Saturday, October 19, 2013

iPads and technology in the South African Classroom

Teachers in South Africa are discovering more and more about iPads, tablets and technology in their classrooms. As a special needs teacher myself I am finding technology more and more useful in my classroom. My student who cannot speak now has his augmentative and alternative communication device as well as various other apps all built into one, another student who cannot write is now able to type and thus is no longer frustrated by not being able to write. My students who learn visually (which is the majority), are picking up concepts a lot quicker now! While all of this technology has been incredible for my students, I always seem to come back to one question? Where are all the South African apps? Or the apps that we can use in South Africa?

Many of the apps that I have downloaded are fantastic, but are American, and this often means that I need to mute the app. This is particularly true for any reading or literacy apps as they have a tendency to use the letter names and not the letter sounds. In South Africa we start teaching reading using just the letter sounds (think of the word apple, we do not teach saying apple starts with A but rather apple starts with a). This has led me to a search for apps that South African teachers can use without muting them as the sounds are often half the fun for the kids. There are definitely some out there, and there are a few app developers who have developed apps for South African educators. I will be posting reviews of these apps on this blog soon!

If you would like to see any apps reviewed here, please let me know or if you are an app developer please drop me a line. I would also just like to say thank you to Paula from Big Bug Books for helping me out setting up this blog and for all of her advice!