I’ve spent most of my adult life on a quest for a magical something that will help bridge the distance between my home here in Maryland and my home in the Keystone State.
My parents and two of my sisters are still up north, and though I thought it would become easier as time went on to be 3+ hours away from them, it’s just becoming more and more difficult. Maddy, Owen, and Cora always wish to see their Nanny & Pap, their aunts and cousins, and my heart aches for my sweet nephews. (Sure–I miss the adults too, but the baaabies!!)
So although Skype, Facetime, and the like seem like natural fits for us, for technological–and financial reasons–they just haven’t worked out.
Recently, though, I was introduced to an app that will not only help my three kiddos practice their reading, speaking, and thinking skills–it will also help them stay connected to their friends and family.
I love it. It’s clever and easy.
my SPOKEnPHOTO albums on my shelf
And it can be used in creative ways so that kiddos can even practice reading, speaking, and thinking. In my opinion, it’s really an app for connecting.
And for a gal whose family is far away? Love.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Practice Reading, Speaking, and Thinking– An App for Connecting: This app is so new, it’s hot off the presses this very morning.
It’s called SPOKEnPHOTO, and it is just that: spoken photos.
photos from any of the albums on my iPad can be used for my SPOKEnPHOTOs
Though we are only now learning how to use it, what I really love about it is that it can be one photo or an album of photos– a quick message or a whole story.
And I love that it requires a little thought–and if wanted–a little bit o’ love.
Recently we were invited to try out the app, and the kids and I created a ‘long distance love story’ for our cousins in Pennsylvania. (It’s from all of us, but Brady is our main player since Maddy, Owen, and Cora only make but really rare appearances on teachmama.com.)
Our ‘Missing Wyatt’ album. . .
. . . and the kids recording their voices . . .
. . . choosing photos, singing songs, and being silly for our Missing Wyatt’ SPOKEnPHOTO album.
You can see first hand our ‘Missing Wyatt’ SPOKEnPHOTO album. Take a look.
Even if you don’t have an iPad, because I shared the link to my album with myself via email, it’s available on the web. So anyone can receive a SPOKEnPHOTO, but the photo–or album–must be created with an iPad, iOS 6.0 or later.
I see a boatload of learning potential of this app. I look forward to:
- having the kids practice reading to their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents;
- sharing fun photos of events and having the kids narrate, summarize, and explain what’s happening;
- encouraging Owen to show off his new speaking skills and practiced words via photos of his smiling face;
- letting the kids loose with this–giving them the iPad, letting them take photos, and then having them think about how they can fit together for a story to send to family;
- keeping track of the SPOKEnPHOTOS we create as memory tools throughout the year;
- receiving SPOKEnPHOTOS from our cousins–and hearing how much the boys are growing and what they’re learning;
- eventually being able to print out the albums into books–which I think is totally cool!
my own ‘Long Distance Love Story‘ . . .
As a member of a small group of bloggers who was invited to try out this app, I created my own ‘Long Distance Love Story‘ as part of the collaborative Long Distance Love Story Album. Check it out so you can see how others have creatively and thoughtfully used SPOKEnPHOTO.
I truly appreciate that each SPOKEnPHOTO is easy to create, and they’re even easier to share.
All you do is choose a photo, name it, and you can add your own sound bite to it with the press of a button.
Each and every photo can have up to two minutes of sound attached to it. So in that way, you can send a short message with one photo–or the real creative thinking comes into play when you put a series of photos together in an album.
How cool is that?!
The possibilities are really endless, but this teacher-mama’s thrilled about the reading, speaking, thinking–and connecting!--support that this app offers to hear kiddos for some sneaky after-school or weekend learning!
What do you think? What do you love about this app? How would you use it? What catches your eye? I’d love to hear it! Do share!
fyi: I was compensated for my time in reviewing and evaluating SPOKEnPHOTO. All opinions, as always, are only my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator and by my three little photo-creators and memory-makers.