PicCollage is one of my favorite apps for creating multimedia collages on my iPad. Creating those collages is a great way to visually summarize a trip, to tell a story, or showcase the highlights of research. I’ve shown PicCollage to hundreds of teachers over the last couple of years. The only complaint I’ve heard about it is that there is a public gallery of collages. I just discovered this morning that PicCollage for Kids removes that gallery. PicCollage for Kids also removes all social media connections to the app. Students do not need to create accounts in order to use PicCollage for Kids.
A couple of weeks ago at the Future Schools Expo in Sydney I facilitated a workshop about making media with mobile apps. The idea of creating talking pictures was one of the ideas that was a hit with some of the participants in the workshop. In the workshop I shared examples of using ChatterPix Kids to have students create short audio stories about their favorite animals. I also shared an example of using Morfo to create audio biographies in which students give voice to famous people in history. Below is a short summary of both of those apps as well as another app useful for a similar purpose.
ChatterPix Kids is a free iPad app that you and your students can use to turn pictures into talking pictures. To create a talking picture just snap a picture with your iPad or import a picture from your iPad’s camera roll. After taking the picture just draw in a face and tap the record button to make your picture talk. Your recording can be up to thirty seconds in length. Before publishing your talking picture you can add fun stickers, text, and frames to your picture. Finished Chatter Pix projects are saved to your camera roll and from there you can export it to a number of services including YouTube. ChatterPix Kids doesn’t require students to create an account in order to use the service. Using the app could be a great way to get students to bring simple stories to life.
Morfo 3D Faces is an iPad app that you can use to create a talking picture of person’s face. You can take a picture of a person or you can take a picture of a picture of a person (for example, taking a picture of a picture of a person in a book). Once you’ve captured the picture you can customize the face by altering the eyes, mouth, and nose to move as you talk. After customizing the picture you can record yourself talking. Click here for an example of an elementary school teacher using this app with her students.
DMD Topic is a neat iPad app for quickly creating short videos. To create a video you simply take a picture or import a picture from your iPad’s camera roll then start talking about the picture. You can record for up to 30 seconds. When you’re finished recording, watch the video and select “tagging” to make the video automatically zoom to the objects that you are talking about in your video. DMD Topic could be a good app to have students use to create short explanatory videos. Students can also use the app to create a short video about picture of their pets, their families, or anything else that is important to them (perhaps the players on their favorite sports team). DMD Topic does not require registration.
Letter Way is a fun and free iPad app to use to practice recognizing and spelling words. The game presents you with a grid of letter blocks that you have to flip and drag to spell words. The beginning levels of the game have grids of 25 letters. As you progress through the levels the grids expand and the number of words that you have to spell in each level increases too. To progress through the levels you have to clear the board by using all of the letters at least once.
In my testing of Letter Way it did not seem possible to time-out of a level which is a nice thing if you want students to focus on spelling words correctly without the stress of a time limit.
If Letter Way doesn’t offer what you’re looking for in a spelling game, take a look at this collection of eight spelling apps for iPads.
This is the time of year that many of us take a look back at the year. I did that this afternoon by creating a Storehouse story about my year. Storehouse is a free iPad app for telling stories through images, videos, and text. Each story has a vertical layout reminiscent of a wide screen blog post. To create your stories you can import pictures and video from your iPad’s camera roll, from Instgram, from Dropbox, and from Flickr. You can arrange the sequence of the media by dragging and dropping it into place. You can add text above and below each picture or video clip in your story. Completed Storehouse stories can be shared via email, Facebook, and Twitter. Stories published through Storehouse are given their own URLs for online viewing. You can see my story here.
As your students create their stories encourage them to think about the sequencing their media to support the narratives of their stories.
Endless Wordplay is a great new app from the same people that brought us the popular Endless Alphabet, Numbers, and Reader apps. In Endless Alphabet students help a friendly monster navigate a make believe world by spelling words correctly. At each stop in the adventure students have to spell a series of three rhyming words. The app reads the word to students and provides them with hints when they get stuck on a spelling. Endless Wordplay doesn’t award points. Instead of earning points the incentive is just to keep moving forward in the game at your own pace.
Endless Wordplay provides the first three challenges for free. A $4.99 in-app purchase is required to unlock the full game.