If youâ€™ve ever searched for an iPad app to use for elementary writing, you might know of Write About This, a visual writing prompt and creation platform made based on my experiences teaching 4th grade. It’s been incredible to see how classrooms around the world have adopted it into their writing communities and processes, and the inspired student work that is shared with us always gives me goosebumps. But it was leaving some kids out. I heard from teachers and parents about students who were not yet developmentally at the writing or typing stage. Clearly, there was a need for children to be able to respond to visual prompts not just with textâ€¦. but with their voice! And so we set out to solve that problem based on our core belief:
We believe that a childâ€™s curiosity and imagination can spark wonderful ideas or stories that should be captured and shared!
The result? Tell About This is now available to help inspire, record and share kids voices!
From the start of the design process we worked with several parents, preschool educators and early elementary teachers to find out what content and features were most important for kids. Harnessing what worked in Write About This but creating an experience that was better suited to the younger audience, we arrived at a simple interface that gets right to it.
We know that children want an easy place for them to take the stage to tell their stories and express their thoughts about interesting images and prompts. To spark their thinking and then get out of the way, Tell About This realizes it’s power through simplicity. We leverage what the iPad helps us do best (get them interacting with real-world images, recording their voice, saving/sharing the media) and let the kids work the true magic.
We know that adults want an easy way to get kids engaged with verbal responses using a safe and customizable platform. Images can be browsed by category from content that is included and of course custom prompts can be made with user-added images, text and voice! Once kids find a prompt, they are 3 taps away from having a completed Tell About ready to play back, save to the camera roll or share by email. User Profiles have been a huge hit and early literacy support is built-in with prompt audio narration plus text highlighting. Importantly, all interactions can be customized by adults in the settings!
It would be remiss to not sincerely thank our family, friends and supporters who have donated their time and efforts during this process! We will continue to listen to the students, educators and families who are using Tell About This and Write About This in order to make them even better platforms! We love to interact with users on Twitter @WriteAboutThis or @TellAboutThis and our Pinterest boards have tons of K-6 writing prompts!
So…what will your kiddos Tell About?
5 Ways Parents and Teachers Use Tell About This with Kids:
Let children explore the prompts and tell a story about something they find interesting!
Use a photo of something exciting from a childâ€™s life and have them record a Tell About to capture their reaction. Email or post for parents to listen!
Retell a story using a picture from the book as a custom prompt.
Brainstorm a writing piece for early writers.. capture their ideas to play back at any time.
Kickstart and record verbal language practice using fun prompts that get kids talking!
Brad Wilson is a former 4th grade teacher turned Ed Tech Consultant. He has the privilege of supporting educators in Jackson County, Michigan with meaningful and innovative technology integration strategies. Brad is constantly thinking about how to make learning more Eventful and also enjoys working to empower teacher and student voices through the #MichED movement and podcast. He tweets at @dreambition and shares resources and thoughts at 21innovate.com
Thank you so much Brad for sharing your new app with Kleinspiration readers!
I can’t imagine the potential for creative classroomsâ€¦ especially K-2 learners! I am so excited for Jacob, my 5 year old, to try it out! He’s going to LOVE telling stories (he already doesâ€¦ now he has a super awesome way to capture his voice!) ~ Thanks!