Monday, March 5, 2012

LetterSchool App

I occasionally use my iPad in therapy sessions, and I have been on the lookout for a good handwriting app. I tried out several handwriting apps, but didn't really like any of them. Thanks to the Thriving in School blog, I have recently discovered (and love!) the LetterSchool App.

The LetterSchool app teaches letter formation by having the child tap, trace, and then draw the letter. This app provides lots of auditory and visual feedback, and works on letter sounds too!

The LetterSchool app also allows you to choose D'Nealian, Handwriting Without Tears, or Zaner-Bloser letter formation, as you can see below.
The first video shows a student using the LetterSchool app to form the letter D.
video
This second video shows how I've been using the LetterSchool app in conjunction with the Handwriting Without Tears Letter Cards to develop handwriting skills in the same student. (Be patient, it's a little slow in the beginning, because I was trying to limit my prompts).
video
I love the second video, because it shows how using this app is translating into a functional skill! I initially hesitated to use the iPad in therapy, because I wasn't convinced that it could enhance fine motor or handwriting skills in a way that would carry over to a functional skill.

The child in this video typically requires A LOT of assistance to complete any writing task. He uses very light pressure when writing and he and rarely looks at the paper.

You can't see it in the video, but he is looking at the iPad, the Handwriting Without Tears Letter Card, and the dry erase board! He even looked up and made great eye contact with me when imitating the words and sounds on the app!
 
After using this app, I am convinced that using certain apps in conjunction with other therapeutic activities can improve functional outcomes.  I would love to see some research done on this!


The LetterSchool app is available from the Apple iTunes App Store for $2.99.


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