“We wanted to use technology to create fun educational tools that are simple for educators and parents to customize, that would reinforce the lessons being taught in the classrooms and that would effectively engage children.”
— Nish Parikh, CEO of WebTeam Corporation
WebTeam Corporation has been active at the intersection of autism education and technology for more than five years. While working with autism experts and educators, the company has tested its educational games in classrooms, tracking data to see how children engage with the games. The company tracks a variety of measures, ranging from empirical data related to skills acquisition by children to videos that record facial expressions in order to better understand children’s engagement with the programs.
Now, in addition to kiosks in classrooms, the company has released apps designed specifically for children with autism and special needs.
The apps that make up the iLearnNEarn series are based on the curricula that teachers use in schools, including sight words, colors, shapes, basic math skills, spelling, emotions and facial expressions.
The apps are based on the Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) model of intervention delivery.
“In addition to tracking student usage and progress for teachers, the apps can use individual student data in order to better present the material to each individual student,” explains Nish Parikh, CEO of WebTeam Corporation.
Why Did You Create the iLearnNEarn Apps?
Nish Parikh: We’ve been working in the autism education space for more than five years. Based on our research, we know that game-based educational programs are very effective for this population.
But we also know that children with special needs often respond best to customized, individualized programs.
We wanted to use technology to create fun educational tools that are simple for educators and parents to customize, that would reinforce the lessons being taught in the classrooms and that would effectively engage children.
How Do the iLearnNEarn Apps Work?
Nish Parikh: We believe individualization, data collection and analysis are important when creating programs for the special needs population. All of our apps collect data in a centralized database which can be used by teachers or experts for further analysis to achieve optimum results via supplemental intervention using our apps. We take the paper-based curricula that teachers use in classrooms to teach various concepts — from spelling to math and even emotions — and we replicate it in app form.
Each app is customizable. Teachers or parents can optimize the use of features, including timers for each question, use of audio prompts and choosing the level of difficulty.
Furthermore, teachers or parents can upload personal photos as well as recording audio prompts when that level of customization will help children to learn. The apps also include a tool that allows teachers and parents to communicate, so, for example, a teacher can request that parents submit photos that help the teacher to customize the apps for individual students.
iLearnNEarn apps are based on ABA methods, and include rewards in the form of brief animation when children correctly complete a question or exercise. However, if the reward animation is distracting, an adult can turn off the reward component of the app.
As students work through the apps, each app collects data, including right/wrong answers and response time. Teachers or parents can pull a report to track a student’s progress.
In addition, the app adjusts the delivery of material as the student user progresses and proves acquisition of the targeted skill.
Across the iLearnNEarn series of apps, students can learn a wide range of skills, including:
- ‘Alphabets’ for Identification of Letters
- ‘123 Order’ for Sequencing Numbers
- ‘ My Words’ for Recognizing Sight Words
- ‘Color Find’ for Color Identification
- ‘Show Me’ for Recognition of Objects
- ‘Decoding Emotions’ For Recognizing Emotions
- ‘Spell Me’ For Learning Spellings
- ‘Multiplication’ For Learning Math
- My Words
- iLNE Spell – 1
- iLNE Spell – 2
- iLNE Spell – 3
- Alphabets Sequence
- Add Me
- Days Sequence
- Months Sequence
- What’s the Expression
- Subtract Me
- Cursive Lowercase
- Cursive Uppercase
- 2-Tone Color
- Animals Sound
To find more apps to help your child with autism, download Wynsum Arts’ free app, i.AM Search – available on iTunes.