If you grew up in Minnesota, you might have visited a small amusement park located in Brainerd called Paul Bunyanland. I visited the park when I was a preschooler. While I don't remember any of the rides, I do remember our arrival. As I walked through the gate, a large statue of Paul Bunyan welcomed me to the park and he knew my name! This same magic can be created using the app, Talking Tom, and many of the other similar "talking" apps. Young learners find Talking Tom very amusing and motivating, they are very intrigued when Tom uses their name or mentions their class in the video. Here are some uses of the app in early childhood and special education:
Remind students of rules: "remember quiet hands and quiet voice at circle time", "to be safe on the playground we go up the stairs and down the slide".
Encourage them to try something new: Have
Provide feedback/celebrate success: "You did it, you were safe on the playground".
Give clues or prompts for a game: Develop a scavenger hunt related to a concept such as signs of spring and have Tom
In this example, I use Talking Tom 2 for a
To create the video, begin by accessing the Talking Tom settings, found under the iPad settings (the gear icon). Find the Talking Tom app by scrolling through the apps on the bottom left and select it.
A new menu will appear when you end the recording. If you are not satisfied with the video, tap the X on the top right of the menu and try again. If you are happy with your product, you have several options for sharing the video. If you have an account, you can upload the video to You Tube. The other option is saving it the the iPad in the photo roll by tapping "Photos".
I have been finding many uses for Tom and his friends. I use the app with students to encourage sound and word imitation, they enjoy hearing their voice in the video. If you are allowing a student to use the app, make sure to turn the violence off in the settings, it is found in the same place as the recording options. Also beware of all of the ads and in app purchase options. How do you plan to use the video feature of this app with young learners?