Whether you are a teacher, therapist, or institution, BridgingApps is for you. It's a volunteer online community of parents, therapists, doctors, and teachers who share information on using the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices with people who have special needs. Included are app reviews and success stories and -- new to the website --the Road Map and Insignio.
The BridgingApps Roadmap provides a framework and organizing mechanism for all that is done at BridgingApps.
- Discovery- My child/client/student/self or myself has been identified with a disability. I have no knowledge of mobile devices or apps. I have heard that some people with disabilities have benefited from using a mobile device, but I am not sure what the benefits may be or how to get started.
- Interest- For those of you that are interested in learning about another “tool,” but were afraid to ask!
- Awareness - how do find out about “apps” in the mobile device world?
- Need: BridgingApps has begun a funding directory to help people find ways to get an iPad.
- Initial Use: You bought an Ipad - now what? BridgingApps was built upon a unique approach to app reviews - from a skill perspective.
- Engaged User: I understand the basics. How can I use the device more efficiently?
- Proficient User: Here is the chance to be more involved. If you are a teacher or speech/occupational therapist, consider helping with app reviews. It is always nice to share with your colleagues in a warm and friendly environment.
Insignio is BridgingApps' custom–built app search tool. Just enter skill levels, mobile device, embedded skills, independent traits, assistive traits, assistive/independent, iTunes categories, etc and automatically a list just for you is generated. Lists can be saved and labeled for students, presentations, or to send to parents. Each app gives the viewer screenshots, videos, skill levels, attributes, BridgingApps Review, developer’s description, user feedback, links and comments to review. The list will give the price is real time and will take you straight to the iTunes store to download the app.
BridgingApps has also partnered with Texas Computer Education Association to create a mobile device certification program. Go to the community tab sign up and exchange ideas in the different forums.
If I could wave my magic wand, this is exactly what I would wish for to understand the iPad and find apps, hardware and other teachers to communicate with. Cheers to BridgingApps.org for an excellent and thorough job.
Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.