Common Sense Review
Updated April 2012

Tapikeo HD

Kids create and present stories with pictures and audio
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 3
  • Stories are organized into grids, which can also be linked together.
  • Upload a picture or take one with the camera, give it a title, and record accompanying audio.
  • There are some example story grids to help new users.
  • Kids can play a game in which they match a sound to the animal that makes it.
  • Information for adults includes detailed instructions and suggestions for use.
Kids are empowered as they tell stories and create something special.
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.
Mieke VanderBorght
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

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

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

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.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

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.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

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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What's It Like?

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.

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Is It Good For Learning?

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.

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See how teachers are using Tapikeo HD