The following blog post was written by Paul Nyhan, a staff writer with the Microsoft Accessibility Blog. Paul is a 20-year journalism veteran who has written extensively about disability issues.
Students are heading back to school and this year more are showing up with mobile devices that extend their learning far beyond the classroom. Microsoft has a wealth of accessible Windows 8 apps for their devices that will help them excel whatever their needs.
At Microsoft in Education, teachers, students and parents will find apps that encourage and customize learning, everything from algebra exercises and reading comprehension support to digital flashcards and interactive whiteboards. They can even watch lectures from Stanford University.
If a third grader needs help with math, check out iTooch Math Grade Three. Students studying geography can download the World Atlas by National Geographic. And physics students can apply their classwork by playing games with Physamajig.
As the school year begins, teachers and students can organize their academic work with My Study Life. With this app users can consolidate homework, exams and other materials, store all of it in the cloud and access it whenever they want on a Windows-enabled device.
Students with special needs will find plenty of accessible apps that can support their academic success.
Children with learning and communication disabilities from autism, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities can use the assistive care app talkingtiles to create customized learning plans and communication tools. A teacher can create a plan on a laptop, upload it to the cloud and then a student can use it across a set of Windows 8-enabled devices.
Too often, students with disabilities are isolated and this app helps them connect with teachers and classmates, supporting a more inclusive academic environment.
“It is all about helping these kids learn independent skills and become more included in society,” said talkingtiles co-founder Rini Gahir. “And talkingtiles enables parents and teachers to create interactive learning for students with disabilities.”
The Social Express app helps students struggling with social development improve their socio-emotional skills, such as learning how to be part of a group. The app provides a series of animated and interactive Webisodes, based on the latest research and video modeling, in a modern format, the company says.
“It is the new form of converging the old-school content with the new-day tech that can be used in and out of the classroom, which seems to be the most powerful way to get kids to learn these skills,” said Marc Zimmerman, CEO of The Social Express.
Students with a wide range of abilities and their teachers will find Windows 8 education apps that will help them make the most of their schoolwork. Parents can also use these tools to encourage and customize learning for their children at home.
Check out all the apps at Top Windows 8 Apps for Education at Microsoft in Education.