Description: You know that time you spend driving to work? It's pretty much lost time that almost no one enjoys. You can reclaim that time by using Instacast for Professional Development on-the-go. Instacast allows you to stream (rather than download) podcasts that will give you a lot of food for thought as you drive to work. The advantage of streaming is that the podcasts don't need to take up room on your device or computer to be deleted at a later time. Instacast will also of course work over a WiFi-only connection. In my several weeks of testing this app (thanks to a recommendation by Meg Wilson of iPodsibilities), it has worked seamlessly and, unlike other streaming apps, remembers where I left off in the podcast when I return.
Therapy Use: Instacast gives you very quick access to audio that can inspire you in your work with students. If you are looking for a place to start with podcasts, I strongly recommend both EdReach's EdCeptional (search for EdReach within the app and consider checking out their other casts), a weekly discussion of issues around special needs and technology, and SLP/AT Chris Bugaj's A.T.Tipscast, an overview of assistive technology with an eye (ear?) toward presenting practical tips that can be used in our consultations as therapists. Both of these resources have accompanying blogs with link summaries; you can visit these at some point after your drive to further explore and solidify what you learned. As Instacast gives you access to a wide variety of podcasts, it will also be useful in your work with students. You may choose to work with podcasts that explore curriculum in a fun way, or as a context to develop auditory comprehension strategies. You can use Instacasts built-in directory organized by genre to browse and find podcasts that would work for your students. Be sure to preview podcasts before use with students to ensure they don't contain anything dodgy.
App Benefits/Likes: Simple, usable interface, no bugs! No need to manage podcast files.
Cautions: May be frustrating to use in car in locations with weak 3G signal. Also, be aware of your data plan, as streaming audio can eat it up if you have a small allowance!
Expressive & Receptive Language
Age/Grade Levels Targeted
Upper Elementary (Grades 3- 6)
Middle School/Junior High (Grades 7-9)
High School (Grades 10 – 12)
How to Activate
Isolated finger point
Touch and release
Hold and drag
Type of Device
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Would you recommend this app?
Sean J. Sweeney M.S. M.Ed. CCC-SLP
June 1, 2011