This year my class was lucky enough to have an iPad in our classroom. While we enjoyed using the “learning” apps to play games and do reinforcement of lessons, the most important apps to my class was the movie creation apps. My students created movies about a variety of math and science activities. Here are the apps that we used.
*Disclosure – while many of my app lists are all free apps, this list contains both 100% free, 100% paid and apps with a free version, but a paid upgrade. All of the apps worked satisfactorily in my classroom at the International School of Morocco.
1.) Educreations: This app is a free download. It provides you with a whiteboard type of format with four different colored “pens”. This is a great app for creating tutorial videos where you are going to write out an explanation of a math problem or describe a science process. You can also add pictures from your iPad or Google in this app. The largest downside to this app for my students and I was that you can’t edit the videos within the app and then, when finished, are saved only to the Educreations website. This provided students with a link to their site, but not the ability to then go back and edit their videos in a program like iMovie or Movie Maker. Here is a tutorial created by one of my students in Educreations.
2.) Puppet Pals: This app is a free download, but it comes with only a few puppets and backgrounds. For a fee, you can upgrade to have a a great variety of puppets and backgrounds, and even the ability to add your own puppets and backgrounds with pictures from your iPad. Puppet Pals allows you to use these puppets and backgrounds to create a virtual puppet show. This app is great for re-telling a story or creatively telling an imaginary story. The upgraded version has many caricatures of famous people – alive and dead, so it would be great for making a video about an even in history, or having a mock “current events” debate. When you are finished with your videos, you can export them as an .mp4 file, to be edited, or you can post directly to YouTube. Here is a video my kids made using Puppet Pals (edited in iMovie) for Earth Day:
3.) Explain Everything: This app does not have any free download that I know of, but is completely worth the fee. By the end of the year, this was the app of choice for my students when creating math tutorial videos. It is similar to Educreations, but it allows you 4 different colored backgrounds and many colors of pen. Also, this app allows you to edit your entire video, or each “slide” one at a time. When you are finished, you can export your video as an .mp4 file, to be edited, or you can post directly to YouTube. The biggest downside to this app for my students and I was that you can only add pictures and videos from your iPad or your Dropbox account, not a Google image. Like Educreations, Explain Everything is perfect for tutorial videos on math topics, grammar points, science processes etc. Here is a tutorial created by one of my students in Explain Everything:
4.) Morfo: This app is a free download, but comes with only a few options. For a fee, you can upgrade to have a large number of hair, costume, and other options. Morfo allows you to take a picture and make it talk for 30 seconds. Then, it allows you to download the video as an .mp4 file, to be edited, or you can post directly to Youtube. We used this for persuasive writing, but it could also be used to do a brief summary, to do a biography report or simply to explain a topic in a “fun” way. Here is a persuasive writing created by one of my students in Morfo:
I have put together a sheet that I use with my students to help guide them through the movie making process, including a simple rubric to assess their work. You can download this sheet from my TPT store for $2.00. The videos my students made were a great way to show parents their learning, and made a fabulous addition to our Online Portfolios.