Adobe Voice


I recently played with Adobe Voice and then showed it to my Leo, who has ASD and is a year 4 pupil.

Leo used it as a tool to complete his homework on Greek myths. Together we have played with a range of digital story telling tools both app and PC based, but I am taken aback by the features of Voice. It integrates picture, voice and clip art easily to make simple narrated stories.

Leo is someone who struggles with writing and his best work is when he creates on-screen. Though for him to be truly independent he needs something that will allow him to create and build very simply through easily learned processes. Is it too much to ask that the output looks good too?

This is where Voice ticks all the boxes.

And with all this it also outputs a portable and embeddable format, it doesn’t just stay within the app or reduce to a mere PDF.

Here then is Leo’s first go at both a Greek myth and Adobe voice.

Note – Voice embeds in most websites, but as this blog is wordpress.com it does not allow the embedding of iframe content, but other blogs would not be as fussy.

Anyway click on the beast below..
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This versatile app could be used very easily in class for cross curricular ICT, to support SEN pupils or as resource for units in Switched On Computing. For example, 3.5 – We are Communicators or 1.5 We are Story Tellers.

 

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Clicker Books – quick look

Dylan goes back to residential school tomorrow.

Thankfully he can carry memories of home with him via IOS and Clicker Books.
A recently discovered app that is as brilliant as the PC version of Clicker that good ICT and SEN teachers have used for years. Though I would say creating an audio photo book is far easier on this app than it ever was on the PC.

I’ll come back to this app in time, but for now take it from me this is an essential app for a special or primary classroom blessed with iPads.

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App of the Day – iPhone Text Meme – What would Charley Bucket text?

Today’s app is a tool that could be used either on a PC/Mac based browser or on your iPpad. The iPhone Text Generator reminds us of all those funny examples of text conversation “fails” that you might see on facebook or other sites.

The website enables you to generate your own customised conversations/ exchanges of texts via the on-line form. However, rather than just seeing this as a way to create silly or rude jokes, why not see it as another great presentation and thinking tool. We could begin to ask if Charlie Bucket had an iPhone  what and who would he text when he discovered the golden ticket ? Or how about when Stig is discovered by Barney? What would Roald Dahl’s  Twits text to each other and what might a string of text on Alex Rider‘s phone say?

The site allows you to download your work as a PNG file , which is handy if the conversation stretches on beyond one screen. The only downside I can see is that the site carries ads and external links, which can not be vouched for and are worth just vetting before you show the site.

I am sure there are more possibilities and I ‘d love to hear them in the comments section.

You can find the text generator here.

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App of the Day – Creatorverse

If I was to list the criteria for what makes a good app, or what attracts me to any application, then one point on my list would be “something that is unique or unusual“. I love apps that stand out or do something a bit different. Yesterday I came across Creatorverse and today I have devoted a couple of hours getting to grips with it.

Creatorverse gives you the power to create simple “machines”,  games or interactive art work through physics and object manipulation. It has been built by Linden Labs, a company that has previously brought us the ground breaking Second Life On-line world.

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App of the Day Talking Rex

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Today’s app, has most definitely been chosen by my boys. They love speaking to the dinosaur and hearing him echo what they say. Apart from repeating your words in a dinosaur voice he also fetches bones, fights with a friend and eats hunks of steak you chuck at him.

I have looked at other talking apps, but sometimes the content and behaviour are not always appropriate. For instance, in a popular talking cat app you get to punch the feline in the face. I am not sure that sends the right message, but maybe I am just a cat lover!

The dinosaur’s monologues can be saved as films and uploaded to YouTube, so there is scope for using this as a presentation tool. Quite simply pupils could record poems or some of their MFL learning and share this online. It could also be a tool to engage those reluctant speakers in your class.

I am not going to claim that this a great autism app, and frankly I get tired of those that do make claims about apps and ASD. However I did notice that Dylan, 9 and autistic, who had limited language did spend some considerable time talking to the T Rex.

The other huge plus point for this app is that currently it is free, as it is normally just 69p.

App of The Day : Aging Booth

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A search for “booth” on the App Store currently returns over 137 results. I know I have just scrolled through them all. Apps of this nature are pretty ephemeral and their use is limited in a school context, so you don’t want to be paying too much. Aging Booth stood out for me though, amongst the multitude of face changing tools  it fitted much of the criteria I use for what makes a good primary school app. It is only 69p too, which also made it stand out!

First and foremost Ii liked the ease of use. Simply position your face, now line up the eyes, chin and mouth  and then wait for the wrinkles to arrive. Other apps have too many buttons for fine tuning brightness, contrast and whatever else. But it is possible with this booth to get a pretty impressive effect with just a few clicks. Furthermore, other face distorting tools I looked at such as a Wanted poster tool, presented me with inappropriate language or an overdose of easily clicked links to other apps, there are links here but they are small and unobtrusive.

This app only does one transformation and there is no opportunity for post production or edits. What’s more,  as this is a standalone and quite minimal tool, there is no opportunity to morph your teacher or fellow pupil into a “fat face” or some other ridicule worthy image. Unless of course you allow pupils to follow the tiny links and download Ugly or Fat Booth of course.

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This is as a result of using the app, I don’t normally look like this!

In terms of improvement for the app and others it would be great to see an education focused version. This would have all of the social networking share facilities removed, along with any other external links.

Other than just having a bit of a laugh in the staff room are there genuine uses for this app? I like the idea that one school did around time travel, where the children were asked to imagine themselves in the future. This opens up lots of opportunities for PSHE and discussion around hopes , dreams and ambition.

And here is another variation on the theme of ageing and time travel. I found on a Pinterest board.with the instructions:

1st use “aging booth app” to age the students to 100 years old.
2nd print full-page picture in black and white.
3rd cut ovals to make frames and attach white notebook paper at the bottom to write about their life after a 100 years, describe themselves at 100 etc.

Repinned from School by Jamye Rhodes Hall
Doesn’t this display look really effective?

Source: via Felicia on Pinterest