Heading back to school in the fall is a very exciting time, but it can also bring about anxiety and stress for children with NF1 who frequently struggle with fine motor skills, organization and/or executive functioning. However, the use of technology can alleviate many of these concerns and assist children and adults in becoming more productive, functional and independent individuals.
With its variety of accessibility features, the iPad provides many ways to increase efficiency in your everyday life. In addition to the built-in features, the availability of a large selection of quality third party apps turn the iPad into a powerful educational tool.
While I have often showcased my favorite productivity apps, I think they are worth mentioning again with the start of a new school year upon us.
- SnapType: This simple and easy-to-use app takes a picture of a worksheet and allows a student to complete it on the iPad by creating text boxes. It also gives the option to print or turn into a PDF that can be exported and shared.
- JotNot Scanner Pro: This app takes a picture of a worksheet and turns it into a PDF. It can then be used with another app, iAnnotate, to modify and complete the worksheet. This app enables a student to get started on their work immediately, eliminating the need for work to be scanned/emailed.
- iAnnotate PDF: This app allows a worksheet or document to be marked up using a variety of tools such as a marker, highlighter, stamp, text box and more. You can create customizable toolbars and annotate multiple pages. The final product can be shared via email or printed. Together, JotNot Scanner Pro and iAnnotate can complete the same function as SnapType but feature many more tools and options.
- Co-Writer: This app has extensive word prediction and text-to-speech features which can speed up typing and productivity. The finished product can be shared via email or exported to cloud-based sites, including Dropbox or Google Drive. It has a main dictionary but also allows topic web-scraped dictionaries, which search the web to find relevant words.
- ModMath: This app allows students to create and complete math problems on virtual graph paper. It helps with organization, sequencing and legibility. Once completed, it can be printed or shared.
- myMemoir: This is a journaling app allowing you to include a picture or photo. Journal entries can be shared as a PDF, EPUB or TEXT. Many elementary students will journal as a part of their morning or daily routine, and this app can help serve that purpose.
Wishing you a productive and successful school year!
– Nicole Weckherlin, OTR/L