Friday, July 3, 2015

Children's iPad App, Talking Dino

Children’s App Review by Susan Stephenson,

Here’s an exceedingly simple app that’s suited to even our youngest learners. Talking Dino is an interactive app that encourages children to make decisions while they create a digital dinosaur.

From the developer (Education Services Australia): Design a talking dinosaur to present at show and tell. Create your dinosaur by selecting from a range of elements such as mood, size and colour. Choose a voice and background picture for your dinosaur. Decide on a name that suits your talking dinosaur. Select a note about your dinosaur. Watch the animation. You can change your design as many times as you like. Evaluate the impact of your design by using icons and selecting a comment. This learning object is one in a series of six objects.

What I liked: The navigation is simple and obvious. The app does one thing so kids won’t get confused. I liked that children are involved in using digital tools and making decisions about them, and that they can change their minds and start over. The menu consists of large clear buttons on the left of the canvas that kids can simply work their way through. They can read, and listen to the instructing voice.

The downside to the simplicity of course is that this app is not what I would describe as versatile. Choices are limited - for example, kids can choose one of three noises for their dinosaur to make or from a small range of colours and backgrounds. But hey, the app is free, so why not grab it as a way for your kids/students to engage in building a small presentation about a dinosaur of their own! It might be an excellent way-in to a narrative or a description, and even lead to further research about dinosaurs.

iTunes Australia: Free (I don’t think it’s available in USA.)

Check out my other iPad App Reviews on Pinterest.

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