ipad use in language and literacy instruction

The hot buzz these days is the use of the ipad in language and literacy, particularly in regards to teaching children on the spectrum. The Erikson Institute in Chicago is offering a continuing education course on this November 3rd, 2012: http://erikson.edu/default/profdev/pdcourses/professional_development/w701_i_have_an_ipad_now_what.aspx
As hot trends tend to go, sometimes there can be misrepresentation. You may have seen the 60 minutes segment aired tonight on the ipad and autism. While there is awesome potential in this new technology, I think it is worth reading the response that Dr. Marion Blank, director of the A Light on Literacy prog…ram at Columbia University, wrote in the Huffington Post in November, 2011 when 60 minutes first aired the piece. I tend to agree with Dr. Blank that there is a distinct difference between reciprocal communication and the language 60 minutes highlighted with this ipad use. We have long known that many children with autism tend to prefer highly stimulating high-tech programs (sometimes to the point of fixation) to reciprocal communication with other people. In my practice, I try to use programs such as proloquo2go as a supplement, with a focus on more functional and interactive language. That is not to say that I disregard the wonderful tools that the ipad can offer for many children with autism, and I believe we should all work to understand how to best implement these tools in our communication with children with autism. If not a complete, well-rounded presentation, the 60 minutes segment is still inspirational and worth watching. I do also recommend reading Dr. Blank’s response: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-marion-blank/60-minutes-autism_b_1091378.html

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