Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Second Graders Create App Using Tiny Tap, Erin McDonald, Librarian, Nightingale Elementary School

The second graders at Nightingale school are knee deep in Insects and Spiders this time of year.  I worked with their teachers to come up with a fun enrichment project that would also amplify their technology skills on the iPads.  This was all possible through the use of Tiny Tap.  On Tiny Tap students can create personalized games as well as play games created by other students and teachers worldwide.

Students were able to create an app that used pictures from their camera roll or internet and their own voice recordings.  The knowledge that once created, another student would be playing the app was highly motivating for the kids.  First, they played some of the games created by others and we watched a tutorial (made by kids) on YouTube.  Then it was time for students to become developers.  They used content from their unit  to create an app that would help others review and apply interesting facts about Insects and Spiders.  They really enjoyed recording their own voices, but make sure they have a quiet area to work.

Tiny Tap is very user friendly.  It would also be fun for the students to create apps for even younger students. There really is no limit to what pictures you can use, however, the questions are mostly who, what, where, etc.  It’s great for labeling or differentiating.  I also found the lesson to lend itself to practicing fluency as they are recording their own voices.  They had to learn to speak slowly and clearly so that they could be understood.  Students were able to choose different backgrounds and music to go along with their activities. There were a few glitches with the app but already new updates have been added.

After a few sessions of creating and testing out apps, we brought them to the classroom.  We used the interactive whiteboard to project a few of the apps and play them as a whole class. Then students paired up and played more on each iPad.  Students used a rubric to grade at least one of the apps they played.  The “developers” also used the rubric to grade their own creation.

Students who are creative, love technology and can think outside of the box will thrive with this app.  It was a very fun experience and I know my students will look forward to making more apps for each other in the future.

Here’s a video of one student playing a portion of the app they just created.

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