SHADOW PUPPET EDU
CONCEPT: The narrated slideshow app gets an educational makeover.
DELIVERY: We liked the original Shadow Puppet app a lot. It was always a good option as far as narrated slideshow style apps went. So when the developers let us know that they were launching a new version as a dedicated educational platform, we were naturally very interested.
This version is simply superb. They've taken several steps to make it relevant and accessible to students and in the process elevated the app above all others of its kind. So what's it packing that makes it so special?
First up there's the ease of use. The app has been restructured to make the creation process even more intuitive for kids. Upon starting a project, the first port of call is the selection of images for your project. These can be photos or video clips accessed from the camera roll or from the built in image search which targets reliable, kid friendly sources like NASA and library of congress. The web can be searched in app too and with safe search automatically in effect.
Having picked your content, you can elect to reorder them or move on to the recording phase. Here you record your narration whilst flicking through your images. Some excellent new touches include the ability to pinch zoom in to show detail on a specific image as well as a pen tool to annotate. Both work intuitively and allow for greater control over the final presentation. If you make a mistake, just hit undo and you get to re record the narration for the slide you're on. Upon completion you're offered the usual array of export options.
You even get a built in selection of ideas to inspire you with ways to harness the app. Aligned to the US Common core standards, these are excellent suggestions for a range of subjects and will prove invaluable to educators new to this type of multimedia project work.
LIMITATIONS: Not much really! There is a 30 minute time limit on projects.though.
CONCLUSION: With this new version, Shadow Puppet should claim a place as one of the core educational apps used by teachers of any subject. Accessible by even the youngest of students and full of potential uses. 5/5
Self and peer assessment
The list really is endless!