I can’t recall how I first came across the Write About This app but liked it immensely from the very start. The concepts behind this app grabbed me straight away and I could see the potential. How it works is this…
Children select a photo prompt that engages them from a good selection of categories or they could potentially take their own photo.
They are then prompted with a choice of three levels of questions of increasing complexity with an audio overlay in case reading independently is an issue.
They then write their stories and if they want to they can then read their stories aloud and export them as movies for publishing on the web. How motivating for learners!
The only problem with the app as it was when I first saw it was that many of the images were distinctly American- aircraft carriers, men in uniform, yellow school buses, grid iron football- and the voice over was in an American accent. And the spelling- all those favorites and colors!
I got in touch with Brad Wilson, the app developer, and asked about the possibility of making a kiwi version. He was keen so I enlisted the assistance of the Learning with Digital Technologies team for support. Monika Kern took me up on the offer and together we worked on identifying images that we needed to change and sourcing new ones with a distinctive kiwi flavour.
We did try to record the audio prompts ourselves but it was taking too long and we were unsure of the consistency so Brad organised a Kiwi voice over artist. And here we are now with the app being launched in the iTunes store. How awesome is that.
I am chuffed that they used a photo I took on the way home from working in Blenheim earlier this year as a cover photo. The youngest member of the fire brigade team proudly stood by the truck to have his photo taken while the rest of the team were giving him cheek.
Here is a quick recording I made to show you a finished story. I would love to see what you and your students come up with.
You can also purchase Tell About This from the same team which focusses more on oral retelling.
Here is one we made with the Kiwi version of the app…..