Prior to my becoming a tech associate, I was resolved to be the iPad stepchild in my own home for the last 3 years. Once I achieved techie status with my new iPad, it was no surprise that my husband (i.e.Mac fanatic) would begin sharing cool apps with me. Enter Snap-guide.
“Think of it as Pinterest, only it actually tells you how to create the stuff you see” he said. I have to admit, I spent several minutes swiping through various guides on how to identify fake Ray-Ban sunglasses, make a bacon candle (i.e. Man-dle) and create the ultimate fish taco. I enjoyed the visual appeal of the guides in addition to the written step-by-step directions. Bottom line – it is downloaded on my home screen next to Pinterest and Zite.
Snapguide’s tag line is “share what you know”, which is a great teaching philosophy. As an occupational therapy (OT) educator, I know that the best way to become an expert in a topic is by teaching it to others. Why not have my students become an expert at something related to OT and share it with actual occupational therapists working in our community?
My goal was to create one innovative assignment for my Occupational Therapy Evaluations class that used technology as means and ends – I called it “There’s an App for That: Snapguide Edition”. My students had a prior community experience where they shadowed an OT, allowing the students to observe therapist/client interaction, including the use of technology within the setting. Many of these therapists now use iPads in their practice, predominantly for interventions and treatment, but not for evaluation. I wanted to show OT’s that this technology could also assist in data collection and tracking of client progress.
To begin, my students were to identify an app that could be used by their community therapist for the purposes of evaluation. The app had to directly tie to a client group that was seen by the OT and had to have a component of measurement (in order to track client progress). This element could be as simple as timing the task completion or succeeding to the next level on a performance –based “game” (Angry Birds, anyone?).Since my students went to various agencies, clinics and schools, their app selection reflected the diverse needs of their community OT’s. Some of their selections had interesting names such as Cramps, Papi Jump and Dexteria, while others were more direct: Paper Toss, Little Writer and Jig Saw Deluxe.
Once the student decided on an app, it became his/her task to create a SnapGuide to teach others how to use the app for OT evaluation purposes. Students needed to break down the instructional steps of the app used and create a guide for the OT (or anyone) to follow. One trick the students had to learn immediately was how to capture a screen shot of their app at various stages /progress points (this is done by pressing the Home Button and Power button at the same time). Another challenge encountered was the student’s ability to share the app’s applicability to patients and convince the therapist that the app was beneficial (they learned the concept as the app’s “clinical utility”). Once their guide is finished, they will contact the therapist and share the information, possibly having to educate the therapist about Snapguide as well!
As of this writing, the students are still working on their Snapguides. My plan is for them to have a 2 minute “throw down” in class to demo their guide to their peers and show how easy it is to connect technology with occupational therapy evaluation (and how beneficial it is to track progress). Criteria for winning the “throw down” is based on the coolest app and the thoroughness of the Snap Guide. What is the prize for winning? A $10 iTunes gift card of course!
– written by Ashlyn Cunningham, Assistant Professor Occupational Therapy