My iPad had it’s first official day at work with me today. I was armed with some new apps to try out with the kids I work with and want to share an exciting app for use with all kids but also with kids with special needs–“ShowMe.”
My iPad became a white board with voice over so the applications were endless. Many teachers are using “ShowMe” as a tutorial with demonstrations and their explanation recorded in association with their teaching. I used it today with two children on the autism spectrum who are in kindergarten. Simply choose a color and begin to move your fingertip to draw whatever you want, narrating your drawing as you go. I read “Splish Splash Splat,” the latest Spat the Cat book and asked my clients to choose a favorite part of the story to illustrate. They selected the hardest part conceptually, when Splat was trying to get his peer, Spike to overcome his fear of entering the swimming pool, so Splat dangled a gummy fish in front of him as he waded in unknowingly. It is hard to draw and explain at the same time so we rehearsed and then the kids couldn’t wait to start illustrating. When they were through, we simply played back the action with the audio in real time and a live demonstration of their re-telling the story. They narrated the detail as they added “shoulders” and a “snorkel” and drew the water line through the figure, indicating he was partially under water! Drawing brings out language learning and “ShowMe” can reinforce story concepts and critical thinking.