A few weeks ago, Apple announced a whole new slate of laptops as well as Mountain Lion and iOS. A little clue in iOS6 will benefit teachers.
From the Apple Website:
“iOS 6 comes with even more features to make it easier for people with vision, hearing, learning, and mobility disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices. Guided Access helps students with disabilities such as autism remain on task and focused on content. It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button, as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. VoiceOver, the revolutionary screen reader for blind and low-vision users, is now integrated with Maps, AssistiveTouch, and Zoom. And Apple is working with top manufacturers to introduce Made for iPhone hearing aids that will deliver a power-efficient, high-quality digital audio experience.7″
First, Guided Access reaffirms Apple’s commitment to differentiated learning and access for those with disabilities. To me, this is one of the hidden features of every Apple product. VoiceOver, for example, could also be used to help students develop their reading skills.
Here’s the biggie – being able to limit the iOS device to one app. That means teachers can have students write an essay or summary in Pages – and preclude them from accessing the Internet for answers. Or teachers can create a multiple choice assessment in Numbers – and have students access only Numbers. So not only is the iPad a consumer tool – and a creative tool – it is now an assessment tool.