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App review by Kim Alessi, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2012


Talking photo-maker a powerful storytelling tool; not so private

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 4 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Creativity

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5 images

Pros: It's easy to use, versatile, and has great classroom potential for digital storytelling.

Cons: Teens can easily share content to any social media network directly from the app or accompanying website.

Bottom Line: Powerful media-creation tool makes "talking photos" that can creatively support teens' learning goals.

Under a teacher account, let kids create a Fotobabble instead of an old-school class photo. English teachers could assign each kid to pick a literary quote or passage that best describes them; foreign language teachers might ask for a simple description in Spanish or French.

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Fotobabble is a media-creation tool for mobile devices that allows teens to add original narrative to individual photos for digital storytelling. Teens use their in-app camera to take a pic or import one from their camera roll, customize it using the app's photo editor, and then record 30 seconds to 5 minutes of narrative into the device's microphone to make a "talking photo." 

Fotobabble connects to an auto-generated web account so teens can create, edit, share, and access their creations on a computer, too. Creations default to public on a Fotobabble account but can be made private in account settings. Teens can easily share Fotobabble creations through Facebook, Twitter, email, and text message. Support is located at the app's settings button, which links to the developer's website containing video tutorials and helpful FAQs.

Kids can learn how to use spoken language to narrate photos using this relatively simple app. Whether it's ad-libbed or scripted, the app's spoken narrative acts as a verbal caption for users' photos. Fotobabble creations take just a few simple steps to make; add a couple more steps if you want to take advantage of the fun in-app editing tools, effects, and themes. Though Fotobabble doesn't provide guidance or feedback on specific learning goals, the app offers teens a creative tool to document life and make original talking photos. Teens learn to communicate visually (by selecting photos) and with language (by providing a narrative of their photo). Fotobabble creations empower teens because they're easy to make and share, and because they're relevant to their own lives and interests.

The coolest thing about Fotobabble is its in-app photo editor, which lets teens add effects, themes, frames, stickers, and text to images, crop and reorient images, fix redeye, blemishes and whiten teeth, and modify an image's overall brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness. Whew! On the other hand, recording narrative can be a little tricky - first, avoid getting "into the red" on the app's VU meter, otherwise the recording will be distorted. Second, be sure your device's auto-lock feature is turned off or set beyond the app's recording time, otherwise it'll shift into auto-lock mode and stop recording audio.

Overall Rating


Who loves taking pics on mobile devices? Teens. They'll go wild here, sharing creations via email and across social media networks, and they'll enjoy the snazzy photo editing options too.


Teens can explore photography and informative, demonstrative, entertaining, even persuasive speech, to guide their stories for talking photos. Visual and verbal skills are definitely transferrable skills.


Email support is available in-app. There's also an in-app link to tutorial videos (including one in Spanish) and helpful FAQs on developer's website.

Common Sense reviewer
Kim Alessi Educational Technology Specialist

Community Rating

(See all 4 reviews) (4 reviews)
Featured review by
Jay V. , Other
Connected and sharable publishing tool
This tool is engaging and simple to use. I like the fact that it's linked and synced between devices as well. Fotobabble allows students an extension to their learning as well as a way to easily share their finished products via a link so they can easily gather feedback from their classmates.
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