Here’s a spotlight on an app I discovered Apple’s Get Started with Code teacher guide. This is a mark making and story telling app which crayons, paint brushes, stickers and templates. It’s free, it’s lots of fun and it’s another tool to engage children in early writing skills.
The launch screen has 3 options:
- Blank paper (start a new picture)
- Colouring (access to templates)
- Your drawings (saved work)
The screenshots in the tiles above show you what happens as you move through the ‘Blank Paper’ option and begin a new drawing. There are heaps of tools available, all of the tools you would expect in a digital painting package (including a rainbow crayon!).
Why not paint, draw and mark make with real art tools though?
On the ‘Select a Paper’ screen you’ll see an option to use a photograph. This is where the app gets really interesting. This app will blend the real world and the digital one. By inserting a photograph, you can mark make on top of it.
Why does this matter?
Increasingly, children are using digital images that they do not own. Children need to be taught how to make authentic images. If they want to use images of characters from Disney films, it is not appropriate to copy and paste these from the internet and use them in their own work. Children need to be taught about ownership and authentic content. By inserting a photograph of a favourite character, they can draw on top of it and make their own digital image of that character with the bold, bright colours they love onscreen. They are making digital images in the way digital studios make the characters they love. Now they can save these images and use them in their own animations in apps such as Puppet Pals or Chatterpix.
Other media tools.
The Draw and Tell app has a voice recorder tool too. This is really handy for children working independently. When they bring you their artwork now, they can record their story using their voice too. You’ll know exactly what the picture is of, because they will have recorded the story too.
Furthermore, they could take a photograph of their physical art work in the real world. They can use that image and record their voice telling the story of that art work. Another blend of the physical and digital world.
My New Class
I left Draw and Tell out on transition visits for the new September class to use. Some of the children using the apps were 3 and they could select and use tools in the app to create an image. When I look at Early Years Outcomes, this is already giving evidence towards the 40-60 months statements in the Technology strand.
We have to provide more! It’s time to start extending children’s thinking of what is possible with digital work. They can paint on these kind of packages now so we should give them more multi-media tools to extend their thinking. This app is the perfect next step for our digital artists!
Download the app for free