30hands is a storytelling app that allows you to create stories based on photos, images and voice recordings. To add pictures you can retrieve them from your camera roll, dropbox or take pictures with the camera on your device. Multiple images can be selected and then rearranged on your screen, just as you would rearrange apps on your ipad. Once you have your images uploaded in the order you want, all you do is tap on an image and record your narrative. You can play back your recording and if necessary re-record. Once you have added your recordings, you can publish your presentation and save it as a movie file onto your camera roll, share your movie to YouTube or upload to a dropbox type app.
Students in my class recently used this app to do their oral presentations. It was excellent. Instead of listening to students mumble their way through orals or trying to coax shy and embarrassed students to present, we instead had a “movie night”. Students uploaded their movies onto eLocker (a dropbox system which we use at our school), so accessing the files were very easy and convenient, and we had a hilarious class lesson of watching some very, creative interesting and definitely entertaining movies. Students enjoyed the lesson, as they really love watching themselves and their friends on the screen. So all in all, it was a very successful use of this app, and something I would definitely try again.
The simplicity and use of use makes this app a hands-down winner. My Year 7 students had no problems with this app at all, and to top the icing on the cake, this app is free.
I believe that the recording apps that are available are a fabulous addition to the languages classroom. Students in Year 8-9, generally do not like speaking out loud in the target language and I find creating videos or recordings really eliminates this aversion. However, my problem that I am having with apps that require recording is how to make the classroom quiet when there are 30 children. I must admit I did set the oral task as homework, because I could not think of a cheap and easy way for students to record in a quiet zone. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear from you.