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Apps for Stages

Welcome to Madalaine Pugliese’s App Recommendations Aligned to Stages©


This is a Public Service Announcement

I developed the Stages framework in 1997 as a strategy for organizing and making assistive technology recommendations for accessible software and appropriate adaptive device use. This approach provided a rationale for decision-making, guiding many professionals and end users for many years. When the Attainment Company invited me to update the Stages tools and product line with them, I could not have been more delighted, still believing over these 20+ years that purposeful data-driven user-first assistive technology recommendations are best.

I am thrilled that the Attainment Company has agreed to host this ongoing app recommendations project as a public service. Thank you, Attainment Company, for making this project accessible to the world!


About the Stages© Framework

The Stages© framework takes a research-anchored approach to defining developmentally appropriate observable learner characteristics for language and academic milestones, and recommends features to consider in selecting apps or computer software for learning, along with teaching strategies that match and scaffold learner need. This approach has proven very helpful in supporting educators, therapists, and families in selecting appropriate learning materials.

Although the language foundation of the first three Stages followed a sequential pattern of development, academic discovery does not. The skills developed in Stages Four through Seven are interconnected and may develop concurrently as the learner acquires complementary skills.

Recommendations for each Stage are preceded by a brief list of observable characteristics that let you double check content goals. There is also a short list of features to consider that aligns with each specific Stage.

About These Mobile Device App Recommendations

We know that mobile devices are actively integrated as learning tools. More and more articles, websites, and thematic wikis describing individual success stories and offering recommendations for mobile device apps are available. This project organizes recommendations for mobile device apps from a competency-based perspective.

The seven Stages are not grade level or age or norm referenced. Instead, they are competency based and paired with a checklist of observable learner characteristics. Each Stage identifies achievable skills or milestones. Once those milestones are determined, skill-building apps are suggested from the perspective of the student first.

Mobile device apps come and go. Sometimes it seems that the instant we recommend an app, it disappears for some reason. If you find that a recommended app is no longer available, please understand that we leave it on our list because many have already downloaded the app and might still be wondering about appropriate use. Older mobile devices that function with stability use less-than-current operating systems and will likely remain stable using previously downloaded content.

Tip: Flexibility in the instructional design is a cost-efficient strategy for using the same app as a learner progresses within a Stage as well as from Stage to Stage. Don’t miss the opportunity to go “under the hood” in an app to investigate further. Be sure to check the settings to see if adjusting the options permit use across Stages.