How to Facilitate Learner Access with the GoWorksheet Maker iPad App


GoWorksheet is getting rave reviews!

But we know that sometimes it's not clear how exactly an app can be applied in the unique setting of your classroom. To help you visualize the potential benefits, let's go directly to the source! We recently interviewed award-winning author, educator and speaker Madalaine Pugliese, who developed the app in partnership with Attainment Company, along with other materials that utilize her groundbreaking Stages Developmental Framework. This post is made up of excerpts from that interview, and will hopefully inspire implementation ideas for using GoWorksheet Maker in your classroom. If you still have questions, please let us know in the comments!

Identifying the Problem

As an Assistive Technology Specialist I have the pleasure of visiting and supporting many different types of classrooms. The goal of these visits is to find ways to equalize learning opportunity or to address barriers to learning. Often I see paraprofessionals serving as scribes, which I believe is not the best use of an invaluable extra human being in the classroom. This person would be better used listening to a student read or facilitating interactions with manipulatives that support learning.

Imagining a Solution

Finding ways that a student could fill in his/her own worksheets seemed important to expedite. This is not just to encourage learner engagement but also to build independence and accountability in the learning process. I thought that somehow leveraging the camera in the iPad to capture the image of the worksheet would permit student interaction in more appropriate ways.

Trial and Error

However, the apps or tools needed to capture and then interact with the worksheet didn’t offer the specific features that we needed. We did find that a combination of apps would come close to providing the interactions for students. Therefore, our Assistive Tech team created a workshop and handouts guiding the teachers we supported in the process of “app smashing;" using a combination of apps to accomplish our mission. While we were excited to discover the potential, it was evident that there just wasn’t enough time for teachers to go through the steps preparing the files for each worksheet that we needed throughout the day.

Paraprofessionals continued to fill in these worksheets for students who were passively engaged even though a combination of tools was available to address this need. I feared that the message that the students were getting is that they weren’t able to do this work independently. Something had to be created that would simplify this process and facilitate learner access.

An Effective, User-Friendly App

GoWorksheet Maker iPad App uses optical character recognition (OCR) and text-to-speech to read selected text aloud. Additional auditory instruction or student prompting can be added. Students answer questions by selecting from word banks, typing on a keyboard, tapping to select from multiple choices, dictating with Siri, circling or drawing connecting lines with a draw tool, or dragging answer choices.

Instead of filling in one worksheet supporting one learner, paraprofessionals can now create libraries of accessible worksheets for their students to be able to use independently.

GoTalk flow chart

We hope you will give the GoWorksheet Maker App a try in your classroom in 2017.  You can purchase it on the Attainment website or in the iTunes app store. If you purchase from iTunes, please share your feedback in an iTunes review! We love to hear from you, and it can help your peers make a more informed decision.


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