This week we were tasked with finding and reviewing an app.
I used a few different ones last semester in my ECI 834 that I quite enjoyed. My focus at that time was for a middle years classroom.
This semester, I decided to look for something elementary, as I am spending a decent amount of time in a 1/2 room.
My first approach was to google search education apps. Initially I was quite disappointed. Everything that came up were consumption apps for lack of a better term. In my opinion, gamification of flashcard type activities. I tried searching best children’s creation apps, and found blog.ed.ted.com had a listing of some adds that were listed as creative.
I read through the list, there were a few on there like Animoto, that I had played around with last semester, but the one that stood out to me was the Draw and Tell. Our early elementary teachers have been using a professional resource called Talking, Drawing, Writing.
It is a great resource, and I thought I would check out the app and see if it would be possible to blend the two.
What I liked:
I liked that it was free. When I downloaded and opened the app, it is in partership with Khan academy, which I really like.
I liked that the kids can pick background paper or plain blank paper. They have the option of crayons, pencil crayons, or paintbrushes in a variety of colours. They can also use photos they have on their device in their stories. There are several stickers that the kids can add to their story and can manipulate them while they record their voices. There are some pictures there for colouring that may help reluctant story tellers get an idea. It would also work for having students tell stories using a picture.
The app itself is super easy to use, and I like that it counts down out loud to the kids so they know when they need to start talking. The kids can illustrate several pages and create a mini book as well. It is easy to save the photos/video and then just upload them in SeeSaw or whatever LMS or sharing system you may be using in your classroom.
For little kids, the limited ability to share easily is a plus in my mind.
I don’t think there are enough stickers. It would be nicer if you could also take photos from the internet or your device and use them as stickers. I think that may be somewhat limiting for story-telling. I also wonder if several students are using the app, it only saves to photos on the device, there isn’t an option to save to a certain file.
Overall I liked the ease. I think for kids grade 1 and under it is great. It can work for grade 2 depending on the level the student is working at.