Wednesday, January 16, 2013

iPad cases

The only thing almost as exciting as getting an new iPad is selecting its case. Personally, I always like something minimal. But when working with kids with autism, the case needs to be functional first AND durable. 

When I first started looking for a case, I went straight to Speck.  I've long loved Speck's sleek design but I was worried their cases wouldn't hold up against my toughest kids.  I've seen iPads shattered even with the strongest of cases. In my opinion,  the best bet is to make sure the adult has control of the iPad. Anyway, let's be honest: the iPad needs to always be in the adult's control in order to facilitate learning.   So here is the bottom line: the case that easily allows adults to retain control will always come out on top. 

I work with the Speck* HandyShell case and here is why I love it:
  1. It is sleek. It doesn't add much space. I like that. 
  2. The handle. It frees up my other hand to help teach or prompt the student while allowing me to retain control of the iPad.
  3. It can be hung from a hook.  That's perfect for giving lessons to groups!
  4. I can slide the handle in my pocket so the student and I can use dedicated AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) devices to help us interact with the iPad. 
  5. It stands itself in portrait or landscape. The hinge it tough too, so it stays in place.
  6. The handle: you just can't beat it! It's got a cozy thumb hole that makes it natural to hold. 
When working with a student, I always establish the rule before I even bring out the iPad: "Only Beth hold's Beth's iPad."  The HandyShell case allows me to continuously have a hand naturally on the iPad while allowing my other hand to help the student learn.  I love it!

Please note: I haven't tested the durability of this product if I leave a student alone with an iPad in this case.  This reccomendation is based on the assumption that the adult will be holding the iPad. So, it's for teaching purposes only, really.

It's a little pricey for a case (around $50), but well worth it. If you get one, let me know what you think! 

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