How I Use It
I use the iPhone version of the app. Right off the bat, there are some limitations from the iPad version, largest of all is that it doesn't track progress and only allows for one student profile at a time. The only drawback to this is the tracking part, having only one student profile is not an issue as the app starts over on random pictures each time and doesn't track anyways. I used this in a one to one setting where the student and I would look at a picture and discuss what was happening and then record a sentence. I also would let them record on their own then we would discuss the picture after, pushing vocab and correcting mistakes. I didn't find it useful as a tool for students to use on their own, although they still enjoy hearing their own voice and recording, it does not provide enough scaffolding or rigor to push students to higher levels without you there. That being said it could still benefit students who are shy or scared of using their voice, to get more comfortable just speaking in general.
This is a great app for students with low speaking skills and for ELL's, I use it with students in both groups. The e-mailing is only useful as a portfolio type feature to keep track of the progress of students (But that is a really great feature, you can see your student speaking and vocab improve through the year and have an audio portfolio of it!). The e-mail feature is not useful as a daily check on student work, correcting them the next day isn't as powerful as being there while their exploring the picture and ideas. I do love that the recordings are e-mailed with the picture they refer to. This is a powerful tool when used with you and a student. It does create ready made schema building situations and the recording is engaging for students. I wish it had more vocab help words, full examples sentences, or even videos on each situation to build even more vocabulary! These extras would make it more useful as a tool for students to use on their own. Also it would be great for recordings to be saved with photos, so the next time through a student can hear what other students said or what they themselves said last time (this is a feature on the iPad version I believe). All my ratings take into account independent student use and teacher/student use, if I just considered teacher and student using the app together it would get 4's across the board, 5's if it did more scaffolding and had more recording features.