Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Creating Instructional Materials with Tiny Tap

Tiny Tap is an app that can be used by therapists, teachers and parents to create instructional materials for targeted practice of a variety of skills.  Users can create a game based page or book using photos or drawings.  Photos can be taken with the iPad camera or imported from the camera roll.  Also, drawings can be created within the app using drawing tools and stickers.   I created the picture scene below with the app, Felt Board.  I took a picture of the completed scene which was then saved to my camera roll.
The app is very user friendly but I will provide a few tips that might keep you from getting stuck.  Using this picture, I recorded my first question/statement: "Let's play a guessing game, I am thinking of an animal, it has whiskers, pointed ears and says Meow".  After recording the statement or question, you are prompted to trace around the correct answer.  When done tracing, tap on the question you finished and you will see a menu like the one pictured below.  

From this menu you can customize the experience by providing individualized feedback for the student.  You can add a response for the correct answer such as, "yes, you found the cat, it has whiskers, pointy ears and says, meow".  You can also add a response for the incorrect answer such as, "oops, that is not the cat, try again".  If you don't customize these responses, the app inserts various sound effects such as laughing, cheering and a buzzer noise.  Another helpful tip I can provide is related to the background music.  The music made it difficult to hear the prompts and it could be distracting for some students.  You have the option of turning off the music.  When you are on the screen pictured below, tap the cassette tape icon in the upper right hand corner, scroll down and select, "no music".  
Here is an example of a page I created using the app, Strip Designer.  I imported this photo into Tiny Tap and asked questions related to functions of the objects.  

Tiny Tap provides some supports to the learners during game play that can be helpful for learners with special needs.  If the student picks the wrong object several times in a row, the correct object is highlighted and the prompt is repeated.  There is also a replay button that can be selected and the prompt will be repeated.  The drawback of this app is the sharing options.  Games can only be shared through Facebook.  It would be nice to be able to share games with other Tiny Tap users via email.  

Tiny Tap has many possibilities for supporting learners who need targeted practice of skills.  Tha app could be used to target language objectives, ELL related objectives, math concepts, and of course literacy objectives.  Although I have not tried it, the app seems like it would be simple enough for a young learner to use with some support from an adult.  I would like to try having a student take a picture of a scene, create a game by giving clues and have other students play the game he or she created.  Has anyone had young learners create a game or book using this app?  How did it go?