App review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2012
Tapikeo HD

Tapikeo HD

Kids create and present stories with pictures and audio

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Based on 1 review
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Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Kids are empowered as they tell stories and create something special.

Cons: There are some complicated features that aren't very user friendly.

Bottom Line: It's a fun way for kids and grown ups to work together (or on their own) to create a story.

Teachers can assign kids the task of creating stories about any number of things -- this could easily connect with just about any school subject. For science, kids could track a plant's growth over time. In Social Studies kids could write a skit about a historical or cultural event. Or kids can simply explore storytelling -- just for the sake of storytelling.

Tapikeo HD can be a great opportunity for sharing. Kids can bring projects home to show their families, or practice sharing with their peers. Teachers can also use Tapikeo HD as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication tool, using it as an alternative way to reach kids with varying learning delays or communication issues.

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Tapikeo HD allows users to match pictures with sound and put them together to make a story. Kids can use pictures they take or browse for images from other sources. Sounds can be voice recordings from the device's microphone, or any other sounds that kids might want to record.

Once kids have collected pictures and sounds in a "grid" they can click through all of their media to tell an integrated story. There are a few pre-loaded pictures and sounds to help guide new users. There's also a game that plays a sound and asks kids to choose the corresponding picture, like matching animals to the sounds they make. Grownups can lock some features so kids' exploration is safe.

Tapikeo HD is a great creation tool that gives kids opportunities to express themselves, communicate with others, and use their imaginations. Because it's so open-ended, Tapikeo HD can easily tie in with a variety topics -- kids of all different ages, learning abilities, and stages of development can have success. Of course, the flip side is that learning is entirely dependent on what kids put into the experience. Kids who work thoughtfully will get a lot more out of it than kids who simply use it for play. The developers also promote Tapikeo HD as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication Tool (AAC). The app could help kids who have trouble communicating express themselves in a safe way.

Though there are lots of how-to's, there's a bit of a learning curve for figuring out all the (sometimes) complicated features. Navigation can be somewhat confusing, and it would be nice if kids could link to sounds other than their own recordings. However, once kids get the hang of it, the possibilities for use are nearly endless.

Overall Rating


Kids will enjoy expressing themselves by taking pictures, adding sound, and putting it all together to make a story.


Learning will depend on what kids put into the creative process. It can be a great tool for investigation, sharing information, following a story arc, and self-expression. But it could also be used in less educational ways.


Basic use is pretty easy once kids get the hang of it. But, there are some complicated features and learning everything could take a while. It can also be used as an augmented, alternative communication tool.

Common Sense reviewer
Mieke VanderBorght Researcher

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Featured review by
Rylan S. , Counselor, psychologist, or social worker
Counselor, psychologist, or social worker
Great way to encourage kids to share!
This is a great tool to get kids exploring and engaging their creative sides! Some children have a difficult time expressing themselves and this program gives students a chance to share visually. While it does require assistance for younger students, middle school students should be able to easily utilize this tool. I have found it helpful when doing therapy as well. Some students find it easier to tell a story about someone like them rather than actually talk about themselves.
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