How I Use It
My experience with this tool is in a 1:1 iPad setting where each student had access to his/her own device. It was used as a culminating activity to student research. The tool has search tools built in but it also allows you to easily access photos from the device's photo gallery, then add some simple text to each photo, record voice narration on each photo, and put in background music which is provided in the app for students to select from. It necessitated a lesson about digital citizenship and finding free-to-use images since the ipad makes it so easy for kids to screenshot images from the web and use them without giving credit. I encourage any teacher who explores this app to consider how you'll work that copyright portion of digital citizenship into your lessons. I love that it has the ability to insert music that is free/safe to use! Using the built-in image search options is a good option, but it won't always have the image your students want to use, nor does it truly prepare them for real-world research where they need to understand copyright more deeply. But for younger kids, it does give a developmentally appropriate place to search for images and a way to start the conversation.
The recording options are nice since students can stop and start recording on each image. When you're completely done, the final project saves to the iPad's photo gallery as a movie file. It can then be uploaded to other web tools like Seesaw or Google Drive for sharing the project. When I used the tool, students did, indeed, upload finished videos to Seesaw to share with parents. We did find that recording narration required a quiet location and we actually got our best recording when using an earbud with built-in microphone since our iPad cases cover the mic just a little bit. Our students actually selected pictures to go with a graphic organizer, then wrote the script they would narrate. It was fun to see students selecting just the right music option. (Student to me: "This is a movie about tornadoes...I think this music sounds too peppy!")
Overall, I recommend this app gets installed on all my K-8 iPadsl. For the price (free) what you get is amazing. Older students might feel a little limited by the music choices (only 8 songs) but once students have their own apple ID, they can also access their iTunes music. (for us this is grade 9) A few more song choices would be good. (This tool reminds me of a program we used to use called PhotoStory which had built-in music that was arranged by mood. A few more songs and arrangements by "mood" would be a nice addition to this app.)
Shadow Puppet would be a quick tool for teachers to offer as a choice of how students will "show what they know" since the learning curve is so flat and they will be able to require kids to focus on content not learning how to use the app. The final projects are quality movies kids can be proud of, too!