Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mackie and Technology: Adapting and Downloading Worksheets for Preschoolers to iPad

Getting ready for Kindergarten and we know that for Mackie to be successful, assistive technology and adapting his worksheets will be necessary. With Mackie's hypotonia, his motor planning issues and even more complicated Chorea and its involuntary movements when he tries to use his muscles. 

For years Becca struggled with getting her written work to paper. Years of a scribe, years of hand over hand with her hypotonia, motor planning issues, and her dysgraphia taught me what she needed and we had to use a scribe, notes, adapting worksheets,  verbal answers and all the low tech solutions to help her.  But those all required dependence on adults to help her.  I will not do that for Mackie.  He will need help in many places, but he also needs to be as independent as possible.

But what he really needs is to learn early on that it is OK to do things differently, instead of doing it just like everyone else and NEVER measuring up.  Becca learned that her written work never was good and that she was different and ashamed of her messy handwriting.  To many teachers faulted her for not trying hard enough, not taking more time and marked her down for trying her best.  But best
was never good enough.

Mackie is growing up in the days of exploding technology and he is tech savvy!  So why not use it to help him!  He knows his way around the iPad and can find absolutely anything he is looking for.

He colors using his dabbers, he has many accommodations written into his IEP and with his IEP coming up planning for Kindergarten I had to get busy and figure things out!

There are coloring apps with built in worksheets he loves to fill in. There are apps for reading, which he will need.  There must be a way for the papers to be loaded onto this IPAD and he can do them on his IPAD.

Searching the internet, I found one and only one set for preschool, kindergarten tutorials on

Transferring worksheets to your iPad

I downloaded Dropbox to my computer.  Searched my Pinterest Preschool Pins

Followed the directions and uploaded a file or two to practice with.

Then heading over to the iPad
Downloaded  Good Notes 4 & PDF ($7.99)
Downloaded  Dropbox for iPad (FREE)

Then followed the instructions on the transferring worksheets to your iPad link above.

Mackie's first worksheet!

I figured there must be a way to be able to download and color through the Good note app.  I used the highlighter and selected a wider width.  Added custom colors for more primary color choices.  One can even erase if they want to change the coloring.  Mackie got it quickly and he was pushing me away and figuring it out all on his own after I had it set up and only a few seconds of trying to help.

My demonstration of coloring using the highlighter feature with the widest width stroke.

On his iPad I screen shot his work and then use email to the teacher!

I am so thrilled with finding and playing with this technology and he will be able to do the worksheets like his friends!  Just a little differently.

I am sharing my learning to his occupational therapist, teachers and while I am at it, to the special needs world.  Maybe it will help others learn and adapt to our kids needs!