I have a lot of tools in my teaching bag. My classroom has picture symbols on the walls. I have a tactile schedule on the board. I have visual cues for every transition. I have books, CDs, puzzles and games.
We are in the process of setting up a communication binder for a student. We are pulling together the pictures we need. There is computer programs, printing, laminating, cutting, Velcro (lots of Velcro!) and a ton of time involved. It has taken 2 weeks to get this binder up and running.
It took me less then an hour to do the same thing on my iPad. The pictures were all there as part of the app, or I was able to take a picture of it with my camera and grab it onto the iPad quickly.
I can then have the images in my photo album to swipe through one at a time or in a program like Proloquo2Go or First Then Visual Schedule.
I have all of my music on the iPad. Classroom songs we like to sing, 6 versions of O Canada, transition songs, days of the week songs, dancing songs and relaxing songs.
I have anecdotal notes that I have been able to record without having to leave the student's side. I can type in observation notes as the children play and learn.
When the students do something on the iPad that I would like to keep for their portfolio or my assessments I can take a screen shot of it and put it in their album.
I have apps that work on literacy skills, numeracy, fine motor, vision, auditory processing, receptive language, communication, and social skills. All on one little device. A world of information stored in a 0.68kg box.
I will always have symbols, books, puzzles and games. That isn't going to change, but no amount of lamination and Velcro can compete with my iPad!