CONCEPT: Use the camera on the iPad to uniquely customise an elephant from the acclaimed Elmer stories.
DELIVERY:Early last year I picked up on the Eye Paint apps and gave them a great write up here on the site. EdTech specialists often speak of redefining tasks and the Eye Paint app really did allow for this by using the iPad camera to become a sort of real world textured paintbrush. This new app, themed around the classic Elmer the patchwork elephant stories and developed by the always outstanding Touch Press, takes that concept and applies it quite perfectly.
Young learners can get to grips with some digital photography whilst painting their own patchwork effect onto one of Elmer's friends. The app offers a selection of ten different elephants, each with four designs to choose from. Once one is chosen, the student simply presses the section that they want to fill. This then becomes a small window for the camera lens and much like with Eye Paint, they can choose colours, textures or images from the world around them to compose each piece of the creature. As such they could be given free reign or directed to search for specific criteria - an elephant mad of warm colours, an elephant made of rough textures etc. potentially this could open a lot of cross curricular doors...
Trust me when I tell you that this is one task that will shoot engagement levels through the roof. Students will love their personalised pachyderms and can export their final images to the camera roll for printing or insertion into other projects. In a nice touch, each elephant that they complete remains that colour on the main screen as a part of Elmer's parade (go read the original Elmer book if you don't know what this is!)
LIMITATIONS:A little more of the story itself would have been a nice addition, especially for those kids that are not familiar with it. Even a little backstory in Elmer perhaps? I would also have loved it if the main parade screen could be animated to show off the colourful creations.
CONCLUSION: The perfect marriage of a clever concept made possible through mobile technology and a wonderful children's story.. 4/5
As a part of an Elmer themed project Understanding the world Developing photography skills Digital art Links can be made to art, science etc through the choice of colours/textures