well
worth exploring. Here Apps to support literacy are categorised into the following
areas: Planning and Organisation, Reading Support, Writing and Notetaking,
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Optical Character Recognition and Study Support and Reference:
www.spectronicsinoz.com/apps-for-literacy-support. CALL have also compiled a
list of useful Apps to support reading and writing which can be viewed on the CALL
Delicious site: www.delicious.com/stacks/callscotland.
1. Apps to support planning and organisation
Mind mapping
With a myriad of mind mapping or concept mapping Apps available on the App
Store it can be difficult to choose one which is appropriate. A recent addition is
the popular Inspiration mind mapping program which is available as an App.
Inspiration Lite allows you to ‘try before you buy’ but you are limited to only two
Inspiration maps and you will have to put up with intrusive ‘pop up’ prompts
encouraging you to ‘Upgrade Now’.
Nevertheless both Apps offer useful features such as Diagram Background Fill, up
to 10 font styles as well as font colour and size options. The interface and set of
tools are similar in range to the computer version with options to use the visual or
linear interface. There are over 30 ready-made templates which include English
Biography, English Essay Outline, History Time Period, Science Classification etc.
on offer to get you up and running without a great deal of prior knowledge. You
can also use the Speak selection when creating the mind map for text-to-speech
and audio support.
Figure 30: Inspiration offers similar tools to its computer counterpart.
An advantage of Inspiration is the large amount of export options. Although it is
possible to export to Mail or Photos or even to Dropbox, there is also an export
option to ‘Send to App’ which includes proof reading and text editing Apps such as
ClaroSpeak UK or Pages (this is dependent on the Apps installed on your iPad).
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Mindjet (Mind Manager) is another mind mapping option although the focus of
Mindjet is geared towards business rather than education. It does feature similar
tools to Inspiration although the workflow is very different (and possibly more
complicated). On a positive note Mindjet is free whereas the full version of
Inspiration is currently about £10.00.
Popplet offers a simple but effective workflow (easy to create new ‘nodes’ or
subheadings, add text and images). Popplet allows you to create colourful mind
maps and features a range of colour and font options, as well as an online
collaborative tool, so others can add to the mind map simultaneously.
Figure 31: Popplet features font and colour options.
Unfortunately the export options are limited to PDF or the jpeg image format.
Popplet is also available as a Lite App but limits the amount of mind maps you can
Other examples of mind mapping Apps include iThoughtsHD. This has a graphical
interface more akin to the original mind maps of Tony Buzan, who is accredited
with being the creator of mind mapping. SimpleMind+ is also worth a look and free
although you can upgrade to the full SimpleMind version for about £3.00.
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Other Apps to support planning and organisation include:
Forgetful: create reminders using the iPad’s built-in camera and/or
microphone. As well as being easy-to-use, Forgetful allows you to record
voice notes as reminders which can be set to the revolving calendar. You
can also take photographic or video reminders which could a useful
alternative to the traditional text/box style calendar.
Outline Pro: includes all the tools you need to help plan and structure essays
and other educational projects. Outline Pro provides a structured approach
by using headings such as Topic, Introduction, Body Paragraph(s) and
Conclusion, to help pupils construct and write essays etc.
2. Apps to Support Reading
Apps to support reading tend to offer features such as text-to-speech, or a facility
for copying text from one application such as Safari into the App, which will read
the copied text aloud. While most text based Apps can be read aloud using
VoiceOver, the advantage that reading support Apps offers is the ability to save
text to an audio format such as MP3 which can then be exported to iTunes to listen
at a later time.
Apps such as SpeakIT also offer additional voices as opposed to the default voice in
Voiceover. The additional voices can sometimes incur an additional cost, normally
between £0.59 to £1.00 which is relatively cheap compared to some computer
based synthetic voices. As well as copying text from other applications you can
also type directly into SpeakIT.
Clicking the Play button, which is located just above the keyboard, will put
SpeakIT into reading mode. Unfortunately SpeakIT will only speak from the
beginning of the text and not at the start of a new sentence or the ‘cursor’
location, which can be frustrating.
Figure 32: SpeakIT will read aloud text copied from other Apps.
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Web Reader
Web Reader is a stand-alone web browser App which reads text from web pages.
Features include two voices (Male and Female), an option to change the speech
rate speed and colour highlighting as text is read, although there is only one
colour, grey, to choose from. Web Reader also features a Bookmarking option so
you can save and revisit your favourite web pages.
Figure 33: You can read web pages aloud by clicking the play, pause and stop buttons.
Situated at the top of Web Reader is the speech control bar which is used for
playing, pausing and stopping speech playback. The Bookmark and Options settings
are located to the right hand side of the control buttons.
ClaroSpeak UK
ClaroSpeak UK combines support for both reading and writing. As well as copying
text from other text-based Apps there is also an option to open text files.
ClaroSpeak will also read aloud text as it is typed and will read the text wherever
the cursor is located. Text can also be saved as a text file or copied to the
Clipboard, which can then be opened in other Apps such as Pages (ClaroSpeak
could be used as an effective proof reading tool). Text can also be saved as an
audio file and sent as an attachment in an email.
Figure 34: ClaroSpeak UK combines reading and writing support.
There is no way of changing or customising user preferences from the main
interface as all the main options are stored in Settings. In Settings there are many
options available such as different font styles, sizes and background colours. There
are also highlighting options and a choice of 4 voices including Virginie (French)
and Monica (Spanish). At the time of writing ClaroRead UK is approximately £3.99.
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
3. Apps to Support Writing and Notetaking
Writing and notetaking Apps have greatly improved in the number of features they
offer, for example, word prediction, speech recognition, spell checking, tools to
annotate written notes and on-screen keyboards, which can be customised with
different layouts - abc, high frequency, colour contrast.
In some cases Apps such as Abilipad combine word prediction with recorded
speech, spell checking and text-to-speech as well as the option to create
personalised keyboard layouts. In Figure 35 the first characters of the word ‘type’
are recognised and predicted accordingly i.e. ‘type’, ‘typical’, ‘types’, etc.
Figure 35: Abilipad combines a range of writing support tools.
Each predicted word can be read aloud by tapping the ‘speech’ icon. This can help
to increase the speed and accuracy of words when typing and can help to build
confidence for emergent writers, as well as older pupils (and adults) who require
additional support with writing skills.
Word Prediction
Other word prediction Apps include; ZenTap Pro, Typ-O-HD and Brevity. While
these Apps are not as feature-rich as Abilipad, they still provide tools to support
learners with writing difficulties. For example, Typ-O-HD offers word prediction
and text-to-speech, but users can decide on the amount of help they require by
selecting the ‘How is my spelling’ option when the App starts, and selecting either
‘Pretty Good’,’ I need some help’ or ‘I need a lot of help’.
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Other Apps to support writing include:
Dragon Dictation
This is a voice recognition App which can be used for ‘writing’ memos, short notes
emails and documents. Like most voice recognition software the speech conversion
to text should always be checked for accuracy. Dragon Dictation requires an
Internet connection to use it.
AudioNote (Lite version available)
AudioNote is useful for taking both written and audio notes which can be
synchronised together and played back at a later time.
Voice Dream
Voice Dream provides an integrated approach to opening documents such as Word,
PDF and Pages, from a Dropbox account or the Safari web browser (no need to
copy and paste text from other applications). Text is displayed in a linear and
uncluttered format which is read out loud with line highlighting.
Notability offers a large selection of annotation tools such as highlighting markers,
pencil for hand writing and speech recognition for adding voice notes to images,
text etc. Notes can be arranged by subject or category and there is a helpful
search facility to quickly find saved Notes. Notability also includes different colour
backgrounds as well as lined or graph paper. Notes can be exported and shared by
email, or sent as a PDF.
PaperPort Notes
Developed by Nuance, a voice recognition company, this free App offers similar
tools to Notability such as colour highlighting to annotate notes, voice recording to
add voice notes and bookmarking. You can also import existing documents from
Dropbox or take clippings (websnaps) from a web browser without leaving the App.
4. Apps to Support Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Combined with the iPad’s camera and an appropriate App, the iPad can be used as
a portable (document) scanner which can scan, convert images to editable text
and store paper documents, notes, receipts and more.
With the arrival of the New iPad and its HD camera the accuracy of conversion and
recognition is reportedly better than previous iPads. Nevertheless the accuracy of
the conversion from the original paper document is dependent on a number of
factors, for example, the condition of the document, the type face, the amount of
light or brightness available and the angle of the iPad in relation to the document
when scanning.
It should be remembered that using the iPad as an OCR device is not an exact
science and although OCR software is improving the end result is often
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Costing £12.00, AppWriter is one of the more expensive OCR Apps on the App Store
although it boasts numerous features such image conversion to editable text and
text-to-speech. Unfortunately the conversion process proved to be disappointing,
even when using a clear and crisp original document, in good light conditions and
following the ‘Recommendations for improved OCR results’ guide.
However, AppWriter is
much more than an OCR
program as it integrates
word prediction and other
options for reading text
aloud, including a screen
reading feature.
AppWriter can also link to
a Google Docs account
allowing users to add
Word and PDF documents
to its internal document
Downloaded documents
can be edited, read aloud
or shared to Dropbox and
emailed as a text
Figure 36: AppWriter gave poor OCR results despite following the guide.
Other Apps in this section include:
Prizmo is an iPhone App but is compatible with the iPad. Its main feature includes
an accurate OCR converter for converting documents to editable text, which can
be saved. Prizmo also features integrated text-to-speech so scanned documents
can be read aloud. Compared to Apps such as AppWriter, Prizmo’s OCR capability
is much more accurate.
5. Apps to Support Study and Reference
Increasingly many Apps, particularly e-Book reading Apps, are integrating both
study and reference tools as added extras. Apps such as Safari, Kindle, Kobo and
Google’s Play Books include features such as ‘look up’ and ‘define’ when single
words are selected from within the text. However, dedicated study and reference
Apps offer more refined and additional features that would benefit all learners.
One example is Evernote which provides a single repository for collecting
reference material such web clippings, web links or URLs, images and or audio
recordings. References which have been saved and collated or stored in an
Evernote ‘notebook’, can also be synchronised between the iPad and Evernote’s
online web resource. Clippings and other material can be shared to Facebook,
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Twitter or sent by email. Although Evernote is free there is a ‘Go Premium’ option
which offers some additional features and storage space.
More traditional support tools such as dictionaries and thesauruses are bountiful on
the App store but the Dictionary.com App currently receives a 5 star customer
Dictionary.com (Dictionary and Thesaurus) for iPad
Like its online counterpart Dictionary.com, the Dictionary App offers a crisp and
minimal interface with accessible and easy to understand word definitions. The
free version includes adverts which could be distracting to some pupils. Themes
are limited in terms of colour options, but words (not word definitions) can be
read aloud. There is also a voice search option which is reasonably accurate but,
like most voice or speech recognition Apps, it requires a Wi-Fi connection.
Fortunately the App does not require a Wi-Fi connection and works in offline
Figure 37: Dictionary.com is an integrated dictionary and thesaurus.
Additional features include:
1. Option to read word aloud.
2. Switch interface between dictionary and thesaurus.
3. Additional option for synonyms.
As well as the search facility, users can create a list of ‘Favourites’ and recently
searched words. Under ‘More’ there are options to change background colours.
There is also a fun, novel, but possibly superfluous feature, to ‘Shake for a word’.
Word definitions can also be sent by email.
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Other Apps in this section include:
Wikipedia Mobile
Wikipedia Mobile is the official Wikipedia App for the iPad containing over 20
million articles. Features include an option to save articles and read articles at a
later date or offline.
Never miss a homework deadline with this helpful App. MyHomework can also be
synchronised with an online web based version so there’s no excuse to miss class,
or project deadlines. You can also set reminders for tests, upcoming homework
and tick completed homework ensuring you are well prepared – useful for school
and college students.
Evernote is one of the more popular Apps in the App Store. Evernote is a fee App
which essentially provides a repository; a collection point for images, websites and
clips and snippets of text which can be stored in one place. Evernote can also be
accessed online (via a web page) which means that everything stored on your iPad
(with a Wi-Fi connection) is automatically synchronised to your personal Evernote
6. Apps to Support Visual Difficulties
The built-in Accessibility options in iOS 5 (and later) such as Zoom and VoiceOver
offer many users with a visual impairment increased access and usability to most
aspects of an iPad, including access to Apps such as Safari, Notes and Mail.
Increasingly Apps are appearing which aim to simulate traditional hardware
devices such as portable magnifiers and CCTV using the iPad’s camera. Other Apps
include audio alarms or reminders, talking calculators, GPS and navigation and bar
code scanners, which can read aloud the cost of shopping items.
AppleVis Website
A useful starting point is AppleVis: www.applevis.com a “community-powered
website for blind and low-vision users of Apple's range of Mac computers, the
iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.” The main focus of the website is that Apps are
tested and reviewed by visually impaired users. AppleVis also offers a forum, a
blog as well as guides, tutorials, tips and the AppleVis iOS Hall of Fame which
showcases Apps that have been nominated and ‘inducted’ as worthy Apps.
Another exciting area of development is Apps to support Braille users. The option
to connect to external Braille devices already exists within Accessibility (see
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options) but writing or reading Braille on the iPad with the
option of voice feedback is new. BrailleTouch is described as an “eye-free text
entry application for touchscreen mobile devices”:
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JustStand is an iPad holder which transforms the iPad into a document camera:
www.ipaddocumentcamera.com. Coupled with the free ‘Magnifying Glass with
Light’ App (which uses the iPad’s camera to zoom from 1.5 x – 5 x, you essentially
have a very cheap alternative to a CCTV device. The Pro version of Magnifying
Glass with Light (£0.69p) also features high contrast and an enhanced ‘Freeze’
feature for capturing images.
Other Apps in this section include:
oMoby is a free App which allows you to take a picture of an item or scan its bar
code and then search the internet to find more information about the product.
oMoby is also compatible with VoiceOver.
Talking Scientific Calculator (Lite version available)
A comprehensive featured calculator that reads aloud buttons and answers –
adding, subtracting, multiplication, division, fractions and other mathematical
formulae. As well as option for large buttons Talking Scientific Calculator also
features high contrast and voice options.
Ariadne GPS
This is a location service centred App which uses VoiceOver to read aloud the
names roads and streets by touching the map. Adriane GPS was showcased on
AppleVis and received positive reviews.
7. e-Books
The iBooks App provides a doorway to thousands of electronic books (e-Books)
which can be downloaded from iTunes directly onto the iPad and stored in the
iBook’s Bookshelf. The range of books is immense, from early reading books, to
crime, romance, science fiction and classics (many of the classic eBooks are ‘out of
copyright’ and are free).
The iBooks App has options to change the colour background, font size and style,
and some books offer text-to-speech while others have built-in audio. Depending
on the style of book, iBooks has the potential to engage reluctant and/or struggling
readers to an immersive world of colourful, engaging and interactive books.
Many of the books are beautifully illustrated with images and video, and
increasingly books offer the opportunity to share stories and ideas through social
networking sites such as Facebook.
Another attractive feature is that you can publish your own personal books, which
may motivate learners at the early stages of literacy. For example, using the Story
Creator App (mentioned above as a ‘photo story App’) the learner can build a
personalised book using photos, recorded speech, their favourite music and video
which and then published and shared.
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
Anatomy of an iBook
The iPad displays electronic books in two sizes depending on how the iPad is held.
When held vertically a book is displayed in a single large page. When held
horizontally the book rotates into a two spread display. The iPad displays text in
different fonts including Athelas, Charter, Georgie, Iowan, Platino, Seravek and
Times New Roman. The reader can also choose from a number of font sizes from
small to very large.
Figure 38: An overview of an iBook.
1. Library: touch or tap ‘Library’ to return to your iBooks collection.
2. Index: you can move between the Index page to navigate to a specific
chapter of the book or table of contents. When in ‘Index’ mode the Index
button changes to ‘Resume’ allowing you to move back to your original
page. The Index page also features Bookmarks and Notes. Notes can be
created by tapping or selecting individual words or sentences.
3. Font and Themes: this provides some useful options particularly for learners
with dyslexia and/or visual difficulties. Fonts can be increased in size with
Sepia and Night (high contrast) themes if required. There is also a slider
button at the top of the panel for increasing and decreasing the display
brightness levels. There are 7 fonts to choose from.
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Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
4. Search: search for keywords or page numbers.
5. Bookmark: this option allows you to bookmark favourite pages of the book.
Selected bookmarks are collated and can be found in the Index section.
6. Page Slider: can be used to navigate through the pages of a book. By holding
down and sliding the bar pages will be displayed in relative chapters and
page numbers.
As well as these useful features iBooks provide other options which can benefit
many learners. By tapping and holding down a word or sentence, iBooks will:
Speak – words or sentences can be read aloud.
Copy – copy a selection of text to another text-based App such as Notes or
Define – provide word definitions with the iBook’s built-in dictionary or
options to ‘Search Web’ or ‘Search Wikipedia’.
Highlight – option to highlight words/sentences in a range of colours.
Add Notes – you can add personal notes to any selected text. Both
highlighted text and notes can be found in one place by selecting Index.
A recent initiative from Apple was the release of iBook Author, an application that
runs on a Mac and allows educators and teachers to create and produce textbooks
that can be read in an iBook format. It is an easy-to-use program even for
inexperienced computer users. iBooks Author opens and convert Word documents
and PDF formats retaining the original formatting. This makes it quick to compile
and share an electronic textbook.
The program integrates text, images, audio and video as well as interactive and
engaging elements including 3D objects, multiple choice quizzes and flash cards.
These features provide engaging ways for learners, both young and old to interact
with electronic textbooks given the range of auditory and visual learning styles
Book Creator (see Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning) is an App
which allows the user to create personalised audio and picture books. This is an
excellent resource for creating a personalised story or a series of in-class social
stories for recording events, external visits and other interesting activities:
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
e-Book Apps
There are also ‘e-Book’ Apps which have been developed for reading electronic
books such as Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo and Google Books. These Apps feature
options such as different background colours, font sizes and font styles. Books that
have been purchased on Amazon or Google can be synchronised (if you have Wi-Fi)
so you can have the same books on the iPad, iPhone or other e-Book readers. Bear
in mind that unlike e-Book readers such as the Kindle which uses ‘e-Ink’ (text
appears as if reading a newspaper or a paperback book) the iPad is backlit and
brighter. Some people prefer to read e-Ink as it is much easier on the eye. The
iPad’s backlit LCD screen could cause eyestrain when used for long periods of
Audio Books
One advantage of using iTunes or the iBook App is that it provides access to a
variety of commercial audio books. Publishers such as Audible, Google Books,
Overdrive, Barnes & Noble, Kindle and Kobo all offer books in audio only format.
Simply download the relevant App (mostly free) to your device – a full list of
publishers and audio book resources are available from the iTunes/App Store book
list: http:bit.ly/wTYXkq
Originally a podcast was an audio format comprising of a series of episodes for
streaming online or downloading to your computer or portable device via an RSS
(Really Simple Syndication) Feed or Aggregator. Increasingly podcasts now contain
video (sometimes known as vodcasts) and are available from the iTunes store in a
range of curriculum subjects. The iTunes U App is a collection of educational
resources in podcast format in both audio and video.
Although the iTunes U App is most relevant to college and university students (with
over 500,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other subjects), it is worth
exploring as an alternative learning resource.
For more information on the iTunes U App go to: http://bit.ly/iTunesUApp or to
find out how to make the most of podcasts you can visit the Apple Podcasting site:
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 2: Apps to Support Teaching and Learning
The discussion above hopefully gives a flavour of the wide range of options
available, the potential value of many Apps, some key factors to bear in mind, and
features to look out for (or avoid).
There is no doubt that we have powerful tools here to help overcome barriers
arising from disabilities, to motivate and engage learners in exciting new ways.
However, the ever-growing range of low cost, novel and stimulating Apps is almost
overwhelming. In the face of this revolution, are we perhaps just trying to grab
‘everything’ and failing to evaluate critically enough the worth of the Apps that we
introduce to our learners?
As Ian Bean stressed in his presentation to the Inclusive Learning Technologies
conference in Australia, 2012, there is nothing magical about sitting a child down
with technology. The ‘one Killer App’ that truly transforms teaching, learning,
communication and leisure is not anything that can be downloaded from iTunes.
The must-have killer App is actually the teacher – or other professional, or parent that works with the learner day to day.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
You don’t have to look too far in the
App Store to see there is a range of
magnifiers, text-to-speech and other
Apps to support learners with
additional needs.
Although most of these Apps are fairly
inexpensive there are others which
are costly and don’t offer any
additional benefit compared to some
of the built-in features which come
with your device.
So before you start downloading, take
a minute to look under the bonnet of
your iPhone or iPad and spend some
time tinkering with the tools in the
‘Settings’, in particular in
Apple includes assistive technology in
its products as standard features but
with the latest iOS 5.1.1, there are a
number of significant enhancements
and improvements. Note: iOS 4 has
many of these options but to get the
full range you will need to update to
iOS 5 or later. Accessibility includes
the following:
Touchscreen screen reading used with
gestures, i.e. tap, double tap, flick,
swipe, swipe and tap.
VoiceOver allows a user with a visual
difficulty to control, interact, read
and write everything on the screen by
using a series of gestures.
VoiceOver also features a ‘practice
area’ so you can learn the main
gestures before going ‘live’ on your
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Zoom is a magnification feature that gives the user control over the magnification
level of the device – up to 500%. Zoom will also work on all aspects of the
interface, including Home and Spotlight (easy-to-use search feature). Similar to
VoiceOver, Zoom requires the user to learn some basic gesture controls. Zoom can
also be used in conjunction with other gestures, particularly when viewing
photographs, e.g. flick, pinch and tap. It is not possible to have Zoom and
VoiceOver on at the same time.
Large Text
Large Text is a useful feature that can support someone with a visual difficulty.
The size of text can be increased from 20pt to 56pt. Large Text only works in
Calendar, Mail, Messages and Notes. However, in some Apps such as Pages
(Apple’s word processor) text can be increased to 144 points. It is possible to
combine Large Text with White on Black and/or Zoom.
White on Black
This is a high contrast feature which darkens the background and highlights the
foreground in white – white on black. White on Black can be used in conjunction
with Zoom and if required, Voice Over.
While many of the Accessibility features are useful for learners with a visual
impairment or literacy difficulties, options to support learners with a physical or
mobility disability are limited. However, there are a number of low-tech devices
on the market such as keyguards, styluses and switches, which provide increased
access to iPads.
This guide will explore both the built-in accessibility features and accessories to
give you a starting point so your learners are able to maximise the potential that
the iPad offers to help access the curriculum.
Getting started
1. The first step is to tap the Settings button. This opens all the options within
Figure 39: Accessibility can be found in Settings.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
2. When the Settings Panel opens, select General.
3. Scroll down the page until you come to Accessibility.
Figure 40: Go to General and scroll down to Accessibility.
As you can see from the illustration below all the main Accessibility options in
iOS5.1.1 are located here: VoiceOver, Zoom, Large Text, White on Black, Speak
Selection, Speak Auto-text, Hearing, Assistive Touch and Triple-click home.
Figure 41: Accessibility options in one place.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
However, it should also be noted that there are also some useful ‘accessibility’
features that are not immediately obvious, such as abbreviation expansion and the
on-screen keyboard options. These will be covered in due course.
VoiceOver is the iPad’s version of a screen reader, i.e. a feature that will read
aloud content on the screen, particularly when an item such as a button or text is
tapped or touched. Currently there is only one default male voice. There are no
options to change the voice but it is possible to change the rate or the speed of
the voice and there are other options which can be set for typing feedback, i.e.
option to speak individual characters or words when typing with the on-screen
keyboard or when using an external keyboard.
There are some useful but simple gestures that allow a blind or visually impaired
user to interact with items on the screen such as tapping, double tapping, three
finger swiping which will initially require some practice and familiarisation.
1. To start VoiceOver, select or tap On. VoiceOver will start reading information
aloud whenever and wherever you touch or select an item. Double tapping with
3 fingers will switch speech on and off but it will not close VoiceOver. Take
care - if you triple tap you will black out the screen (i.e. turn on the screen
curtain)! To see the screen again triple tap to turn the screen curtain off. More
information about this in point 3.
2. VoiceOver works more efficiently when you use Gestures. For example, ‘Double
tap’ to activate an item, such as turning VoiceOver On and Off. To navigate
back to the Accessibility options, double tap the Accessibility button at the top
of page and so on.
To scroll through items or pages, ‘Flick’ the screen with three fingers. Another
way to navigate around the screen is to hold your finger down and glide it along
the screen. VoiceOver will read each item aloud, then simply double tap the
item to open.
3. When VoiceOver is activated a new button appears on the screen called
‘VoiceOver Practice’. VoiceOver Practice is designed to be a ‘safe’ area where
you can practice taps, double tapping, flicks etc. VoiceOver Practice is
supported with speech guidance which speaks relevant commands. It is
recommend that you use VoiceOver Practice to familiarise yourself with the
different commands and gestures.
Screen Curtain – triple tapping anywhere on the screen will activate Screen
Curtain. This will black-out the screen, simulating what it would be for a blind
user. To switch off Screen Curtain, triple tap the screen with three fingers.
Most people, if they do it by accident, think they have broken the iPad. Don’t
4. Speaking Rate is a simple sliding bar to increase or decrease the rate of the
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
5. There are some options in this section that allow you to finely tune VoiceOver.
For example ‘Typing Feedback’ provides options for software keyboards and
hardware keyboards (Bluetooth attachment). You can choose to set VoiceOver
to speak characters, words, and a combination of both characters and words.
Pitch Change will change the pitch of the voice, e.g. when pronouncing capital
letters etc.
6. This section offers additional features such as connecting the iPad to an
external Braille device via Bluetooth.
The Rotor option allows you to select which items of the screen VoiceOver
should be read, particularly when typing or reading information in the Safari
The list is more extensive than shown here and also includes Text Fields, Search
Fields and Buttons.
Figure 42: Rotor allows you to fine tune what VoiceOver reads aloud.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Using the iPad with a Braille display
The iPad supports over 30 Bluetooth wireless Braille displays without any
additional software. In order to connect a Bluetooth Braille display to an iPad you
first of all need to ‘pair’ the iPad with an appropriate Bluetooth Braille display.
To switch on Bluetooth on your iPad go to Settings, General and Bluetooth.
Remember that long usage of Bluetooth can impact on the length of your iPad’s
battery life. For a complete list of iPad compatible Braille displays select the
following link: bit.ly/iPad_Braille_Displays
Figure 43: Using the iPad with a Braille display.
Similar to VoiceOver, Zoom also requires to be used with some basic gestures. It is
not possible to use Zoom in tandem with VoiceOver. They can only be used
Figure 44: Zoom magnifies the whole screen.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Figure 45: Buttons, icons and other items can be magnified up to 500%
Large Text
As you can see from the Figure 46, Large Text offers significant visual
enhancements for someone with visual difficulties. The size of text can be
increased from 20pt to 56pt. Large Text only works in Calendar, Mail, Messages
and Notes but it will not increase the size of the font on the keyboard. However, it
is possible to use Large Text in conjunction with other Accessibility features such
as Zoom and White on Black (see next section).
Figure 46: Text can be set up to 56 pt.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Figure 47: Large Text can be increased from 20pt to 56pt.
White On Black
When White On Black is
activated it will invert
screen colour and text.
The background becomes
predominantly black, text
is shown in white
(Application text changes
to a creamy gray colour)
and highlighting and
activated buttons are
shown with an orange
tinge, similar to Figure 48.
Figure 48: White on Black inverts screen colour and text.
Speak Selection
Speak Selection is a new feature in iOS 5. Speak Selection will use text-to-speech
to read the selected text aloud. You can define how much text you want Speak
Selection to read by selecting and defining the text – tapping and holding/dragging
the selection handles.
When you have selected your chosen text, tap the ‘Speak’ option. Speak Selection
uses the default voice in VoiceOver and there is currently no option to change the
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Figure 49: Speak Selection will read selected text.
The Hearing option could be useful for a user who has hearing difficulties in one
ear. To benefit from the Hearing option, you will need to use headphones and set
the Hearing slider bar to whichever ear has the best auditory ability. For example,
if the user hears best with their left ear then the Hearing slider bar should be set
to the left hand side.
Figure 50: Hearing can help with hearing difficulties.
In the iPhone there are additional hearing options whereby you can assign unique
vibration patterns to people in Contacts.
Assistive Touch
Assistive Touch is another new feature in iOS 5. Assistive Touch allows users to
perform gestures and button actions on the iPad with one touch. When Assistive
Touch is activated it initially appears as a large transparent circle.
Figure 51: Assistive Touch allows users to perform gestures with one touch.
The transparent circle can be placed anywhere on the screen. The Assistive Touch
menu appears as a transparent square which sits ‘above’ the screen and has four
different options; Gestures, Device, Favourites and Home.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Assistive Touch provides one-tap access to all of the iPad's functions including
rotation, shaking, volume changes and even gestures.
Figure 52: Assistive touch provides support with mobility difficulties.
Gestures such as pinch and swipe can be recalled by a tap, and custom gestures
can even be recorded and played back on command.
Assistive Touch would be particularly useful for someone who is physically unable
to use the hardware features on the iPad, such as volume control, Home button,
rotate screen etc.
It has also been designed to work alongside other assistive technologies, such as a
head pointer. Assistive Touch allows users with complex mobility difficulties to use
the iPad by simple taps.
Assistive Touch can also be used as a replacement option if the Home button
becomes ‘sticky’ or unresponsive to taps – this can sometimes happen on older or
faulty iPads. You can replicate taps and double taps by using the Home button on
Assistive Touch.
Triple-click Home
Triple-click home provides a quick and easy shortcut for starting your favourite
accessibility features without the need to go into the Settings, General and
Accessibility options.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Figure 53: Triple-click home is a quick way of activating Accessibility.
To use Triple-click home select the feature you want to use
in the Triple-click Home panel. If you would prefer to be
prompted which feature you would like to use, rather than
being forced to use one option, select ‘Ask’.
Otherwise choose your preferred feature and then ‘triple
click’ the Home button on your iPad to activate the feature.
It is also possible to use Assistive Touch in conjunction with
Triple-click home. For example, if you have a user who is
Figure 54: Use Triple-click with
Assistive Touch
unable to click the Home button it is possible to create
Custom gestures which allow you record gestures that can be activated from
Favourites in the Menu.
Using a Head Pointer with Assistive Touch
One example of how someone could benefit from Assistive Touch is when it is
combined with a head pointer, similar to RJ Cooper’s DIY iTablet Headpointer;
www.rjcooper.com/tablet-pointer/index.html. Assistive Touch combined with a
head pointer can allow someone who has limited hand and touch mobility to
control volume, rotation and the Home button.
Connecting the iPad to an external keyboard
There are a number of external keyboards compatible with the iPad. Examples
include Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard which can connect via a docking station or by
simply pairing the USB devices together.
It is possible to connect a Windows keyboard to the iPad using a Camera
Connection Kit. The Camera Connection Kit comprises of an SD card reader slot for
importing images from a memory card.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Camera connection kits are also available
with an additional USB slot allowing
external accessories such as a USB
keyboard, USB microphone/headset to be
In Figure 56, a compact keyboard is fitted
with a keyguard allowing someone with a
mobility difficulty to type into Notes,
Contacts, Pages and other text editing
Apps such as Keynote.
Figure 55: The iPad Camera USB Connection Kit.
A disadvantage of using a Windows
keyboard is that keyboard shortcuts are limited to basic character and word
navigation, i.e. Shift + right arrow etc.to move between and through words. An
advantage of using an Apple USB keyboard will provide greater use of the
keyboard’s features, such as shortcuts.
Figure 56: Example of a compact keyboard with keyguard using the USB Camera Connection Kit.
In Figure 57 the iPad is connected to a high contrast large key keyboard. The iPad
has been set using the ‘White on Black’ setting in Accessibility in conjunction with
the Pages App with the font size set to 72 point. This setup could facilitate some
users with a visual impairment to access the iPad.
iPad Keyguards
One of the difficulties of fitting an overlay or keyguard to an iPad is the variety of
grid/symbol arrangements particular to each App. This means that keyguards are
limited in their use. However, there are companies such as Lasered Pics which sell
keyguard overlays for Proloquo2go, GoTalkNow, Assistive Chat, iMean, and other
popular AAC Apps: bit.ly/ipadcustomkeyguards or alternatively you can download
a custom template to create your own: www.logan-technologies.co.uk/ipadaccess-solutions.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Figure 57: Example of high contrast keyboard connected to the the iPad via the USB Camera Connection kit.
Using Switch Access with the iPad
While Assistive Touch can offer some help the iPad may require an external device
known as a switch input system. Switch input can offer increased access to
computers and other mobile devices to those who find it difficult or impossible to
do so without additional hardware. Some Apps offer switch access, particularly for
those users with disabilities who are unable to tap or swipe or interact with the
iPad with gestures, for example, users who have mobility difficulties and/or
require an alternative means of accessing an iPad.
If you would like to know more about switch input systems you can download
guides from the CALL Scotland website: bit.ly/calls_switch_guides
Connecting a switch to an iPad
There are a number of ways in which a switch can be connected to an iPad. At the
time of writing the most common way of doing this is by using a Bluetooth switch
box which pairs the switch to the iPad. See ‘Using the iPad with a Braille display’
in Chapter 3 to find out more about pairing devices with Bluetooth.
Examples of Bluetooth switch devices include Therapy Box’s Switchbox for
Predictable (www.therapy-box.co.uk/) or RJ Cooper’s Bluetooth Switch Interface
and the Bluetooth Super-Switch (see www.rjcooper.com). Other examples include
the Switch2Scan and Switch4Apps devices which provide switch and scanning
access to the iPad: www.inclusive.co.uk/hardware/ipad.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
Figure 58: Using switch access with an iPad.
While it is possible to connect a switch to an iPad remember that currently a
switch access system will only with those Apps which have switch capability.
Otherwise, it is not yet possible to use switch access on native iPad Apps.
Styluses and Mouthsticks
As well as switches and head pointers, other hardware which is increasingly
appearing is a range of styluses. A good example of a stylus is a T-bar stylus for
those learners unable to hold or grip a standard pen shaped pointer. Examples of
suppliers include: Etsy (www.etsy.com – and search for ShapeDad ) who also
provide mouthsticks.
Figure 59: Examples of styluses and mouthsticks.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 3: Accessibility Options
For learners who have better motor control and don’t require a T-bar stylus
another option worth considering is the robust AluShape aluminium pencil shaped
stylus with a hexagonal design and a rubber tip which glides across the screen:
Figure 60: The AluShape pencil for the iPad.
Closed Captioning
There are features contained in Settings which are not categorised as Accessibility
but do offer additional benefits. For example, in Settings and Video ‘Closed
Captioning’ is available for users who are deaf or have hearing impairment or
prefer to read captions and listen when viewing a video. However, although this
option is available it closed captions will only appear on those videos there were
produced with captions at the outset.
Multitasking Gestures
Multitasking gestures are a central feature in the way the iPad and Apps are used
and manipulated. Multitasking gestures include using four or five fingers to ‘Pinch’
to quickly move to the Home Screen or to ‘Swipe’ to reveal the multitasking bar
(which can be also accessed by double tapping the Home button). ‘Swiping’ left or
right between Apps and screens is a quick way of moving between multiple Apps
which are in use.
In some circumstances Multitasking Gestures could be problematic for learners
with poor fine motor skills as screens and Apps could be accidentally swiped
causing a distraction or even confusion as the App disappears and another
‘inexplicably’ slides in.
Multitasking Gestures can be turned on or off by selecting Settings, General and
finally Multitasking Gestures.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
As well as the growth in Apps, the
range of accessories for iPads has also
seen a significant expansion in the
shape of protective cases, mounts,
stands, pointers, switch interfaces,
speakers, amplifiers, remote
controllers, styluses and more.
For many learners with additional
support needs the ‘out of the box
iPad’ can be a barrier in itself,
particularly for those with mobility
difficulties or learners who require a
wheelchair mount and/or switch
access etc.
Chapter 3, Accessibility Options,
provides a number of
recommendations to enhance access
to the iPad. This section expands on
some of those ideas and introduces a
range of accessories that can either
be used in isolation or in conjunction
with other access devices.
Most of the suppliers are based in the
UK although as this is an emerging
market many suppliers are located in
the U.S. Where possible we have
provided generic web-based suppliers
such as Amazon with a direct web
link. In those cases where a generic
link isn’t possible we have provided a
direct link to the supplier.
CALL Scotland does not have any
association or interests with
commercial suppliers and strives to
provide impartial and unbiased
information when sourcing accessories
and other iPad related equipment.
Prices are accurate at the time of
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
If working with children a useful accessory to start with is the
Bupcap, a semi-rigid strip of foam/plastic to help prevent
accidental or deliberate pressing of the Home button. The Bubcap
can help deter learners from distracting themselves by exiting
Apps (and opening other Apps) instead of focusing on specific
Bubcaps can be purchased from: http://bubcap.com or
alternatively from the US Amazon Store (not currently available on
UK Store) for approximately £5.00 per pack of 2. The Bubcap Pro
is available from RJ Cooper (US):
Figure 61: Bubcaps fit over the
Home Button.
Another supplier is Lasered Pics who offer a Home Strip Button which fits across
the bottom of the iPad: bit.ly/homebuttonstrip.
Protective Cases
Protective cases for the iPad are available in a host of different materials, colours,
styles and designs. The choice of protective case will ultimately depend on the
needs of individual users. While some cases offer protection to the Home button
others cases feature integrated sound amplification (which may require batteries),
built-in stands, screen protection and a range colours. Protective cases are
arranged according to price – cheapest to most expensive. Prices range from
£17.50 to £148.00.
This is an appealing ‘protective’ case – a case which isn’t quite a case!
iBallz features an innovative design with four 4 foam shock absorber balls at each
corner (with 3 attached one can be used as an angled rest) everything is held
together with an adjustable elastic cord.
Figure 62: iBallz consists of 4 foam balls.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
iBallz can be attached and removed quickly and easily. iBallz also offer a range of
sleeves which provide added protection. A disadvantage of the iBallz is that the
foam balls can obstruct the iPad’s camera so you may need to position or unhook
the top right hand foam ball away from the lens when taking photos.
At a glance
iPad Version
Built-in Speaker
Built-in Stand
Home button protection
UK Supplier
Approximate cost
iPad 1 & 2 and New iPad
4 foam balls with adjustable cord
Pink, Black, Grey and Green
Use foam ball to provide angled rest
Big Grips Frame
The Big Grips Frame case is made of soft rubber
and is available in Green, Blue, Pink and Grey.
Although the Big Grips Frame can be seated in
portrait or landscape view you must buy the
additional stand as it is sold separately. The Big
Grips Frame is one of the more robust and
durable protective cases. It fits snugly but
tightly around the iPad giving it maximum
protection from daily knocks and falls.
The price is also very affordable and when
fitted with a screen protector to avoid
scratches, the Big Grips Frame should survive
most classroom impacts.
Figure 63: Big Grips Frame.
At a glance
iPad Version
Built-in Speaker
Built-in Stand
Home button protection
UK supplier
Approximate cost
iPad 1, 2 & New iPad
Soft lightweight rubber
Green, Blue, Pink and Grey
Stand available separately
Inclusive Technology
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
OtterBox Reflex
The OtterBox range offers cases for both the
first generation iPad, iPad 2 and the New iPad.
The OtterBox Reflex series provides protection
for the front and back of the device as well as
touch screen shield that doubles as a
viewing/typing stand.
The OtterBox offers four different series with
varying levels of protection for different
devices: Defender, Reflex, Commuter and
Impact. The website also features a video
overview of each of the protective cases in
A disadvantage of the Otterbox is that it is
awkward to fit the case to the iPad and may
take several attempts before achieving the
correct fitting.
Figure 64: The Otterbox Reflex.
At a glance
iPad Version
Built-in Speaker
Built-in Stand
Home button protection
UK supplier
Approximate cost
iPad 1, 2 and New iPad
Soft rubber casing – washable and shock absorbent
Multiple colours
Yes – landscape only
Avant Garde Distribution
The Gripcase claims to be the ultimate iPad
case for portability, handling and protection –
and judging from the video clip which
demonstrates the Gripcase on the home page,
it does look impressive (although we haven’t
had an opportunity to test one). On the
downside there doesn’t seem to be a UK
supplier (at the time of writing) but that may
change as demand increases.
The Gripcase is currently available for the iPad
1 and 2 and the New iPad and is available in
Blue, Red, Green, Purple and Black and
features a soft rubber casing. There is no builtin stand. The Gripcase does not provide
protection to the Home button.
Figure 65: The Gripcase for the iPad.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
At a glance
iPad Version
Built-in Speaker
Built-in Stand
Home button protection
Approximate cost
iPad 1 & 2
Soft rubber casing – washable and shock absorbent
Multiple colours
£43.00 including US shipping fees
Griffin Survivor
The Griffin Survivor is Griffin’s
main case for the iPad 2 and New
iPad although Griffin also offers a
Screen Care Kit for the original
iPad. The Griffin Survivor is
designed for ‘extreme conditions’
and will protect the iPad against
sand, rain, humidity, shock and Figure 66: The Griffin Survivor.
other environmental factors.
At a glance
iPad Version
Built-in Speaker
Built-in Stand
Home button protection
UK supplier
Approximate cost
iPad 2 and New iPad
Soft rubber casing – washable and shock absorbent
Multiple colours
£35.00 – £45.00
Speck iPad Guy
The Speck iPad Guy is currently available in
Green, Orange and Blue and features a soft
rubber casing. The Speck iPad Guy adds a bit
of fun, colour and provides some handles to
hold although they are rather flimsy.
The ‘arm’ handles are very thin and could
wear or even be pulled off if used robustly
over a period of time.
Figure 67: Speck Guy for the iPad.
Although the Speck iPad Guy has a base/stand
it is unsupported and easily knocked over. One advantage of the Speck iPad Guy is
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
that it has deep protective slots; useful for protecting the external buttons
(on/off, mute) from wandering fingers.
At a glance
iPad Version
Built-in Speaker
Built-in Stand
Home button protection
Approximate cost
iPad 1 & 2 and New iPad
Soft rubber casing
Currently Green, Orange and Blue
Yes – built-in base but only in landscape mode
Puremac: http://www.puremac.de
iMainGo XP
The iMainGo XP is a dual purpose case: a protective case and sound/music
amplification which is very loud. The iMainGo XP could be beneficial for amplifying
synthetic or audio messages in open or noisy environments for communication aid
Figure 68: The iMainGo XP with integrated speakers.
At a glance
iPad Version
Built-in Speaker
Built-in Stand
Home button protection
UK supplier
Approximate cost
iPad 1 & 2
Hard plastic casing
Only in black
Yes – sound amplification
Yes – landscape only
Only when case is closed
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
As well as being a protective case the iAdapter is
also an amplifier with dual speakers that can be
heard in a range of environments and settings.
The iAdapter comes with its own separate
rechargeable battery which has a short life span
and cuts the iPad sound as the battery runs
down. Other features include protection for the
Home button an option for a carrying strap and a
stand for viewing in portrait view.
The casing is constructed of plastic with rubber
corners and offers protection from the toughest
At a glance
iPad Version
Built-in Speaker
Built-in Stand
Home button protection
UK Supplier(s)
Approximate cost
Figure 69: The iAdapter
iPad 1,2 and New iPad
Combination of plastic and rubber
Yes – built in rechargeable batteries
Yes – landscape only
Yes – plastic slider
Inclusive Technology/Therapy-Box/SmartboxAT
iPad External Keyboards
With the release of iOS 5 some new features were added to the iPad’s on-screen
keyboard, such a splitting the keyboard in two, docking and undocking. Despite
these new features the keyboard can be tricky and sometimes uncomfortable to
use. Moreover, some learners find the default keyboard difficult or impossible to
In Chapter 3, Accessibility, we explained how you can you add an external
keyboard by using a Camera Connection Kit. While this is an inexpensive option it
provides limited keyboard functionality compared to an Apple compatible
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
The iKeyboard is a thin membrane with gel-like buttons which attaches to the
iPad, similar to a keyguard.
Figure 70: iKeyboard for the iPad.
As well as being lightweight and thin, the iKeyboard could help to avoid mistaken
keystrokes as the user must physically press each key. Keys are separated by a thin
and supple plastic grid.
The iKeyboard will only work with the default iPad on-screen keyboard and may
not be suitable or compatible with other on-screen keyboards which are
increasingly part of AAC Apps. Also, the iKeyboard will only work with text input
Apps such as Notes, Pages, email and Internet pages where text input is possible.
The iKeyboard is not a dedicated keyguard. To find out more visit the iKeyboard
website: www.ikeyboard.com
The TouchFire keyboard is a transparent
keyboard which sticks to the iPad using four
small magnets positioned at each corner of
the keyboard.
Although similar to the iKeyboard the
TouchFire is lighter and more flexible, i.e.,
it can be peeled back and rolled when not
in use.
For more information visit the TouchFire
‘How it works’ website:
Figure 71: TouchFire Keyboard for the iPad.
Flexible Bluetooth Mini Keyboard
In many ways the Flexible Bluetooth Mini Keyboard is reminiscent of the soft
plastic and washable ‘indestructible’ keyboard which proved beneficial for learners
with limited control of saliva.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
Similar to the indestructible keyboard, the Flexible Mini Keyboard is waterproof
and therefore washable.
Figure 72: The Flexible Mini Keyboard.
The Flexible Mini Keyboard uses Bluetooth to connect to the iPad and has a built-in
rechargeable battery. The keyboard is compatible with iOS 4 and iOS 5 (5.1.1).
For more details on the Flexible Mini Keyboard visit the iPadxs website:
iDock Keyguard for Apple iPad
Docking Keyboard
The iPad Docking keyboard combines a
dock for charging the iPad which can be
used with a standard keyboard and
keyguard, which would benefit learners
with mobility difficulties such as limited
hand coordination.
The keyboard also includes special keys
that activate iPad features.
Figure 73: The iDock Keyguard.
Microphones and Recording
Many Apps feature audio, either for recording notes, creating social stories or even
voice recognition (speech-to-text). The iPad’s internal microphone is adequate for
most audio recordings. But if you are looking for a microphone to filter out
background noise or something which provides a more rounded sound there are
numerous external microphones available to suit almost every need ranging from
very affordable to more expensive professional microphones. These can be plugged
directly in to the iPad or via a Camera Connection Kit (see Chapter 3: Accessibility
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
Most USB microphones will work via the USB Camera Connection Kit although there
are some which require to be powered from the device. If the iPad is unable to
provide the necessary power then the USB microphone will not be compatible.
Always check with the manufacturer to be on the safe side.
Microphone Accessories
Dedicated iPad microphones plug directly into the iPad’s power connector. One
example is APOGEE’s hand-held Micro Studio Mic sold by the MicStore:
www.themicstore.com for approximately £145.00.
The APOGEE mic provides studio quality recording and could be used for creating
audio tracks within Garageband. Another option is the iRig Mic which allows you to
use a quality hand-held condenser microphone for the iPad.
The iRig series also supplies adaptors to plug-in guitars, effects and other relevant
musical instruments. www.ikmultimedia.com/Main.html?ios/index.php
Figure 74: Connect a USB microphone.
Figure 75: The iRig microphone for quality recording.
If you intend to use a voice recognition App such
as Dragon Dictation with a
headphone/microphone set then it is worth
considering purchasing the iPad Headset
Microphone Adapter from Speech Recognition
Solutions (providing a dual jack for both a
microphone and headset.
Figure 76: Smart Phone Headset Microphone Adapter
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
Conductive and Capacitive Access
E-Tip Glove
The E-Tip Glove is a specially designed glove for
users with poor touch or who are unable to use
the iPad because of a skin condition. The iPad
has a capacitive touchscreen which requires an
electrostatic field between the screen and the
hand. The E-Tip gloves features a conductive tip
made of silver metallized nylon on the thumb
and index finger that touchscreens are
responsive to.
The iPad requires a range of finger gestures
particularly one-finger touch which controls
many of the iPad’s features, such as scrolling.
Normal gloves are not suitable for this process.
Figure 77: E-Tip Glove.
The E-Tip Glove benefits users who cannot easily
isolate a single finger and provides a ‘hand rest’ on
the iPad as only the metal tips react with the iPad’s screen.
The gloves are available from Therapy Box www.therapy-box.co.uk and from the
suppliers- North Face: http://uk.thenorthface.com/
Alternatives to the E-Tip Glove (woollen gloves with conductive thread) can be
found on Amazon from as little as £5.00. Another source is IKEA who developed the
Beröra (meaning to touch) conductive gloves kit, a DIY sewing kit with a special
conductive thread – IKEA’s alternative to the E-Tip glove. A cheap DIY option can
be found on the ‘Instructables’ website: http://bit.ly/glove_ipad.
iPad Mounts and Positioning
As popularity for the iPad increase the demand
for appropriate iPad mounts has also grown.
There is now a wide range of mounts, including
wheelchair mounts, which allow an iPad to be
safely and securely attached in many
configurable positions to allow ease of access
for different users.
While the traditional use of clamps and
mounting plates (often seen on AAC devices) are
still widely available, iPads can be mounted and Figure78: iPads can be mounted to a wheelchair.
fixed on different surfaces, including tables,
chairs, beds, walls; with brackets, suction devices and vacuum cups. Additionally
iPads can even be attached to the wrist with an elasticated wrist band.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
Mounts & More Ltd
With over 15 years of experience the UK based Mounts and More Ltd, recently
updated their product range with a new selection of iPad mounts, holders,
mounting plates and quick release base plates.
Dakin Technology
Best known for providing wheelchair mounts and other solutions for mobility
problems Dakin Technology have recently released a dual stand for the iPad and
keyboard which can be attached to a wheelchair. Dakin Technology also provides
assessments and a fitting service.
As well as supplying a large range of wheelchair mounting solutions,
BeyondAdaptive also supply iPad wheelchair mounts and keyguards. A recent
addition to their collection is a basic, hinged keyguard for the iPad but a future
plan is that you can build your own mount and keyguard – could be useful for those
who have difficulties with fine motor skills and find it difficult to use a touch
CJ Mounting
CJ Mounting feature a wide variety of mounts for iPads, laptops and other tablet
devices. Mounts include sturdy floor supports/mounts, wheelchair and smartwheelchair mounts with a focus on positioning the iPad to meet different needs.
DaeSSy Mounting Systems
A U.S. based company with a long history of making quality stands and mounts.
The iPad holder is a new addition to DaeSSY range and offers some useful features
such as quick release, easy switching between portrait and landscape and a secure
For users who are unable to hold an iPad then the iProp could be a useful solution.
The iProp is compatible with both the original iPad and second generation; it
features a long goose neck extension and can rotate a full 360 degrees. The iProp
is also fitted with a heavy V-shaped base.
Mount n Mover
A US based company which specialises in a range of wheelchair mounting and
positioning systems. They also provide some useful video overviews and case
studies as well as some helpful ‘How to’ videos. Some of their products are
available from Toby Churchill which in the UK.
www.mountnmover.com or www.toby-churchill.com
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 4: iPad Accessories
Ram Mounts
Ram Mounts provide specialist parts for the car industry but they also offer a range
of compatible mounts for Apple cradles – a good range of swivel heads, sockets so
you can set up and adjust the iPad just the way you need it.
RJ Cooper
RJ Cooper has almost everything there is to attach or clamp to an iPad.
If you’re looking for iPad stands, pointing devices, switch interfaces, mounts,
cases, speakers, remote controllers.
iPad Holders
iPad holders consist of either a plastic or
leather case fitted with a strap or elasticated
hand strap on the rear of the case. The iPad
can be firmly and securely held in the hand
without the fear of accidentally dropping it.
Some iPad holders have a 360 degrees rotating
mount so the iPad can be held in landscape
and portrait mode.
A search for ‘iPad Holder’ will give a selection
of results to choose from with prices starting
from around £20.00.
Figure 79: iPad holders can be strapped to the hand.
The Wallee range of products has more of a focus on
suction and vacuum style of mounts. Nevertheless
there are some useful ideas on how iPads can be
attached to different surfaces. The Hand Strap is
one innovative idea which consists of a strap
attached to the back of the iPad case.
You simply place your hand through the strap and
then adjust for maximum comfort, support and
security. One advantage of the Hand Strap is it
could offer greater freedom of movement to pupils
in class, without worrying that the device could be
dropped. Teachers can also use it to take the iPad
close up to a pupil to illustrate an App or another
item on the screen.
Figure 80: The Wallee Hand Strap.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 5: iPad Resources
Chapter 5: iPad Resources
As the iPad continuously develops and
the range of Apps increases both in
numbers and diversity, many users
including educators are using this
medium in creative and innovative
ways, often developing new valuable
resources. With new Apps and
resources being released on a daily
basis it can be impossible to keep
track of what is happening in such a
fast ever changing environment.
This chapter helps you keep up-todate with new changes, developments
and the increasing amount of Apps
available on the App Store.
The first section ‘Finding Apps to
support learning and teaching’
provides direct links to Apps which
have been trialled and tested by
practitioners, parents and also by
children. We have added our own
helpful comments and in some cases
there are web links to video
overviews, so you can see at a glance
the distinguishing features of each
App. Other sites provide searchable
databases which can be searched by
device, type of App (photo story,
word bank, word prediction etc.) and
by price.
New developments can be found using
the ‘Blogs, Tweets, Wikis, Case
Studies and Research’ section which
provides links to those ‘in the know’.
There are also links to popular,
enthusiastic and dedicated ‘tweeters’
and bloggers as well as many other
social networks which provide
current, informative and specialist
knowledge, including valuable
research sites.
If you are considering implementing
iPads in your organisation, the section
‘Purchasing Apps and Classroom
Management’ offers advice from those
who have experienced the trials and
tribulations of setting up school-wide
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 5: iPad Resources
Finding Apps to support learning and teaching
With so many Apps available for the iPad, it would be impossible to search, find
and evaluate the best and most suitable Apps to suit different needs. Below are
some useful time-cutting ways to help find you find the appropriate Apps without
the need to spend hours hunting through the App Store.
The KinderTown App is essentially a database App for searching educational Apps,
including Apps that help with speech and language development. As well as being
free to download, you can also search for Apps by subject and each one has been
reviewed by an educator.
Finding an AAC App to meet individual needs can be time consuming. Luckily the
‘AppsForAAC’ site provides a detailed informative guide which is organised by
category, speech system and symbol system used. The ‘Full List’ section provides
an easy-to-use search facility so you can quickly find the App you’re looking for
without scrolling through pages of Apps.
Spectronics: iPhone/iPad Apps for AAC
The Spectronics site is an extremely comprehensive and popular resource.
Compiled by Jane Farrall this site features AAC Apps which are categorised into 3
areas: Symbols/Pictures only Apps, Symbols and Text-to-Speech Apps and Text
Based Apps. Each of the Apps listed is provided with a description, brief overview
of features, access options and a rating.
Apps for Children with Special Needs
The Apps for Children with Special Needs features a range of appropriate and
useful resources to meet different types of abilities and learning needs including
examples of ‘how to’ video clips for around 120 Apps.
SpeechTechies is a collaborative resource document (Google Docs) which
comprises a comprehensive list of mobile Apps for the iPad and Android devices.
Speaking of Speech
Speaking of Speech is a huge database of AAC Apps which can be searched by
keywords or by category.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 5: iPad Resources
SpeechPathology Apps
Although a U.S. resource the site provides Apps which have been researched and
tested by users including speech and language therapists. SpeechPathology Apps
provides a quick way of finding Apps which are categorised into the following
areas: Early Concept Apps, Interactive Book Apps, Reading Apps, Speech &
Language Apps, Parenting Apps for Mums & Dads and Special Education Apps.
Apps in Education
Most of us, particularly teachers, just don’t have time to spend time browsing
through the multitude of Apps. This site helps by breaking down Apps into
categories and key learning areas.
Eric Sailers
Eric Sailers is a speech-language pathologist who is probably best known for
creating his own Apps: ArtikPix, PhonoPix, Percentally and the social story App,
StoryPals. Eric Sailers has also written extensively on ACC Apps including a
comprehensive list of his own recommended Apps:
http://scr.bi/ericsailorsapps and his blog is here: http://ericsailers.com
This site is comprehensive resource, clearly laid out and easy to navigate to
quickly find information. Some of the Apps include Apps for AAC, Appy Black Friday
and Apps for children with additional support needs. A major benefit of this site is
that you can review the resources before visiting the actual site – a great time
Special Education Apps on iTunes
You will need to have iTunes installed to view this resource, but this is a one-stopshop for a range of additional support Apps, including Apps for communication,
hearing, language development, literacy and learning, organisation, and life skills.
Prices range from free to over £100.00.
iPod Touch and iPad Resources
This resource features the LiveBinders interface (a virtual version of a Filofax or
pull out cabinet with a series of tabs/labels) and contains a wealth of resources.
Resources include AAC and general learning and teaching Apps. It is also a
worthwhile site to find information about educational issues connected to the use
of iPads in education.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 5: iPad Resources
App Deals
App Deals is an App which gives you instant access to Apps which are discounted
for a limited-time only or for free. You can personalise the App interface to display
the ‘streams’ that you’re most interested in, e.g. education, productivity, photo
and video, etc. App Deals allows you to see what deals are available in each
Blogs, Tweets, Wikis, Case Studies and Research
The use of social media sites such as Twitter and Blogs offers a rich variety of
information and resources on all things related to the iPad and Apps. This section
highlights some the most innovative, engaging and up-to-date blogs, tweets and
APPsolute Fit: Stages Framework
The ‘Stages Framework and Apps Support’ by Madalaine Pugliese, is a seven stage
framework of learning and language development based on the theories of Piaget’s
Cognitive Development and Chomsky’s Milestones and Language Development.
The Framework moves through different stages of learning and development from
‘Stage One – Cause and Effect’ through to ‘Stage Four Early Concepts’ and finally
‘Stages Six and Seven – Functional Learning.
At each stage Apps have been identified and matched to determine skills and
milestones. Each stage offers advice ‘About the Learner’ and ‘Features to
consider’ when deciding on what Apps should be introduced at each milestone.
With each corresponding App a rationale and description is also provided.
Rubric and Evaluating Apps for Teaching and Learning
Tony Vincent has developed a rubric to evaluate Apps. According to Vincent some
or all of the following features should be present within an App: customisation,
feedback, thinking skills, engagement and sharing. The site also provides a
Checklist which can be downloaded and used for free.
Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services
Developed by Kelly Fonner and Scott Marfilius for the research site Closing the
Gap, ‘Sorting AAC Apps’ includes a checklist of features of AAC applications for
iPads/iPods/iPhones and Androids. You can download Sorting AAC Apps here:
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 5: iPad Resources
Fraser Speirs
Fraser Speirs is a teacher at the Cedars School of Excellence, a mainstream
independent school in Inverclyde who has introduced iPads for all pupils.
Fraser blogs regularly on the project outlining recommended Apps, management
problems and even explores issues related to using an iPad with SAQ Adapted
Digital Exam papers.
iPads for Learning
Developed by the Australian Victorian Government, this site provides numerous
useful resources including case studies, 21 Steps to iPad success, Classroom ideas
and more. The ‘Nuts and Bolt’s section is particularly good with hints and tips to
managing iPads and Apps in a school setting.
The App Academy
The App Academy provides reviews of Apps which are linked to free online training
resources. As well as having an extensive list, one of the benefits of The App
Academy is the comprehensive list of video tutorials and online training. There are
step-by-step tutorials on Apps such as Picatello, Verbally and more, including
useful hints and tips on making the most from your iPad.
Meg Wilson @ impossibilities
Meg Wilson’s Twitter page provides a comprehensive resource for all things Apps
which are geared towards learning and teaching. Recent resources include Apps to
support spelling, art, music and regular updates on relevant issues to iPads and
Mobile Learning Special Needs
The Mobile Learning Special Needs site features some useful resources including an
interesting AAC Apps video presentation. The site also hosts an interactive forum
with discussions based around issues such as iPads and autism.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 5: iPad Resources
Lang witches Blog
The Lang witches blog is a general learning and teaching resource which provides
some useful insights into implementing iPads and Apps into the school and class
environment. The 21st Century Learning section, which focuses on using iPads with
learners with poor fluency, is particularly useful. A recent addition to the blog is
the iPad Apps and Blooms Taxonomy with Apps accordingly categorised to the
areas of ‘Creating’, ‘Evaluating’ etc.
The Website of Luis Perez
Luis Perez provides a comprehensive overview of the iPad’s built-in accessibility
options (see Chapter 3: Accessibility Options). With text-to-speech, magnification
and more this site provides a useful introduction to tools which come readily
available on the iOS device.
60 Minutes
60 Minutes is part of the US CBS News Corporation and provides short films which
can be viewed online. This specific video case study explores how iPads and Apps
are being used with Autistic children in the class and at home to support
communication and learning.
#iear is another prolific and enthusiastic Tweeter but this time with loads of iPad
resources and tutorials. A recent post explored the pitfalls of deploying and
managing iPads in classrooms.
Unlocking Literacy with the iPad
“It keeps me interested and motivated and I don’t zone out like I used to”, states
a student who is finding the iPad beneficial to his learning. One teacher provides
data to suggest that using iPads in teaching and learning is really raising standards
among students.
iPads in Education
iPads in Education is a Ning social networking site which is full of useful
information, discussion groups, blogs and numerous hints and tips. There is also a
lively discussion forum which is available to all members. iPads in Education offers
impartial advice, mostly based on the experience of others, on preparing your
school for an iPad implementation and managing content and Apps. iPads in
Education is free to join.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 5: iPad Resources
Robert Scoble
In this blog post Robert Scoble explains how the iPad is helping his son to
communicate. Using Google + (Google’s answer to Facebook) Robert is attempting
to build a ‘Circle of Friends’ – a circle of people interested in autism and iPad
Apps. The site also features a thought provoking video diary.
Purchasing Apps and Classroom Management
Managing iPads and Apps in a school and classroom environment is covered in more
detail in Chapter 7. Nevertheless managing iPads and Apps can pose many issues
and problems, particularly if you’re planning on implementing iPads for the first
time. Why go through the trials and tribulations yourself when you can learn from
the experiences of others? This section provides an overview of helpful ideas and
some hints and tips to get you on the right track.
App Store Volume Purchase Program
At the time of writing the ‘App Store Volume Purchase Program’ is currently only
available to businesses in the UK. A similar scheme for education does exist but
only in the US. However, this is one site to keep a look out for. Hopefully, in the
near future, a Volume Purchase Programme in the UK will be available. In the
meantime you’ll need to rely on credit cards and/or vouchers to download and
distribute Apps.
Learning in Hand: Classroom iPod touches & iPads: Dos and Don'ts
Tony Vincent’s ‘dos and don’ts’ provides an easy-to-follow yet detailed guide to
making a successful iPad implementation. The site includes basic tips such as
giving each iPad a logical name, organising Apps, security issues and even helpful
advice on misuse and appropriate policies.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 6: iPad in Assessments and Exams
Chapter 6: iPad in Assessments and
As the iPad becomes increasingly
ubiquitous in teaching and learning it
is inevitable that questions will be
asked by teachers, parents, pupils and
many others about the
appropriateness of using iPads in
assessments and exams.
In Scotland, the SQA (Scottish
Qualifications Authority) have offered
adapted digital exam papers for
candidates with disabilities or
additional support needs since 2008.
The Digital Papers are interactive PDF
files with answer boxes (form fields)
so that students can type their
answers on-screen using a computer,
or an iPad.
The papers were developed and
piloted by CALL Scotland and SQA and
they have been extremely successful
since their introduction, with over a
third of Scottish secondary schools
using them in 2011. Visit CALL’s web
site for more advice and research on
digital exams:
Students can open and read a PDF
digital paper using many different
Apps including, for example, iBooks
and Adobe Reader, but most PDF
readers don’t allow you to type your
answers in to the digital paper.
GoodReader, iAnnotate and Type on
PDF all let you type text notes on the
exam paper and add drawings, but for
digital exams we suggest PDF Expert
which is the only App we have found
that actually lets you type your
answers into the digital paper answer
PDF Expert lets you open the digital
paper, type into the answer boxes,
highlight and underline text, and add
drawings and notes to the exam
paper. Completed papers can be
printed, saved and emailed.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 6: iPad in Assessments and Exams
Figure 82: Typing and answering tick boxes in a Intermediate
1 Computing Paper
The digital papers work very well for
question and answer exam papers
which require short text answers, but
not all curriculum subjects suit the
digital format - particularly maths and
science where the learner has to
produce equations and formulae.
However with a stylus, the iPad and
PDF Expert is a good combination for
drawing diagrams, graphs and maths
and science expressions on the digital
paper. In many cases students will
write their drawings and equations on
a hard copy of the paper.
Using iPads in assessments and exams
raises questions and issues
particularly in relation to security.
Figure 83: Drawing and writing equations with PDF Expert
For obvious reasons, it is important to
ensure that candidates who use
technology in assessments and
examinations cannot access files
stored on the device or on the
internet or on other electronic
devices that could connect to the
iPad. In Scotland, SQA state that it is
the school’s responsibility to ensure
that candidates cannot access any
electronic sources or files via the
internet or on USB drives or mobile
In addition, any tools that may help
the pupil, such as spellcheckers, word
prediction or the iPad Auto-correction
must be turned off, unless you have
permission from SQA for the student
to use them.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 6: iPad in Assessments and Exams
Making the iPad secure in assessments
It is therefore important to ensure that any data files are deleted and that the
candidate cannot access Wi-Fi (or any wireless or 3G hotspots), Bluetooth,
iMessage, Mail, iTunes, DropBox etc. You can either adapt a learner’s own device,
or use a ‘blank’ iPad which has been set up specifically for the exam.
The iPad has a number of options under the ‘Restrictions’ (which can be found in
Settings) tool which allow certain Apps and other elements of the iPad to be
securely switched off and protected with a password.
Figure 84: Enabling and disabling Restrictions.
Below is a quick guide to restricting the iPad for use in assessments in and exams.
It should be pointed out that this is not a bullet-proof solution and each school or
examination centre will need to explore and implement their individual solution.
Quick Guide to iPads in exams
1. Back up the iPad (see Appendix 1: iPad Management using iTunes: some
useful tips for more details).
2. Delete all the Apps on the iPad that are not required in the assessment. This
leaves the Apps required for the assessment (e.g. Pages, your chosen PDF
App, i.e. PDF Expert etc.) plus the built-in Apps on the device.
3. Delete all photos, music files, videos, contacts, reminders and other
documents. Clear the browser history.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 6: iPad in Assessments and Exams
4. Go into Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and delete all the accounts.
This will prevent access to Mail, Contacts and Calendar.
5. If the iPad is a 3G model remove the 3G SIM card.
6. Prevent access to the school Wi-Fi using the school network settings. Check
that there are no other accessible Wi-Fi internet access points available.
7. Turn off Bluetooth: Settings > General > Bluetooth > Off.
8. Now you need to prevent access to the built-in Apps, which are:
9. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions.
a. Click on Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode.
b. Allow:
i. Turn off any Apps that you don’t want the candidate to be able
to access (i.e. all of them). This will remove the following Apps
from the iPad screen: Safari, YouTube, Camera, FaceTime,
iTunes, Ping and installing and deleting Apps.
ii. Note this still leaves Mail, iMessage, Calendar and Contacts
that the pupil could access the internet to find previously
hidden answers, which is why you need to prevent access to
Wi-Fi or the internet.
c. Allow Changes:
i. In Location, Don’t Allow Changes (this stops the iPad
connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots or devices).
ii. In Accounts, Don’t Allow Changes (this prevents anyone
adding a new mail or other account).
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 6: iPad in Assessments and Exams
10. Turn off Auto-Correction and spellchecking (unless you have permission to
use them):
a. Settings > General > Keyboard > Turn off Auto-Correction and
Check Spelling.
b. (Note that the candidate can easily turn them back on – we haven’t
found a way to prevent this.)
11. You should now have an iPad with:
a. No stored files, emails, photos, videos, sound recordings or other
b. Only the Apps which are required for the assessment;
c. No spellchecking or auto-correct.
d. No access to the internet or Wi-Fi.
You should now have an iPad which is secure.
You can make these adjustments to each individual iPad but a much better
solution, if you have several devices to set up, is to use the Apple Configurator or
iPhone Configuration Utility.
These are tools for creating and installing profiles with the restrictions above on
your ‘exam iPads’. See www.apple.com/iphone/business/resources/.
Fraser Speirs, who works at Cedar School in Greenock, has a clear and helpful blog
on how he set up some iPads for use in exams: iPad Exams Part 1:
bit.ly/fraser_speirs_blog and iPad Exams Part 2: http://bit.ly/fraser_speirs_blog2.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 6: iPad in Assessments and Exams
Attack Tree
Fraser Speirs’‘Attack Tree’ is a helpful diagram that covers a range of possible
cheating scenarios to prevent ‘coordinated attacks’ from inside and out with the
Figure 85: Fraser Speirs Attack Tree (thanks to Fraser Speirs for permission to use his diagram).
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
Chapter 7: Managing and
Implementing the iPad
An aspect of the iPad is to ensure that
data such as photographs and videos,
music, notes, documents, Apps and
other content is stored safely and
backed-up securely. This is
particularly vital for you as an
individual user and where large
numbers of iPads are being
implemented and managed in larger
numbers such as a school.
This Chapter will explore
management and implementation
issues surrounding iTunes and iPads.
iTunes can be best described as an
App or computer program which is
used for playing, downloading, saving,
and organising digital music and video
files on desktop or laptop computers
and for synchronising content to the
iPad, whether that be for individual
iPads or larger numbers. iTunes is the
primary method for transferring
purchases from the iTunes or Apps
Store between your iPad and
Prior to the release of iOS 5
synchronising content meant that the
iPad and computer had to be
connected using the iPad’s
connection/charger cable. Since the
release of iOS 5 Apple introduced the
iCloud (www.icloud.com), a free
wireless service which provides 5
gigabytes of ‘cloud’ storage space.
For those users who have access to
Wi-Fi it means that there is no manual
transferring of files or data as
everything can be set to synchronise
and backup wirelessly and
automatically. However, regardless of
whether you synchronise data
manually or wireless you will need at
some point to create an iTunes
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
Figure 86: iCloud options in Settings
The following section explores how to set up and manage an iTunes account for an
individual user. If you are considering implementing and managing a larger number
of iPads, for a class or across the school, please continue to the School
Implementation and Management Section.
See Appendix 1: iPad Management using iTunes: some useful tips, for more
detailed and comprehensive information.
Getting started with your iPad and iTunes
When you start your iPad for the first time you’re automatically prompted to
connect to iTunes.
The process of setting-up the iPad in iTunes for the first time is straightforward,
but if you are unsure how to do this follow the steps below.
1. Registering your iPad
During the first stage of setting up your iPad you’ll see a welcome ‘Let’s get
started’ screen which will guide you through the steps of registering your iPad.
This process also includes agreeing to Apple’s terms and conditions and it also
serves as a way of protecting yourself too - so that Apple will have a record of your
device - you’ll also be prompted to complete the iPad Software Licence
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Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
Figure 87: Getting started with iTunes.
2. Setting up an iTunes account
The second stage takes you through the process of setting up an account with the
iTunes Store, again this is straight forward but just in case you’re unsure how to do
this then you can watch this step-by-step video guide to get you started:
Figure 88: Setting up an iTunes Account.
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Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
In Figure 88 you can see that the iPad’s default setting is ‘I live in ‘United States’ remember to change this to the United Kingdom. If you already have an iTunes
account, then complete the ‘Use my Apple ID to register my iPad’ fields. If not,
then select the ‘I do not have an Apple ID’. This option will prompt you to create
an account. If you want to use this option you will need to have a credit card
Do I need a credit card?
If you don’t have a credit card there are other options such as PayPal. But what if
you don’t have a credit card or a PayPal account?
A credit card is not always required to set up your iPad. In order to create an
account without a credit card, you must make sure you are in the App Store, not
the iTunes Store – look at the following link to find out how more:
An alternative method of buying Apps is to use iTunes gift vouchers which can be
purchased at supermarkets, music stores etc. iTunes gift vouchers can be used by
selecting the ‘Redeem’ button in iTunes. You will then be prompted to ‘Enter your
Gift Card or Download Code, similar to the illustration below.
One advantage of redeeming vouchers or gift cards to buy Apps through
iTunes is that you can create an account and download Apps without using a
credit card.
Figure 89: Select Redeem in iTunes to redeem gift vouchers.
3. Synchronising/backing up your iPad
During the set up process you also have an opportunity to synchronise your iPad.
This means that you get to choose whether to set up your iPad from scratch or
restore from a previous backup, for example, an iPhone. This would be particularly
useful and time saving if you already have an extensive collection of Apps (and
their relevant settings) that you want to transfer over to your new iPad.
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Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
If you are synchronising or backing up from a previous iPad or other device
remember to select the option; ‘Restore from the backup of’ and select the device
you want to backup from. Otherwise, select ‘Set up as a new iPad’.
Figure 90: Synchronising and backing up the iPad.
4. Naming your iPad
As you head towards the final stage of setting up your iPad for the first time you’ll
be prompted to give your iPad a name. If the iPad is for personal use then it’s
entirely up to you the name you give it. However, if the iPad is part of a larger
group of iPads you should consider giving each iPad a logical name, iPad1, iPad2
Don’t worry if you want to change or rename your iPad at a later date as this can
be done in iTunes when you connect your device. See the following tutorial for
more information: bit.ly/rename_iPad
5. And finally...
The final stage or screen of the iPad set will be familiar to those who have used
iTunes. This is where you can synchronise your contacts and calendar, organise
your music collection as well as all your favourite Apps.
However, if you’re new to iTunes then you can follow the step-by-step guide
below. This screen has been divided into sections so you can follow it more easily
but as you do so, try to think of it as whole screen or page. The Summary tab
provides a detailed overview of your iPad - most of the detail here is based on the
information you gave during the initial set up process.
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Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
1: iPad (Summary)
Figure 91: The Summary Tab.
Other tabs such as Apps, Music allow you to select and organise your music
collection and choice of Apps.
2: Version
The Version section provides information on your iPad software. For the best
performance and security of your iPad always try to keep your software updated.
Select the ‘Check for Update’ button and iTunes and your iPad will do the rest.
You can also restore your iPad to its original settings, this can be useful if you
experience a problem with your device. You should always backup your iPad before
restoring it to its original settings.
Figure 92: Checking the iOS Version.
3: Backup
With the introduction of iOS 5, you can also backup or synchronise your iPad
wirelessly to the iCloud (a cloud/remote storage and cloud computing service)
which offers up to 5 GB of free (online) storage. Backing up your information can
be particularly useful if you lose your iPad – all your Calendar entries and Contacts
are backed up in iCloud or iTunes.
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Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
Figure 93: Backing up information via iCloud and/or a computer.
4: Options
The final section provides a range of options, such as how you want iTunes to
start, syncing over a Wi-Fi and manually choosing to manage music and videos.
Options also provides an opportunity to configure the Accessibility settings
(Universal Access), however, this covered in more detail in Section 3 (Accessibility
Figure94: Configuring Options.
5: Capacity
Just below the Options section you can see how much storage your device is using.
Ultimately this will depend on the capacity or size of memory in your iPad (16 GB,
32 GB, 64 GB accordingly) but the capacity display also breaks down each
component by relevant colours - Video, Apps, Photos etc.
You should always check to make sure you have plenty of ‘Free’ space on your iPad
so that it runs efficiently and maximises battery life.
Organising Apps, Music and other tabs
The remainder of the tabs in iTunes, such as Apps, Music etc. allow you to manage
what you want and don’t want to have on your iPad.
For example, you can delete an App by pressing and holding the App till it starts
‘jiggling’ and pressing the cross (see tips for more information) but it is far better
to organise your Apps from within iTunes.
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Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
Figure 95: Synchronising Apps and other content.
You can do this by selecting Sync Apps (on the Apps tab) which allows you to
decide which Apps you want to install. You can also drag or move Apps from page
to page (or screen to screen) buy using this method.
For a more detailed overview of syncing Apps via iTunes select the following link:
School Implementation and Management
There are so many things to keep in mind when considering a class or school iPad
implementation, especially if you want everything, including the devices, to run
smoothly in the classroom.
Deciding on how you intend to implement and manage a large number of iPads will
be dependent on which route your organisation or school chooses, i.e.
synchronising iPads manually or using Wi-Fi with iCloud.
For example, if you are intending using the same Apps on a large number of iPads
you will need to consider appropriate licencing. You will be breaking the licence
agreement if you purchase one App and use it (or synchronise the App) on multiple
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
Volume Purchasing Programme
In the U.S. the Volume Purchasing Programme allows educational institutions to
purchase iOS Apps and books in volume and distribute them to students, teachers,
administrators, and employees. Apple has announced that the Volume Purchasing
Programme will be rolled out to the UK but they have still to confirm a date:
The Volume Purchasing Program allows school administrators/ICT staff to search
for Apps, choose the quantity needed and pay for them in a single transaction.
When a purchase is made, Apple sends redemption codes to the buyer for each
application. The buyer can then email or distribute the redemption codes to
whoever manages the iPads, i.e. ICT staff or even a teacher, so they can be
installed on each device. Unfortunately the Volume Purchasing Programme is
currently not available in the UK but according to Apple it is in the pipeline.
Alternative ways of buying Apps
If there is no credit card holder which is tied to an iTunes account, i.e. a school
iTunes account, or no one in the school has the authority to purchase large
amounts of Apps other methods of buying Apps include:
Buying iTunes Store gift vouchers from supermarkets or other appropriate
Buy iTunes vouchers and gift the vouchers (with redemption codes) to
other users/iPads.
Managing iTunes and iPads
Once you have decided how you intend to purchase a large volume of Apps the
next issue to consider is how you manage the Apps on both iTunes and the iPads.
One possible approach is to give each device a unique name during the set-up
process, i.e., an individual name that can be easily recognised, such as a numeric
sequence, iPad 1, iPad 2, iPad 3 etc. If you have more than 10 iPads use iPad 01,
iPad 02 and so on. You can always change the name of the device in iTunes at a
later time.
Figure 96: Number iPads
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Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
As well as naming each individual device it is
also recommended that all devices are
synchronised to one iTunes account on a
computer (preferably the same computer
each time) using the unique name of each
This ensures that data is mirrored across each
iPad. Every time you add or change media
and data it can be synchronised with each of
the devices.
This is vital for backing-up valuable data. The
best way to synchronise multiple iPads to one
computer is to use a USB hub similar to Figure
97, which can take up to 10 USB connections.
Figure 97: A multiple USB hub can help.
Battery life and charging iPads
With the release of the iPad 2 and New iPad the battery life is greatly improved.
Nevertheless keeping iPads charged for a day’s use is important if learners are
using them constantly. While the USB hub is one way of charging multiple iPads
simultaneously a dedicated charging/synchronisation trolley or cart, which can also
provide security, is also worth considering.
The Bretford Powersync Cart http://bit.ly/powersync_cart is one example,
another is the UnoCart: http://bit.ly/unocart - allowing large numbers of iPads to
be simultaneously synchronised, charged and kept securely locked.
Figure 98: Syncing, charging multiple iPads securely.
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Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
Another example is the MultiDock, Griffin Technology’s modular
charge/sync/security solution. Up to 30 iPads can be linked and synced at once
using the USB hub that connects to any computer with an iTunes account via a
single USB connection.
The MultiDock also comes with a desk locking system for security. For more
information on the Griffin MultiDock visit the Griffin MultiDock website:
Figure 99: The Griffin MultiDock
Policy and procedures
Just like any other ICT equipment, implementation and management of iPads
requires a workable policy and procedures for issues such as prevention and
consequences of misuse, restriction of Apps, iPad class-pupil distribution and
Policies and procedures will most likely be unique to each school for example,
schools will differ in the amount of ‘Restrictions’ they make available or whether a
‘Passcode Lock’ (in Settings) code is set on some or all of the iPads. Restrictions,
also known as Parental Controls, on an iPad prevent access to specific features and
Useful Resources
Online resources such as Tony Vincent’s Learning in Hand:
http://learninginhand.com/do (good tips on creating a ‘usage contract’) and Sam
Gilksman’s social media site iPads in Education: bit.ly/ipad_implementation
provide useful information on a range of issues such as infrastructure
considerations, group device management, application usage and much more.
The iPads in Education also provides some useful thoughts on pedagogical
considerations in terms of how iPads are to be integrated into educational
processes and the curriculum.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Chapter 7: Managing and Implementing the iPad
Personal iPads
As iPads become increasingly ubiquitous increasing amounts of learners are
bringing their own iPads into school. It is therefore important that the school also
considers potential problems and scenarios such as technical issues, theft,
breakage, loss, insurance etc. A possible scenario is a pupil who brings an iPad into
school but the ‘Restriction’ settings to content is different to the schools. Personal
iPad usage should therefore be considered as part of the school’s overall iPad
For further information see Appendix 1: iPad Management using iTunes: some
useful tips.
© CALL Scotland 2012
Glossary of Terms
Third generation data networking used by phones and mobile devices
to be able to connect to the Internet or other IP networks anywhere,
anytime iPhones have it built-in, for iPod touch and iPad, you need
to buy the dearer 3G version.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication, is an umbrella term
that covers all/ any communication methods used to supplement or
replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the
production or comprehension of spoken or written language, e.g. a
symbol communication book, voice output communication aid.
Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform
used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Adobe
Flash is currently not supported in iOS.
Short for “application.” The programs you download and run on an
iPad (or any smart phone or tablet PC).
App store
An online place to buy Apps and games for iOS, part of iTunes on
Windows and Mac, and a built-in App on iPhone, iPod touch, and
Apple ID
An email address registered with Apple, typically for iTunes, the
Apple Online Store, or Apple Discussion groups. Useful to have this in
addition to your ‘ordinary’ email address.
A web service owned by ‘bitly’ that allows you to shorten long
complicated URLs. See https://bitly.com/
(weB LOG) an on-going internet-based publication, in chronological
format, often focusing on a mix of news, commentary, and analysis,
with frequent links to other sites on the web.
A wireless technology used for exchanging short-range data between
electronic devices.
Apple’s video calling service that requires Wi-Fi.
An icon representing a group of Apps, created by dragging on App on
top of the other in Jiggly Mode, and deleted by removing all the
An App that allows a customer to check out the basics or try out a
game for free, with upgrades available for a price.
Gigabyte – a measure of disk storage capacity. Gigabyte – a measure
of disk storage capacity. As a guide, Windows 7 itself requires 1 GB,
and most computers you can buy today would have minimum 2GB,
usually much more.
Some functions on some touchscreen devices can be operated by
multi-touch gestures and animations.
The biggest company on the net and the provider of the maps data,
YouTube videos, and Gmail for iOS users.
Those labels are used to differentiate native iPad Apps from Apps
that were designed to run on the iPhone and iPod touch.
HD and XL (standing for "high definition" and "extra-large) indicate
that the Apps were written for the iPad's screen and that they don't
need to be scaled up to fill the entire screen.
Home button
The physical hardware button on the front of the iPhone, iPod touch,
and iPad, beneath the screen. Used to wake, return to the Home
Screen, cycle between the Home Screen and Spotlight Search screen,
open the Fast App Switcher, and optionally enable Accessibility
Home screen
The front end of Apple’s Springboard App launcher that consists of 11
screens that hold app icons, Folders, the Dock, the Fast App
Switcher, and the Spotlight Search screen.
Apple’s online service, that allows users to store and synchronise
data such as music files on remote computer servers for download to
multiple devices.
Information and Communication Technology.
Apple's mobile operating system and the software that powers the
iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Apple TV.
In-App purchase
While you are running an App, some will offer you upgrades, new
content, or complementary features that you can purchase directly
from within the current App (rather than having to go back to the
App Store).
Apple’s first tablet device, that runs a modified version of iOS
optimized for its larger, 9.7″ screen.
Apple’s line of Internet-based and multimedia-enabled smartphones.
Apple’s line of portable media players: Nano, Shuffle, Classic, iPod
iPod touch
iPod handheld with a 3.5” screen.
Mac and Windows software used to activate and sync iPhone, iPod
touch, and iPad. Also used to manage music, movies, TV shows,
Apps, books, and other media, and access the Ping social music
Jiggly mode
Tap and hold an App and it will begin to “jiggle”, indicating you can
move them around the Home Screen, from screen to screen, put
them into folders, delete them by tapping their X badge (App Store
Apps only), or Force Quit them if they’re in the Fast App Switcher.
An App type that allows a customer to check out the basics or try a
game for free, with upgrades available for a price.
Portable Document Format - an open standard for document
QR code
Quick Response Code— is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode.
Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader
application can scan the image of the QR Code to display text,
contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web
page in the telephone's browser.
SIM card
The little card used in GSM phones that connects the phone to the
Physical hardware button on top of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Used to power on, wake from sleep, put to sleep, and power down
iOS devices.
Spotlight search
Part of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad Home Screen system,
accessible by swiping left to right or clicking the Home Button when
on the primary Home Screen, or inside Apple Apps like Messages,
Mail, Contacts, iPod, etc. Performs text-based search and shows
results for contacts, Apps, music, podcasts, videos, audiobooks,
notes, mail, calendar events, and SMS messages.
Short for synchronise: content on device can by synchronised with
desktop applications such as Calendar, images, music and contacts.
Also the mechanism whereby backups would be made on your
Sharing your iPhone’s data connection with your laptop via USB (dock
cable) or wirelessly via Bluetooth. Not available on all mobile
networks and some charge extra for it. Replaced in iOS 4.3 with
Personal Hotspot.
One of the most popular social networks built around a
follower/following system rather than friends, and limited to 140
characters (think micro-blog meets SMS).
A universal App that runs on both the iPhone/iPod Touch and the
iPad. (see HD/XL above)
Universal Resource Locator – a specific internet address for any web
site, documents or other resources. Usually looks like this:
Universal Serial Bus - a widely used method of connecting devices
(e.g. keyboard, mouse, memory stick, camera etc.) to a computer.
A mechanism that allows electronic devices to exchange data
wirelessly over a computer network. Widely available in homes and
workplaces, public places.
Appendix 1: iPad Management using
iTunes: some useful tips.
All of the following management tips are using iTunes on a computer but you can also
use iCloud (https://www.icloud.com/) if your device is on the iOS5 (or later) and you
are happy with your Wi-Fi network.
In Chapter 7, Managing and Implementing the iPad there is and illustrated guide to
setting up and using iTunes for first time users. This Appendix provides a more detailed
overview of synchronising and managing iTunes accounts.
1: Disabling auto synch on iTunes
By default iTunes will create an exact mirror of the iTunes library on the device. So, if
content on iTunes is deleted then it will also be deleted on the device! If you would
prefer to control when your device syncs with your iTunes library on your computer then
it’s best to turn this feature off.
On a PC:
1. Edit>preferences>devices.
2. Tick the ‘Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from synching automatically’
On a Mac:
1. iTunes>preferences>devices.
2. Tick the ‘Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from synching automatically’
Tip 2: Authorise your iTunes store account(s) on your computer
Authorising (and deauthorising) a computer allows you to manage which computer can
sync your Apps, music and movies to your device. If you don’t authorise your computer
then you won’t be able to upload your Apps to your device. You can authorise 5
different computers with your iTunes store account.
To authorise a computer:
1. Store>Authorise This Computer.
2. When prompted, enter your Apple ID and password.
3. Click ‘Authorise’.
To deauthorise a computer:
1. Store>Deauthorise This Computer.
2. When prompted, enter your Apple ID and password.
3. Click ‘Deauthorise’.
To deauthorise all computers associated with your computer at the same time:
1. Store>View my Account;
2. When prompted, enter your Apple ID and password.
3. Click the ‘Deauthorise All’ button on the right hand side of the page under ‘Apple
ID Summary’.
Tip 3: Check for App updates on iTunes and download
When an App(s) is updated by the producer, iTunes will notify you of this update. Under
‘Library’ on the left hand menu click you will see a number (representing number of App
updates) beside ‘Apps’ if any updates are available.
To download the latest updates:
1. Under ‘Library’ on the left hand menu click on ‘Apps’ which will display all your
downloaded Apps.
2. Click on ‘x Updates available’ (x is the number of updates) in the bottom right
hand corner.
3. Click on the ‘install all free updates’ button to download them all.
If you have multiple accounts on iTunes then you will have to do this for each by logging
into each account in turn. This is why in iTunes it can still display updates as still
needing downloaded even if you have just downloaded them.
Tip 4: Transfer purchases from your iPad to your computer iTunes
It’s possible to purchase Apps, music and movies on your device and download them
without actually connecting and performing a sync on your computer.
Consequently they are only stored on the device and so you may want to transfer them
to your computer to protect against losing them.
To transfer them to your computer you first need to log out of your account on the
device as it can cause problems if you have Apps purchased under multiple accounts. To
do this, on the device:
1. Select Settings>Store.
2. Click on the ‘Apple ID: username’ button and log out.
Then to transfer onto your computer connect the device to iTunes with the USB cable.
At this stage a popup box may appear prompting you to transfer your purchases.
However, the manual way to do this:
1. Right-click (Windows or Mac) or Control-click (Mac only) your device from the left
hand menu.
2. Click on transfer Purchases from "Your device name" from the menu.
Tip 5: Backing up your device
It’s possible to keep a copy of all your App data, settings, Calendar accounts, Contacts,
etc. in a backup file. However, the backup file will not contain all of your Apps but this
is not a big issue as iTunes on the computer has a copy of each (as well as on your
If you end up losing some App data or making changes that you wished you hadn’t then
you can restore the device from that backup.
To create a backup
1. Plug the device into the computer.
2. Select the device in iTunes (left hand menu).
3. Right-click (Windows or Mac) or Control-click (Mac only) your device from the left
hand menu.
4. Select ‘Backup’.
5. The indicator at the top of iTunes will notify you of the progress.
iTunes will store one backup copy per device and so if you wish to make a number of
backups (restore points) then you may wish to make copies and put them elsewhere such
as a backup disk. Why? It is very easy to run a backup, modify a device and then
accidently run another backup which overwrites the previous backup. You then realise
that you actually needed that one to restore the device!
The location of the iTunes backup directory:
Mac: Users\Your Name\Library\Application Support\MobileSync\Backup.
PC (XP): C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\Application Data\Apple
PC (Windows Vista, 7): C:\Users\Your Name\AppData\Roaming\Apple
If there has been a backup taken there will be a folder in this directory with a 40
character long filename. This name represents the unique identifier for the device.
If you have multiple devices then the best way to identify it is look at the ‘modify date’
of the folder after you take the backup and simply copy that folder to the backup drive.
When you need it again simply copy it back overwriting what is there.
To restore a device from a backup
1. Plug the device into the computer.
2. Select the device in iTunes (left hand menu).
3. Right-click (Windows or Mac) or Control-click (Mac only) your device from the left
hand menu.
4. Select ‘Restore’.
Note: This will restore your settings, App data, etc. but not the actual Apps. So, if you
have removed some Apps since the backup then you will have to sync the Apps back on
after the data restore.
Tip 6: Multi synching with a USB hub
It’s possible to connect multiple devices up to your computer and sync via iTunes at the
same time. To do this you will require a powered USB hub connected to the computer.
When you connect the devices via their USB cables to the hub they will all show up in
iTunes at the same time and can be individually manipulated which can save time and
One thing you will notice on each device is the words ‘not charging’ in the menu bar of
the device. The reason for this is that there is not enough power to charge multiple
devices at one. However, you can still sync them all but just ensure that they all have
enough battery life for the sync.
Tip 7: File Sharing between Apps
Some Apps will allow data to be transferred (or stored) from one device to another. You
may then wish to transfer this App data to another device with the same App. This can
be good if you wish to save a template(s) for an App to be used at a later date when
required. I will use the App ‘MyPics’ as an example of how to do this.
Plug the device into the computer.
Select the device in iTunes (left hand menu).
Select ‘Apps’ from the top of the page.
Scroll down the page to ‘File Sharing’.
Select the App.
You will see all the files associated with that App in the ‘Documents’ window. You can
then select all of these and send them to your desktop using the ‘Save to’ button.
To transfer these files to your other device repeat the steps above and then click on the
‘add’ button and select all the files from the desktop. You will be prompted that it will
overwrite any existing files (i.e. any data on that device will be lost) so if you are happy
to do so then proceed. You may have to shut down the App and start it back up to see
any changes.
Tip 8: Transferring images and videos between your device and
There are two scenarios for this:
1. Transferring images or videos from the computer to your device.
2. Transferring images or videos from the device to your computer.
To transfer images or videos to the device from your computer you will need
to setup a folder to sync it from first:
Plug the device into the computer.
Select the device in iTunes (left hand menu).
Select ‘Photos’ from the top of the page.
Click on the ‘Sync Photos from’ check box and choose a folder where the photos
and videos will be ‘pulled’ from.
5. To include videos ensure that you also check the ‘Include videos’ checkbox.
Next time you perform a sync these will be uploaded to the device.
Caution: a synchronisation will make a mirror of the files on your computer to the
device so any images or videos on the device not on the computer will be deleted! See
the next step to prevent this.
To transfer images or videos from your device to the computer you:
On a Mac
Plug the device into the computer.
Open iPhoto.
Select the device name in the left hand column.
All the images which have been downloaded or taken via the camera will be
5. Drag and drop them to your desktop or to the folder where you will sync to the
device in future.
Note: only images taken with the camera or downloaded will be shown. Previous items
that have been synched will not.
On a PC
Plug the device into the computer.
Open ‘My Computer’.
Select the device.
Navigate the folders and retrieve and images to your desktop or to the folder
where you will sync to the device in future.
iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning (iCALL)
By Craig Mill and CALL Team.
Published by CALL Scotland, The University of Edinburgh
September 2012
ISBN 978 1 898042 35 8
CALL Scotland
Moray House of Education
The University of Edinburgh
Paterson's Land, Holyrood Road
Edinburgh EH8 8AQ
Email: callscotland@ed.ac.uk
Web: www.callscotland.org.uk
Twitter: @callscotland
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