What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tapikeo HD is a tool for creating stories or games with a group of photos and recorded sounds. Photos appear in grid format, and users can tap on a photo to hear the associated sound and read the text. Kids can play the photos in order to hear a story or play a game matching photos to their sounds. A few grids come with the app, and many more are available for free download or in-app purchase. Adults (and kids with adult help) can also create their own grids by selecting or taking photos, adding text, and recording their voices or sounds. Tapikeo HD's features of linking photos and jumping between grids make it useful tool for educational purposes, particularly for students with communication-related disabilities, but the app does not measure or track progress.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- multiple forms of expression
- digital creation
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids will enjoy expressing themselves by taking pictures, adding sound, and putting it all together to make a story.
Learning will depend on what kids put into the creative process. It can be a great tool for investigation, sharing information, following a story arc, and self-expression. But it could also be used in less educational ways.
Basic use is pretty easy once kids get the hang of it. But, there are some complicated features and learning everything could take a while. It can also be used as an augmented, alternative communication tool.
What's it about?
In Tapikeo's play mode, kids tap on photos to hear sounds and possibly read along with the story. When kids play "shake it," they hear a sound, then pick the matching photo. Kids can view and scroll through all of their grids in the grid manager. Users can edit exiting grids or create their own. Kids will add photos from their camera or camera roll, then record sounds for those photos using the iPad's microphone. Users can also download additional grids on many topics, from the alphabet to weather.
Is it any good?
Tapikeo HD is a good tool for parents and educators to use to create stories. It's not as intuitive as some other photo journal apps, but its extra features make it stand out. The ability to link pictures and make a grid into a game adds new elements of challenge and fun, in addition to making it useful as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tool for students with disabilities. The locking feature also makes the app pretty safe. Parents can work with kids to create stories together to foster creativity, but the multiple steps and sometimes clunky interface make it hard for young kids to use alone. The available grids do an excellent job modeling the different types of grids users can create, but unfortunately do not showcase a lot of diversity.
Families can talk about...
Add text to your grids and spell the words aloud to reinforce new vocabulary.
Create grids that build on one another (i.e., one that introduces new words and a second that uses those words in context).
Take listening skills into the real world by having your kids close their eyes and guess objects based on sound.