There are many different storytelling apps out there in a range of prices and features. A previous post listed several different storytelling/ book making apps and resources. I am a big believer in you get what you pay for, but sometimes the free or cheap app just does what you need it to do!
I had been using StoryRobe (free) app - great for some students - but not so great with other students who tend to explore functions on the iPad. I created a book for one of my students who likes to tap on the screen to explore only to find she had deleted the story I just made right before my eyes within a few minutes of its publishing (easy come, easy go)! Not quite the right storytelling app for this student! What I needed was an app that had menu protection for this student!
After bit of exploring and trial I found…
Tapikeo - is a very simple app to play and create. Available for iPad (2.99) and for the iPod Touch/iPhone (.99). What suited my needs for several of my students were features of an edit and play mode. In Tapikeo you have to tap 5 x’s in rapid succession (left picture below shows lock function) to put it in edit mode, a skill that would be unlikely for students using it to perform. Tapikeo allows you to take a picture or access the pictures from your photo library/album.
It has an easy way to record your voice and type in text for a title for each picture or page and then you are done! I would like the text to be a bit larger with font and size, but I can live with what it provides as most of the students I am using it with access the images and audio more than print.
The above left picture shows your end product when in a locked or “play” mode (text under the picture can be added although small font size). The pictures for your book populate by grids and then play like a slide show one picture after another. What I really like are the large green forward and back arrows at the top of the page when e-book mode is selected. Although the swiping can be intuitive for some students on the iPad, others are familiar with arrows to navigate from page to page (years of practice with Intellitools books or activities). Some students have difficulty swiping or are practicing a single tap, so these medium sized arrows are just right for access for most of my students.
Tapikeo has few bells and whistles or customization features but provides what I need for storytelling for select student needs. I have used it to make stories on favorite subjects, classroom curriculum topics appropriate to integrated students (Pets of Ancient Eypgt, Vertebrates). Easy to use, I am hoping that regular ed students can be recruited to make stories for my special need students as a class project!
Used not only for storytelling or book creating on modified curriculum subjects, Tapikeo can also be used for vocabulary, flash cards or a simple presentations. The app has the capabilities to email your stories.
If you have a favorite storytelling or book making app please share it! We’ll all have more apps for our OT iTool kit!