Education app of the week: Somantics for iPad

If you’re working with students with Autistic Spectrum Conditions or other communication difficulties, try Somantics for iPad – a suite of applications that use touch, gesture and camera input to encourage greater communication and engagement. 

What is Somantics?

Not so much a single teaching app as a range of interfaces, Somantics gives students who struggle to communicate traditionally a range of gesture and camera-based interfaces that they can interact with. All of the elements are non-competitive and have no set goal – the idea is for students to decide how they want to express themselves, and to provide intuitive tools that let them do so simply. For example Painter, shown in the video below, allows students to use their whole body as a paintbrush to colour their environment, with different movements setting off different patters.

Painter from Somantics on Vimeo.

How can it benefit the classroom?

Self-expression and self-awareness are sometimes difficult for students who struggle to communicate, and Somantics gives them the opportunity to explore their own interests at their own pace, and hopefully reveal some previously untapped creative skills! Because the interface allow students to explore abstract patterns or manipulate pictures of real-world objects, Somantics gives them a great opportunity to explore the objects they encounter in an autonomous, self-directed way, and so should hopefully improve their communication skills and confidence.

Where can I get it?

Somantics (Cariad Interactive, free) is available from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes.

– Missed last week’s app? Catch up with our review of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

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