I am always excited to see OT created apps, such as SnapType app geared to OT practice. My admiration goes to those that not only have an idea for an app, but also have the persistence to see it to fruition in iTunes or Google Play Store – much less offer it for free. SnapType for Occupational Therapy (iPad; free) has done just that – currently in the iTunes Store and offered for free. Huge Kudos to the creator, a 2nd year OT student, Amberlynn Gifford at Springfield College in Massachusetts.
SnapType for Occupational Therapy app is described as an Occupational Therapy app that helps students who have difficulty writing. Students can take pictures of their worksheets in class and use the iPad keyboard to type in answers.
1) Use the on-screen shutter button to take a picture.
2) Tap where you want to add text.
3) Start typing using the iPad keyboard.
4) Tap and drag to move the text boxes.
5) Resize the image by pinching using two fingers.
6) Resize the text using the slider at the top of the screen.
7) Save your work by pressing the iPad home button and power button at the same time (this saves as screen capture to your iPad’s camera roll).
8) Start over by flipping the iPad face-down for 2 seconds.
After downloading the app (which only demands .4 MB on your device – a good thing for those of us with an abundance of apps), it is an easy and intuitive app to use. It was simple to use with very few bells and whistles – not a bad thing at all- offering a straightforward app for young students or users who may get easily overwhelmed or distracted by lots of app buttons and tools. It worked intuitively, first offering the camera buttons to take a picture immediately after opening the app, then creating a text box where you touch on the screen. The keyboard is offered as soon as you touch within the text box and expand to the size needed for the text inserted. Text can be wrapped by inserting an enter and the voice recognition tool on the keyboard also works with Wi-Fi support. A slider tool is offered to increase the font and text boxes size.
The app allowed zooming the image for an enlarged view. Text boxes can easily be moved around the image with drag and drop. In order to hold a text box (to further support completion by students), a keyboard character must be inserted. If you have Speak Selection turned on as an Accessibility option, (Settings>General>Accessibility> Speak Selection) text to speech is available for the user when the text is selected.
SnapType for Occupational Therapy is an easy to use, intuitive app allowing completion of worksheets using the camera on an iPad to create an image and type answers on it. Images taken are not particularly clean or clear, but offer a quick and easy way for students with good reading and spelling skills to complete worksheets using word processing or speech to text if supported with Wi-Fi or accurate speech recognition. This app would be appropriate as a quick answer for elementary students who are familiar with mobile technology and have some level of support from teaching staff. Requirements for independent use by a student include:
- Ability to take picture of a hard copy document
- Ability to tap and create a text box
- Ability to read the worksheet text
- Reasonable typing and spelling skills to support producing text or accurate speech to text capabilities (with Wi-Fi)
- Ability to take a screenshot of the completed worksheet
Pros of the app:
- Extremely fast and easy to use for young, inexperienced or cognitively challenged users
- Few tools available that can be confusing
- Requires few steps to complete the task
- Text boxes are easily created and deleted for the user
- Workflow to Photo Album for printing or sharing
- Would like the text size slider to offer smaller font size for small worksheet fonts and blanks
- Can only do one worksheet at a time
- Users need to be able to read or understand worksheet independently
- Must have good speech or spelling abilities
- Users must be able to do a screen shot for storage
- Worksheets could be modified to user ability level using pictures, multiple choice or word banks to copy from or providing simplified vocabulary
- If answer choices are offered, X’s or voice recognition capabilities can be used to complete the worksheet
- Instructional support can be provided to take the picture, create text boxes prior to completion, perform the screenshot or shared using AirDrop capabilities
SnapText for Occupational Therapy app is an easy to use app for elementary or beginning writers who can use a keyboard, but infrequently need to complete worksheets. Its intuitive tools and ease of use provides students a method of producing text on worksheets with few steps. For those who need to complete worksheets more frequently in different curriculum areas may benefit from apps that provide organization methods and easy workflow to share completed tasks via email or to other iCloud tools. SnapText for OT app is definitely an app that is suited for a teacher or OT mTool kit for the appropriate student – and it is free!
A huge kudo to Amberlynn Gifford for her commitment to her students and drive to develop an app based upon need!! Amberlynn Gifford can be contacted at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amberlynngifford for more information.