1. pixieloulou's Avatar
    Hi,

    I am a lecturer in a UK college and work in the unit for students with Autism and Aspergers. We were informed earlier this week by our I.T department that there was a small pot of money we could tap into to buy E-learning equipment. My manager would like us to have a few tablet computers for our students and asked myself (the main I.T lecturer) and another lecturer (who specialises in literacy and numeracy), to decide which tablets would be the best for our learners.

    We discussed what we could use the tablets for and decided that installing some ebooks onto the devices would help encourage learners with reading difficulties to practice reading without other people being able to see how low level (or "childish") the books are. It is a lot more appealing to use ICT than to pick up a boring book from the library!
    Literacy and number puzzle games would help the students practice skills in a fun and engaging manner, maps and newspaper apps would also be beneficial, some group games such as Uno would help develop social skills, turn taking and interaction which my learners struggle with.

    My colleague thinks an iPad would be better as it meets all our criteria stated above and has a better range of educational apps available in the app store. Although I was trying to convince her how good the playbook was, I couldn't think of anymore positive reasons apart from the criteria stated above (books, literacy, numeracy, maps and of course the internet as we have wifi in our unit). I did also mention how android apps could be loaded onto the Playbook but haven't looked on Goodereader to see what specific apps or games would be beneficial.

    Before we put in a purchase request for ipads, can anyone recommend any other features, apps or games that we could use in a classroom environment for students with various degrees of difficulties. The students are aged 16+ so the kids apps that pop up in app world are not really suited to them.

    I'm hoping to convince my manager to allow us to get a playbook, ipad and an android based tablet so that we have covered all areas, but she is still not convinced that a playbook would be suitable.

    Thoughts or advice would be appreciated!
    07-13-12 12:26 PM
  2. hpjrt's Avatar
    I have no experience dealing with the educational needs of such a group, so can only recommend things based upon what I find interesting/useful.

    There is an excellent app in App World called "What's Up" which is an astronomy app. I find this especially interesting, though I have no expertise in astronomy. I can hold my PB with this app open and as I move around, I can see the stars/planets and their positions shift and change. It's a very inexpensive app and more than worth the cost.

    There are any number of game apps geared to a variety of gaming criteria ... mazes, action, logic, physics etc. I'm sure that there would be some that would be suitable for the students in question.

    The PB takes some great pictures and videos ... and one needn't be a "photographer" [Lord knows I'm not!] to enjoy those capabilities. Depending upon which iPad is under consideration, the PB cameras might be superior.

    The PB does have Flash and there are lots of websites that use Flash though whether or not your students are permitted to surf the web I don't know.

    Given the ease with which my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter has mastered my PB [she's equally at home on her mother's iPad I] the PB UI is very intuitive and shouldn't present a problem for your students.

    I would think that the sheer savings in terms of purchase price would nudge your department towards the PB. I don't know what other educational apps you're looking for but I'd bet that with the money you saved on a PB purchase, you could purchase a number of very useful apps from App World.

    Again, I have no experience with the needs of your students ... but I would think that a highly portable, well constructed, intuitive device like the PB with it's 1080p HD screen would provide hours of entertainment and learning to just about any student body.
    07-13-12 12:52 PM
  3. Dodger52's Avatar
    I have a lot of experience with people who have ADHD and/or Autism.
    One segment where the Playbook will definitely eat the Ipad for lunch is the planning / structuring part.
    The calender function is great, set a different color for different appointments (or tasks for that matter)
    You can e-mail students three or to weeks ahead of a planned activity and tell them to accept that appointment and it will automatically be set in the calender.

    What i would advise you is to get into contact with RIM they can probably advise you best about the futures and benefits of the Playbook....

    I've been using blackberry since starting college to keep my life structured and in order, it really does do the job, it's helping me get thru college.

    Oh and don't forget the fact that IOS and Android apps are extremely easy to port to The Playbook and the fact that it is tremendously cheaper than the Ipad
    Last edited by Dodger52; 07-15-12 at 11:17 AM.
    rexrim likes this.
    07-13-12 01:15 PM
  4. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    I, too, am no expert. But if there are any apps other people in your field recommend, that may guide you to your platform of choice. I thought I'd interject something on OS stability. I have had experience with PB, android, and iPAD. I have had apps crash in android and iOS but, aside from the site-specific browser crashes with OS2 (fixed in an update), I have never had a native PB app crash. I would think when an app crashed it would create some frustration for the user and that seems to trigger undesirable behavior (just from what I have seen on TV). Also, as mentioned flash browsing and multitasking, would be better. I probably would recommend some Otterbox cases with your order to physically protect whatever you get.
    Last edited by Gooseberry Falls; 07-16-12 at 11:27 AM. Reason: clarify
    07-13-12 01:28 PM
  5. pixieloulou's Avatar
    Thank you so much for your responses. I didn't consider using the calendar app but this will be a very useful resource as we try to teach organisational skills, especially for the higher ability students who are studying GCSEs and A-levels.
    I like the idea of What's Up as we do go on a residential trip later in the academic year, so this will be a fantastic activity to keep them occupied on an evening.
    A couple of my current students do get quite frustrated when technology does not do what they want or it is running slow (and I have had my PCs punched a few times), so maybe some cases would be a great idea (and screen protectors to help with sticky fingers!).I know how to convert and sideload android apps to the Playbook but I didn't think it was possible to port IOS to the playbook. Could someone point me in the direction of some info about this please?

    I think the Playbook is going to win over the Ipad and Android at this rate! If not, then the playbook is definitely going to be used in my lessons!

    Thank you
    07-14-12 01:06 PM
  6. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    ... but I didn't think it was possible to port IOS to the playbook. Could someone point me in the direction of some info about this please?

    I think the Playbook is going to win over the Ipad and Android at this rate! If not, then the playbook is definitely going to be used in my lessons!

    Thank you
    I agree that What's up is okay but I am just a tad biased. My son has AS and I can't get him interested in astronomy but he uses his PlayBook to organize himself and communicate using email, Facebook and Twitter. He had no problem at all learning how to use the PB and loves the OEM keyboard. You might also be interested to know that are some good comic book reader apps available in App World and this is another way to interest kids in reading.

    Porting IOS apps to PlayBook is definitely not something readily accomplished by an end user. Unlike Android ports, it's not just a simple matter of repackaging the app. Generally speaking IOS apps are written in a variant of C called Objective C which is specific to the Apple OS.

    My son has problems navigating around the city to and gets lost easily due to total absence of a sense of direction. Maps are also Greek to him so I am thinking of building an app that will help simplify point-to-point navigation and getting help when he gets lost. The PB's compass is excellent and BB10 integration with BBM looks promising (and will be possible in the near future). So far, I am in the conceptual stages of development so any ideas you have would be welcome.
    07-14-12 07:12 PM
  7. lavrishevo's Avatar
    The iPad is the way to go. I can't believe people would just blindly recommend the Playbook because they like the device. iOS actually has apps that are specifically designed to do exactly what your looking for. The variety and selection of software that will be useful to you is exactly why the iPad is so successful. You can buy iPad 2's for $299 now and have access to the best and most refined software on the market. The playbook is not a smart choice whatsoever. Below are just a few links to show you what I mean. Again, it's not so much about the hardware made by Apple but the availability of software. Even the Android Market can't hold water to iOS's variety. And just to clarify, iOS apps will not work in the Playbook. Also, the Playbook's Android emulator does NOT load all Android software. It is actually very limited and buggy. At least go with a product that you know will continue to be supported for years to come. No one knows what will happen to the Playbook as RIM's future is in peril. I mean come on... calendar, astronomy, personal organization. Good lord....

    Apps for Autism | | Autism Speaks

    Choosing iPad Apps for Autism

    Start Up Hearty Spin Releases iOS App For Autistic Children | Nibletz - The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else

    Using apps to help treat autism | Macworld

    The Newest And Best iOS Apps To Help Children With Autism - TheAppWhisperer

    App Store - Autism Apps

    Ask Engadget: best tablet, software and case for a child with a developmental disorder? -- Engadget
    Last edited by lavrishevo; 07-14-12 at 09:43 PM.
    BigAl_BB9900 likes this.
    07-14-12 09:07 PM
  8. axeman1000's Avatar
    Very easy to set up to projector or televisions through hdmi ports to project for the whole class or to monitors that make vision easier for students. The multi tasking is WAY better on the playbook,as you can see what is open and swipe back and forth to it. Copying files can be done over a network WITHOUT third party software, less weight for students with weak muscle development....come on it's just better!
    hpjrt likes this.
    07-14-12 10:14 PM
  9. hpjrt's Avatar
    The iPad is the way to go. I can't believe people would just blindly recommend the Playbook because they like the device. iOS actually has apps that are specifically designed to do exactly what your looking for. The variety and selection of software that will be useful to you is exactly why the iPad is so successful. You can buy iPad 2's for $299 now and have access to the best and most refined software on the market. The playbook is not a smart choice whatsoever. Below are just a few links to show you what I mean. Again, it's not so much about the hardware made by Apple but the availability of software. Even the Android Market can't hold water to iOS's variety. And just to clarify, iOS apps will not work in the Playbook. Also, the Playbook's Android emulator does NOT load all Android software. It is actually very limited and buggy. At least go with a product that you know will continue to be supported for years to come. No one knows what will happen to the Playbook as RIM's future is in peril. I mean come on... calendar, astronomy, personal organization. Good lord....

    Apps for Autism | | Autism Speaks

    Choosing iPad Apps for Autism

    Start Up Hearty Spin Releases iOS App For Autistic Children | Nibletz - The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else

    Using apps to help treat autism | Macworld

    The Newest And Best iOS Apps To Help Children With Autism - TheAppWhisperer

    App Store - Autism Apps

    Ask Engadget: best tablet, software and case for a child with a developmental disorder? -- Engadget
    Your points are undoubtedly well meant but you failed the basic task of actually reading the original post. Perhaps you have spent too much time in ios and have forgotten that one must comprehend what one reads?

    The OP was looking for valid reasons why the PB might be included in the tablet mix. He came to Crackberry. I'm sure that if he wanted validation on iPads he'd have gone to an Apple fan site. Instead he came here to a BB fan site, specifically to a Playbook fan site. Does that tell you anything?

    I think that your comments were ill-conceived and I, for one, was insulted by your casting aspersions on those of us who posted our comments. Our comments were solicited by the OP. We gave our opinions and thoughts on the PB. You did nothing but search google and post links that I'm certain a university lecturer would have been perfectly capable of finding on his own.
    BuzzStarField and pixieloulou like this.
    07-14-12 10:30 PM
  10. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    The iPad is the way to go. I can't believe people would just blindly recommend the Playbook because they like the device. iOS actually has apps that are specifically designed to do exactly what your looking for. The variety and selection of software that will be useful to you is exactly why the iPad is so successful. You can buy iPad 2's for $299 now and have access to the best and most refined software on the market. The playbook is not a smart choice whatsoever. Below are just a few links to show you what I mean. Again, it's not so much about the hardware made by Apple but the availability of software. Even the Android Market can't hold water to iOS's variety. And just to clarify, iOS apps will not work in the Playbook. Also, the Playbook's Android emulator does NOT load all Android software. It is actually very limited and buggy. At least go with a product that you know will continue to be supported for years to come. No one knows what will happen to the Playbook as RIM's future is in peril. I mean come on... calendar, astronomy, personal organization. Good lord....

    Apps for Autism | | Autism Speaks

    Choosing iPad Apps for Autism

    Start Up Hearty Spin Releases iOS App For Autistic Children | Nibletz - The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else

    Using apps to help treat autism | Macworld

    The Newest And Best iOS Apps To Help Children With Autism - TheAppWhisperer

    App Store - Autism Apps

    Ask Engadget: best tablet, software and case for a child with a developmental disorder? -- Engadget
    Please note that the OP was requesting information pertaining to (and I quote) "Tablet features for older ASD students?" As a father of a 23 year old who happens to have Asperger's Syndrome, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that very few of the links that you found pertain to young adults affected by ASD.

    In fact, supports required for older students with Autism Spectrum Disorders will not be all that different from the needs of "normal" students with varying deficits in executive brain function. Just so you know, any hardware that assists a student in getting organized and to communicate with peers and teachers will mitigate some of the nastier effects of ASD. Add support for literacy (reading comprehension) and doing thing of interest to the student and you are now dealing with a device that is ideal for the task at hand. With.

    Giving my son a BlackBerry while he was earning his degree in Fine Arts (so that he could use the standard BB tools) is the best help that I possibly given him. I suspect that an iPhone would have sufficed as well, but that fact is beside the point. The OP was specifically asking what the PlayBook could bring to the discussion and your rant added absolutely no value to the conversation..

    If you had completed your research, you may have come to the same conclusion but then the purpose of your post was not to be informative - it was to demonstrate that participants in this forum are irresponsible.
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 07-14-12 at 11:13 PM.
    alan510 and pixieloulou like this.
    07-14-12 11:00 PM
  11. pixieloulou's Avatar
    Thank you all again for your ideas. As mentioned by other members, I'm not looking for a discussion on why the ipad is better than the playbook (my literacy lecturer colleague covered that when we were in discussions about purchasing tablets). As my manager has agreed that buying a range of tablets would be better to account for the different degrees of difficulties and differences we see in our ASD students, the Playbook is definitely going to be used in at least one of our classrooms by September.

    I appreciate Lavrishevo's efforts of finding a whole load of apps for the ipad, and I will pass them on to the lecturer who gets the Ipad in his/her classroom, but as mentioned by Buzz above, they are all tailored to younger children.

    I probably should have mentioned that our unit doesn't cater for students who are non verbal students or those with particularly difficult needs (including behavioural problems), as we don't have the special skills or training to deal with this at the moment. There is a fantastic private school and college in the next town over that takes these students as they have their own speech and language therapists, and educational psychologist.

    As we are a further education college run by the government, our students need to complete qualifications in order to get their placement funding. We do a lot on social skills, communication, employability (including work experience) and personals social development. I know there aren't any specific apps that cover these things, but there does appear to be quite a few apps that can be adapted to our needs.

    I like Buzz's idea of a point to point navigation system for students with ASD. We do a lot of walking in the local area with our students to develop independence skills and road safety. Rather than march them to the local library or swimming pool, I prefer to let my students plan where we are going using google maps. However, google maps can be quite difficult to understand so some kind of simple version would be a great idea (I'm also wondering whether it could be like a sat nav which shows the arrows of where you are going so you can see where that left turning is up ahead?) If you need any more ideas or suggestions about this, please contact me as I think it is a fantastic idea!

    One of the activities that I use a lot in my classroom is brainstorm/bubble diagrams to help gather ideas from the learners. Most of my students are visual learners so seeing how all the points link together is useful for them, but I can't seem to find an app that will do this in an easy way. Does anyone have any suggestions for this, or should I just stick with pen and paper?

    I'm also in talks with our I.T department about how we can print things from the tablets to the printer, and trying to convince them to buy us a e-printer such as HP (they aren't keen on the idea yet though!).

    Just before I go, I wanted to say that I appreciate everyone's input to this thread, as working with young people who may struggle in their education is a passion of mine and I am just wanting to find new ways to teach and engage them in my lessons.
    Last edited by pixieloulou; 07-15-12 at 02:41 AM.
    07-15-12 02:38 AM
  12. BlazorBoy's Avatar
    I'm touch by the posts from those with special needs children and wish all well.
    07-15-12 04:26 AM
  13. Dodger52's Avatar
    Thank you all again for your ideas. As mentioned by other members, I'm not looking for a discussion on why the ipad is better than the playbook (my literacy lecturer colleague covered that when we were in discussions about purchasing tablets). As my manager has agreed that buying a range of tablets would be better to account for the different degrees of difficulties and differences we see in our ASD students, the Playbook is definitely going to be used in at least one of our classrooms by September.

    I appreciate Lavrishevo's efforts of finding a whole load of apps for the ipad, and I will pass them on to the lecturer who gets the Ipad in his/her classroom, but as mentioned by Buzz above, they are all tailored to younger children.

    I probably should have mentioned that our unit doesn't cater for students who are non verbal students or those with particularly difficult needs (including behavioural problems), as we don't have the special skills or training to deal with this at the moment. There is a fantastic private school and college in the next town over that takes these students as they have their own speech and language therapists, and educational psychologist.

    As we are a further education college run by the government, our students need to complete qualifications in order to get their placement funding. We do a lot on social skills, communication, employability (including work experience) and personals social development. I know there aren't any specific apps that cover these things, but there does appear to be quite a few apps that can be adapted to our needs.

    I like Buzz's idea of a point to point navigation system for students with ASD. We do a lot of walking in the local area with our students to develop independence skills and road safety. Rather than march them to the local library or swimming pool, I prefer to let my students plan where we are going using google maps. However, google maps can be quite difficult to understand so some kind of simple version would be a great idea (I'm also wondering whether it could be like a sat nav which shows the arrows of where you are going so you can see where that left turning is up ahead?) If you need any more ideas or suggestions about this, please contact me as I think it is a fantastic idea!

    One of the activities that I use a lot in my classroom is brainstorm/bubble diagrams to help gather ideas from the learners. Most of my students are visual learners so seeing how all the points link together is useful for them, but I can't seem to find an app that will do this in an easy way. Does anyone have any suggestions for this, or should I just stick with pen and paper?

    I'm also in talks with our I.T department about how we can print things from the tablets to the printer, and trying to convince them to buy us a e-printer such as HP (they aren't keen on the idea yet though!).

    Just before I go, I wanted to say that I appreciate everyone's input to this thread, as working with young people who may struggle in their education is a passion of mine and I am just wanting to find new ways to teach and engage them in my lessons.
    Well you couid use a PC to create a diagram and then use the print to go app to send it to the students Playbook.

    Also the playbook features a SMB server so when setup you can transfer, add remove and edit files and folders on your students Playbook via WIFI

    As for the organisational skills, this is something that people with ASD (or ADHD for that matter) usually have problems with. And Blackberry really does a teriffic job in keeping people's live organised

    I justed checked in appworld, there are seven mindmapp/cognimap apps available in appworld three of them are free.
    Last edited by Dodger52; 07-15-12 at 11:15 AM.
    07-15-12 09:57 AM
  14. pixieloulou's Avatar
    Well you couid use a PC to create a diagram and then use the print to go app to send it to the students Playbook.

    Also the playbook features a SMB server so when setup you can transfer, add remove and edit files and folders on your students Playbook via WIFI

    As for the organisational skills, this is something that people with ASD (or ADHD for that matter) usually have problems with. And Blackberry really does a teriffic job in keeping people's live organised

    I justed checked in appworld, there are seven mindmapp/cognimap apps available in appworld three of them are free.
    Thank you for this. I didn't realise brainstorm diagrams were called mind maps elsewhere! This makes it easier to do diagrams with the students. I will have a test of some of the apps and see which one is the easiest.
    07-15-12 12:23 PM
  15. Dodger52's Avatar
    Thank you for this. I didn't realise brainstorm diagrams were called mind maps elsewhere! This makes it easier to do diagrams with the students. I will have a test of some of the apps and see which one is the easiest.
    You're welcome, once in a while people need to change the naming of things and all of a sudden it's all new and interesting again...
    And cognimaps / mindmapps aren't half as good in terms of meaning. You can't make a map of your mind can you?? You can't even walk around in it...
    Last edited by Dodger52; 07-16-12 at 05:32 AM. Reason: spelling error
    pixieloulou likes this.
    07-15-12 12:53 PM
  16. BigAl_BB9900's Avatar
    Not sure how much value this will add, but....

    A friend's son is an exceptionally intelligent high functioning autistic 5 year old - he is also very dyslexic

    He loves my PlayBook and got to grips with using it within minutes. I have downloaded a lot of apps and video files just for him to use, including Whats Up (he is a keen astronomer and has now memorised the names of several hundred stars and planets....), hangman (not yet pertinent), chess (he kicks my backside) and lots of episodes of Thunderbirds (these seem to hold his attention better than anything else)

    The visiting 'special needs' teacher has had him using specialist apps on an iPad (which he found equally easy to get to grips with), but he finds the actual tablet too large and heavy for easy use

    As well as some horrific rages, he also has a finger sensitivity issue, so the PlayBook screen has taken a fair bit of punishment over the last year. Thankfully (surprisingly?) the screen still functions ok - I can agree with the previous posters comments re: getting an Otterbox

    Hope this adds some benefit to your research

    Good Luck!
    BuzzStarField and pixieloulou like this.
    07-15-12 12:58 PM
  17. pixieloulou's Avatar
    Thanks for this. A playbook, otterbox and maybe a keyboard will probably come to the same amount that the college is going to spend on the ipad (if the playbook is on sale in PC world still, it will be even cheaper!).

    Can I just ask which hangman game you have been using from app world and I will have a look at it and make sure that it is going to be easy to use?
    07-16-12 01:11 AM
  18. BigAl_BB9900's Avatar
    Can I just ask which hangman game you have been using from app world and I will have a look at it and make sure that it is going to be easy to use?
    Hi pixie

    The Hangman version is by Spice Apps (Mobile applications for Nokia Sony Ericsson Windows Mobile Blackberry Samsung LG Motorola Symbian from Spice Labs) and is FREE in AppWorld

    You can choose between Dictionary, Places, Hollywood, Celebs, etc for your database of words (we just use Dictionary & Places) - my physio also uses it with her children (not special needs - 10 & 8) and she says that it has created a whole new interest in Geography!

    Good Luck with your search

    All the best

    Alex
    pixieloulou likes this.
    07-17-12 02:25 AM
  19. Nicola's Avatar
    Here is a list of apps that I have found work very well for all students regardless of learning needs.

    The PlayBook has a predictive keyboard so writing in native Playbook apps is pretty efficient as long as the student can read the predictions. If your school uses Kurzweil 3000 check out Firefly - it is web based text to speech that supports Kurzweil documents and works very well in the PB browser.

    Native built into the OS – students would have these by default

    Docs to go – create word docs, excel spreadsheets and view/edit PowerPoint.
    Browser – supports flash, Firefly, access to Google docs etc.
    Print to go – students can print from their computer directly to pdf onto the playbook – free PC app must also be installed
    Calculator – regular, scientific, conversion, tips – swipe from the top to change
    Adobe PDF – views pdfs but very limited – no bookmarking or annotation
    Voice notes – record voice notes (saves as *.m4a files)
    Kobo – alternative book source to Kindle
    Video Camera
    Camera
    Calendar

    *** If a student has a newer Blackberry phone (OS 6 or higher) they can bridge to the playbook and access the notes app, use their phone as a keyboard with full word prediction and auto correct, use it as a remote control for presentations, open any files from phone on Playbook. Also, there is a thread in the playbook forums that shows how to use Vlingo with the bridged remote control to dictate text into the playbooks email and notes apps.

    Free apps in app world

    My Class Schedule – calendar/organizer for courses (android port in app world)
    PDF Creator Ultimate Free – convert photos into pdf – take picture of notes/textbooks or whiteboard and create a pdf from them
    Evernote – cloud based note taking/add voice notes/photos from camera
    Blackberry News

    Paid Apps – I use them a lot so most are worth the money - prices are CAD dollars

    FPMindmaps – can export to an image file (easiest to use graphic organizer/visual brainstorming) - $4.99
    qPDF Notes Full Version - Complete PDF annotator, form filler and signer. Add highlights, comments, text boxes and draw directly on top of pdfs. – $9.99 but I use it more than anything else other than evernote so it is worth the money. (android port in app world – stable, rarely freezes android player)
    Print – print from playbook to printer connected to computer – playbook and printer must be on the same wireless network – free PC app must also be installed $1.99
    Splashtop – remote access to PC - free PC app must also be installed, access available via same wireless network or through google gmail account if not in the same building. Can use all PC applications remotely on playbook i.e. Kurzweil, SMART Ideas etc. - $6.99
    Picinote - photo note taking and drawing board, can annotate on top of photos of math page or use finger or stylus to write/draw diagrams for math and science - $2.99

    Side loaded Android Apps

    Handrite Free - my personal favourite - draw (with finger or stylus) add text and images
    RepliGo reader – pdf reader/annotation – I prefer the qPDF Notes because it has very good developer support and frequent updates – but this one is free
    Dropbox
    Kindle
    Last edited by Nicola; 07-17-12 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention BB News
    07-17-12 04:43 PM
  20. kazin's Avatar
    I work as an educational assistant with special needs students including many with ASD in Canada. The school district I'm in uses iPads and the kids love them. There are tons of apps on it (including AAC apps) that the kids can really benefit from. I'm not sure of the support that the PlayBook has, but you cannot go wrong with the iPad for these purposes. As well, the iPad is bigger and it would actually suit kids better.
    07-17-12 10:16 PM
  21. D_Whatley's Avatar
    Just a note about Otterbox cases. They are also available for the iPad. In the case of the PB, there is already a screen protector built into the device (I have not installed one for the iPad). This should be a serious consideration for any tablet in any school environment and I highly recommend you look up this specific brand. It does add a bit of weight but the degree of protection is well beyond other cases. Depending upon how you have to do your spending, they are often available at a discount if you can shop on-line and buy one or two at a time without having to use a purchase order. If you will be buying in quantity, they may have a discount program for educational institutions. They have an excellent guarantee and honor it regardless of where it was purchased.
    Last edited by D_Whatley; 07-17-12 at 11:29 PM.
    pixieloulou likes this.
    07-17-12 11:25 PM
  22. pixieloulou's Avatar
    Here is a list of apps that I have found work very well for all students regardless of learning needs.

    The PlayBook has a predictive keyboard so writing in native Playbook apps is pretty efficient as long as the student can read the predictions. If your school uses Kurzweil 3000 check out Firefly - it is web based text to speech that supports Kurzweil documents and works very well in the PB browser.

    Native built into the OS students would have these by default

    Docs to go create word docs, excel spreadsheets and view/edit PowerPoint.
    Browser supports flash, Firefly, access to Google docs etc.
    Print to go students can print from their computer directly to pdf onto the playbook free PC app must also be installed
    Calculator regular, scientific, conversion, tips swipe from the top to change
    Adobe PDF views pdfs but very limited no bookmarking or annotation
    Voice notes record voice notes (saves as *.m4a files)
    Kobo alternative book source to Kindle
    Video Camera
    Camera
    Calendar

    *** If a student has a newer Blackberry phone (OS 6 or higher) they can bridge to the playbook and access the notes app, use their phone as a keyboard with full word prediction and auto correct, use it as a remote control for presentations, open any files from phone on Playbook. Also, there is a thread in the playbook forums that shows how to use Vlingo with the bridged remote control to dictate text into the playbooks email and notes apps.

    Free apps in app world

    My Class Schedule calendar/organizer for courses (android port in app world)
    PDF Creator Ultimate Free convert photos into pdf take picture of notes/textbooks or whiteboard and create a pdf from them
    Evernote cloud based note taking/add voice notes/photos from camera
    Blackberry News

    Paid Apps I use them a lot so most are worth the money - prices are CAD dollars

    FPMindmaps can export to an image file (easiest to use graphic organizer/visual brainstorming) - $4.99
    qPDF Notes Full Version - Complete PDF annotator, form filler and signer. Add highlights, comments, text boxes and draw directly on top of pdfs. $9.99 but I use it more than anything else other than evernote so it is worth the money. (android port in app world stable, rarely freezes android player)
    Print print from playbook to printer connected to computer playbook and printer must be on the same wireless network free PC app must also be installed $1.99
    Splashtop remote access to PC - free PC app must also be installed, access available via same wireless network or through google gmail account if not in the same building. Can use all PC applications remotely on playbook i.e. Kurzweil, SMART Ideas etc. - $6.99
    Picinote - photo note taking and drawing board, can annotate on top of photos of math page or use finger or stylus to write/draw diagrams for math and science - $2.99

    Side loaded Android Apps

    Handrite Free - my personal favourite - draw (with finger or stylus) add text and images
    RepliGo reader pdf reader/annotation I prefer the qPDF Notes because it has very good developer support and frequent updates but this one is free
    Dropbox
    Kindle
    Thank you so much for this. It is really useful to see what apps could be adapted for my students' needs. I particularly like the idea of Evernote and Class schedule as these would be ideal for my students to use. I will download them and have a play around with them to see how they can be used. I never thought about using the voice notes app on the playbook, but now this would be perfect for recording group discussions as part of our module evidence. I'm not sure whether we would be able to use Splashtop or Print as the college system has a ridiculous amount of security and firewall procedures in place, but I could try and sweet talk the I.T. men (again).

    I am on annual leave from work now, but dying to get back and see whether the playbook has been ordered/purchased for September (knowing what my manager is like, she is probably waiting for me to get back to do it as she has a technology phobia and will end up buying something completely different!).
    07-18-12 04:07 AM
  23. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    If you do end up getting an android, iPAD, and PB, please poll your students on which they like to use the best. It would be an interesting update for us all!
    07-18-12 09:09 AM
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