Mobile phones have caused conflicts between students and educators. But other mobile devices, especially iPads, have been seen as having educational value, especially for special education programs.
Audrey Watters reports in Read Write Web: “Some educators have found the iPad in particular to be well-suited for Special Education programs, as it can provide multiple paths for engagement and expression for struggling learners and special needs students.”
Up until now, the various apps that can help these kids and others have been spread across the web in educators’ sites.
Now Apple (AAPL), which long ago took an interest in computing in the schools, is making a move in its App Store to reach out to students with special needs by aggregating the various tools.
The company has opened up a special section of its App Store "Special Education: Learning for Everyone." The store offers these apps for kids with learning problems and other students as well under the headings: Communication, Hearing, Language Development, Literacy & Learning, and Organization.
Apple also notes that Macs are equipped with “dozens of assistive technologies -- many of which you won’t find in other operating systems at any price. And with the development of universal access features for iPod and iPhone, Apple is taking these technologies to a new level.”
Among the apps are Dragon Dictation for speech-to-text, iHearClearly and Internet-based support for the hearing disabled, such as iSight and iChat, and Grapher, a built-in, full-featured graphic calculator.
No iPads, IPods for the Gates kids
Meanwhile, wonder what Melinda Gates, philanthropist, Mrs. Bill and mom, might make of this?
Gates has been increasingly visible with appearances on 60 Minutes and now in the New York Times Magazine last Sunday.
She denied that her husband works on an Apple laptop. She told The Times that she owns a Zune, not an iPod, and has told her children no iPods for them. Asked if she owns an iPad, she answered: “Of course not.”