iPad Apps to meet IEP Goals

10/21/2011 1:18:16 PM

by Guest Blogger Vicki Windman

Students who are classified as Special Education must have an Individual Education Plan (IEP).  Goals of the IEP include study skills, reading, math, writing, daily living, and career and transition goals.  Throughout the school year teachers are mandated to follow the student’s IEP and come up with different strategies to help the child meet his or her planned goals.


The iPad has apps useful for children with autism, developmental disability, learning disability, emotional disability or other health impairments. The apps listed below will help teachers work with their students to attain their goals.  The IEP checklist is great app specifically for teachers.  It allows the teacher to have his or her students’ IEP information at hand.  If you do put this app on your iPad I would recommend you password lock your iPad as an IEP is confidential.

The following apps would meet IEP goals for students classified autistic and developmentally disabled.

One of the main goals for students on the Autism Spectrum is the ability to answer WH questions. Super Why is an interactive app that has four different apps built into one. The app has a listening component as well as guidance for following directions.  It helps students stay on task and answer WH questions.  A new app that really meets the WH goal is Conversation Builder. Pictures are provided and students record their conversations. 

Proloquo2go  helps students who have difficulty communicating to do so  effectively. The app provides pre-set pictures which students select to convey their messages. The display is set up as a communication board or book making it easy for students to respond to a peer or an adult. This app was also mentioned in my March blog

Writing goals:

Writing goals range from being able to write a simple sentence to a detailed paragraph, through the use of a keyboard and/or an assistive technology device. The iPad has numerous writing apps, sometimes referred to as “note-taking” apps. I still have not found the perfect note-taking app. For students who have dysgraphia, the handwriting apps are still difficult. Presently, I like PaperDesk for IEP students. It allows handwriting for older students, a microphone to record a lesson, and text with different colors.  It also lets the student import pictures to their work, so it is visual as well.

Math Goals:

Telling time is an ongoing battle for students. Goals range from being able to read a digital clock to telling time to the minute. Telling Time HD   gives students three different levels, using both an analog clock and a digital clock, and can be used for many of the telling time goals.

Money is the next most difficult goal to achieve because it is so abstract.  Dittos get boring and do not give a true representation of coins or bills.  Goals range from making change from a dollar to identifying the four coins. Jungle Coins  is a versatile app because it allows the teacher to set levels for the student, activities include making change, comparing change, counting change and identifying coins.

Reading Goals:

Identifying sight words is one of the most common goals.  The App store has quite a few to choose from Word Wall Hd has four activities in a game format.  It also allows you the opportunity to make your own word wall.  Another app that uses Dr. Fry’s Instant Words Kids Learn Sight Words allows students to record the word, write the word, and use it in a sentence.  This app would meet many of the students’ IEP goals.

A common reading comprehension goal is for students to be able to answer five comprehension questions and questions of inference.  Reading for Detail and Reading for Inferences allow students to read a short paragraph and answer questions.  The answers are recorded on a bingo card, making the app more engaging. These apps each contain three levels to meet the individual needs of the students.

The iPad once again gives students and teachers another tool to help make the education process fun and lets students feel good about who they are.

Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.


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