Review of Colorscape App for Digital Color Activities
Many TVIs have students who struggle with drawing and coloring activities due to difficulties with visual processing, limited color vision, fine motor issues, and/or reduced visual acuity. This can make “fun” lessons and art time frustrating for our students. While their classmates get excited for the opportunity to color or decorate, our students may see it as another challenging task put before them.
There are many ways to adapt art and coloring activities. And they will vary based on the needs of our students. I’ve often outlined the borders of coloring pages in tactile paint such as puffy paint to help my students stay in the lines. Scented markers/crayons also allow our students to have an additional sensory experience beside just the visual one. Another adaptation that has been successful for some students is the use of digital color apps. I’ve been using the Colorscape app regularly with one of my students for the past year.
What it does
This app allows you to turn any photo into a digital coloring page. You can save an online image to your camera roll or take a photo of a coloring page you student’s teacher is using. Your student can then use two fingers to zoom in and out of the image and color it using “tools” like pen, paint brush and paint bucket. The student can email or print the image when finished.
Colorscape is not accessible with Voice Over/Zoom. Its icons are large enough to be used by many students with low vision ranging to about 20/200.
Ways I’ve Used Colorscape
- My student’s classroom teacher wanted the class to color a picture of the American flag, but had not enlarged the picture beforehand. I saved an image of the American flag from the internet and let my student color it in the app.
- The classroom teacher wanted the class to color an elaborate coloring page with many small spaces. I took a photo of the coloring page and used the eraser in edit mode to eliminate a lot of the background details and allow my student to color a simpler, less cluttered image.
- I’ve let my student take a photo of something in the classroom or take a photo of their teacher and then color it as a fun activity when work is completed.
- Allows student to zoom in and out
- Allows student to erase, which help reduce anxiety about making mistakes (compared to coloring on paper)
- Paint bucket lets student fill in an entire space without worrying about going outside the lines
- You can adjust the thickness of lines and remove clutter in edit mode
- Text is not legible, so it can’t be used for worksheets
- Icons may be too small for students with significantly reduced vision