Leo's room is usually a flurry of worksheets -- for matching, sight reading, writing practice, basic math, dot-to-dot puzzles, all sorts of learning. I used to laminate the most frequently used sheets so as to reduce paper use, but now we're managing to do without many of those paper worksheets entirely -- we're porting the worksheets to Leo's iPad, cobbling a process together via the free apps DropBox, iBooks, and DrawFree.
Leo enjoys his iPad worksheets, whether he uses them with a stylus or in traditional touchscreen mode. The iPad format makes them easier for him to use than paper ones, and fun, too -- once again our boy is learning in ways no one anticipated.
Here's how I've been making Leo's reusable iPad worksheets:
- Create worksheets in .doc or PDF format, on a computer
- Upload them to the iPad using a shared DropBox folder
- Save them on the iPad in an iBooks collection, so they're all in one place
- Open worksheets in iBooks, then take a screenshot
- Open that screenshot as a DrawFree background. Voila: fresh new worksheet.
1) Leo's program supervisor creates curriculum worksheets on her computer, in Word. (We use .doc or .pdf format files.)
2) Everyone on Leo's team installs DropBox (a Cloud storage service) on their desktops, and I install the DropBox app on Leo's iPad.
3) I create a Leo's Activities folder on my desktop, and formally invite everyone on Leo's team to access it via DropBox Sharing (which lets the Leo's Activities folder and any changes we make to it appear on everyone's desktops).
4) Leo's program supervisor uploads a Numeral Matching sheet to the Leo's Activities DropBox folder.
5) I open the DropBox app on Leo's iPad, find the Numeral Matching sheet, and choose to open it in iBooks.
6) I save the Numeral Matching worksheet to a Leo's Activities collection I've created in iBooks, so we can use his worksheets whether the iPad has online access or not.
7) Now for the reusable part. Whenever it's time for Leo to work on one of his worksheets, I open it in iBooks, then take a screenshot by pressing the iPad's home and on/off buttons (note: every image in this post is a screenshot). The screenshot will be saved as the last image in the iPad's Photo Library.
8) I open the simple drawing app DrawFree, and click Background. I choose Photo Library Background, and select the worksheet image I just created.
9) Leo uses DrawFree to go to town on his totally reusable and replaceable worksheet.
If anyone has similar iPad worksheet processes -- especially more streamlined ones -- please do share them.