More Early Childhood Apps for Kids with Visual Impairments

In my previous post, I shared a high contrast App called Bla Bla Bla with a promise for follow-up.  Here it is! :)

2)  Glow Coloring & Glow Coloring Pro
This is a high contrast drawing and coloring App that I came across at SpedApps2.  The free version (Glow Coloring) let's you draw, type messages, and even import pictures to color from your idevice camera or Photo library.  It also comes with "stamps" that can be pasted across your coloring page in various designs and sizes, simply by using a light touch on the screen. The Pro version ($0.99 at the moment)  integrates with GlowColoring.com, a social network of sorts where users can post their Glow Coloring creations, view the work of others, and even vote for their favorites.  (A cautionary note: I would use your own discretion as far as GlowColoring.com as I'm not sure what safeguards are in place to regulate the content).
I used this app with my little guy with CVI and found it to be helpful in targeting things like:
  • Motor control for different touch-screen motions like touching and dragging.  These are skills I know will be important to help this little guy learn how to access more structured technology, such as AAC and Apps targeting early basic concepts, when the time comes. Using a drawing platform to help him learn these subtle differences and how to control his body to achieve different outcomes creates a visually motivating, error-less environment to build fun, successful, early experiences.
  • Scribbling Practice!  Most children with significant developmental delays don't have the motor skills nor (quite frankly) the interest to sit down and color for any length of time.  Scribbling is essential to early development and an integral part of EVERY typical toddlers play routine-so why not our special kids?  I think this App  adds a bit more spice to a recipe for success when it comes to motivating these kids to interact with fluid materials.  
I think that this App works as a great high contrast "white board" (although it's a black board :) too.  I have used it to teach basic concepts like numbers, letters, shapes, and colors simply by drawing as I teach or by creating static supports form my drawings through the Apps built in sharing feature that allows you to share via email, Facebook, or by simply saving to your Photo Library.  You can create high contrast "flash cards" of the concepts you are working on, organize them into an album in your Photo Library, and use them as a quick teaching tool that can be added to any play session.

One of the downfalls of the free version of this App is, of course, the ads-however, I didn't find this aspect to be a huge barrier to interacting with the App.  I also realize that not all of our kids (my little guy with CVI included) have the motor skills to use drawing programs without support.  I think that motor limitations can definitely be assisted by some good old-fashioned adaptations-but more on this in a future post! :)

Have any ideas on how to use this App differently?  Please share!  Sometimes the simple Apps stretch the farthest.

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