Cartoon Camera


image  Cartoon Camera Pro app is a really cool app that creates sketch like images from any image stored in your camera roll or from images taken with your iPad camera. Very simple to use: you upload an image, and once uploaded you can then resize, rescale, or crop. You then can select if you want your image to appear in black and white, coloured, or distorted and also add filters.

Your image will appear like a sketched cartoon. I created this cartoon image with no fuss at all.

Images can be shared via social network tools or saved to your camera roll.


Students and Teachers could use the images when creating

Comic books
Or absolutely anything

Whilst this app is not entirely “educational” it does allow the creative, and not so creative, to produce a document in a fun way. I haven’t yet used this app in my classroom, but I am thinking it might be quite hilarious for students to take a photo of themselves, turn that into a comic sketch and then use that image to create a poster that describes them. Definitely think that my year 8s will enjoy that activity and also sharing their creation, And while it might seem a bit frivolous students will still be talking, reading, listening and writing in the target language. Who said teaching and learning a language can’t be fun!









Trading Cards

image   Trading Cards is a fun, easy to use and a very useful free iPad app. My younger students love to collect trading cards, so rather than just collecting cards, this app encourages students to create their own.

Trading Cards app is very easy to use, as within each stage in creating a Trading Card you are given question prompts which are very useful as it helps students with their writing.

This is a card that I made. It took no time at all.


I love that my students now have another option and fun way to write in the target language.

Using the onscreen prompts students can create cards on almost any topic, and I really like that this app does encourage writing in the target language.  Some examples for use might be to create cards on topics such as

  • About me
  • My pets
  • Family members
  • Describing people

As you can see from my example images can be added to cards and once completed cards can be saved and shared via email and also saved to your camera roll.  Students then have the ability to share their cards with other students.

Be Funky

imageDon’t let the name of this app put you off as it does sound like we have re-entered the 1970s but Be Funky is a great little app that you can use for basic photo editing including modifying the brightness, contrast, cropping, vibrance, warming and cooling. Be Funky has a happy interface, and its no-fuss editing features make it very easy to use.

While this app is designed to be used on an iPhone and as such is an iPhone app, it works quite well on an iPad.

As well as basic edit functions you also can add effects and text to your images. You are able to preview your image using the different effects before electing to save via the thumbnail previews. Once edited to your liking images can be saved to various social networking options or saved into your camera roll.

The app is free, and what I appreciate is there are no irritating ads which usually accompany free apps. The app can be used by both teachers and students as it allows you

  • to create images with text which can then be used in other apps
  • to create flashcards both hard copy, or within an app such as Bitsboard
  • to create images which can be used in digital stories or posters
  • to create images which can be used on any topic


image   Bookpress is a free app that allows you to create digital ebooks. There are preset templates you can use to create storybooks, cookbooks, picture books, etc. However, you can also use the blank template to create any kind of book. Bookemon, the creator, provides bCloud for storage of your books or you can store your books locally onto your iPad. eBooks can be shared and then viewed on an iPad, provided that the iPad has the app, or you can view the books online through a web browser.

I quite like this app as it is intuitive to use, making creating a book a very easy process. I created this eBook in less than 5 minutes.

Sample eBook

While, unlike Book Creator you are unable to record the story, this app does have the advantage that it is free.

Bookemon also provides edCenter, a free, private, secure environment for teachers and students to create, collaborate, and share their books. Email addresses are not required for student accounts.

This app could be valuable in the languages classroom as it gives students another avenue to

  • Produce digital stories
  • Encourages writing and reading
  • Used in collaborative project work
  • Used to create a class book on an excursion
  • Create a ‘how to’ book
  • Create a class book on any topic, for example my Year 8 class will soon be doing the unit on food, this app could be used to create a class recipe/cookery book

Best Sand Timer

image    While I have generally been reviewing apps that allow for student creativity, there are apps which can be used in the classroom just because its fun or puts a different spin on an activity. This is why I like using Best Sand Timer.


  • It allows students to know how much time they have left on an activity, for example you might say to students in the next two minutes write down as many words you can on a particular topic.
  • It can be used when playing class games or quizzes
  • Useful for project work


This digitised hourglass can be used to time anything for up to 60 minutes. You can customise your hourglass by changing the time, colour and set sounds to loop. If you set the alarm the sound starts to play when the time is finished. As an aside I quite like the kitch and nostalgic look of the hourglass as it reminds me of the one my mother used when I was little.


The downside is the free app does come with ads which I find irritating and distracting. However, if this doesn’t bother you then that isn’t a problem, but if you feel like me, you can upgrade for $0.99 to get the app ad free.



image  Videolicious is an app for combining multi media into one seamless movie presentation. Using on on screen prompts the app lets you add video, text and images into a project and then record and add narration. During each stage of production Videolicious allows you to preview your movies. On completion you are able to add filters and editing it is incredibly easy.

I created the following this movie in less than five minutes

Sample Video

Productions are saved to Videolicious cloud and you can share your productions via emailing the link or if your school allows via YouTube or Twitter.

One of the many benefits of teaching languages with iPads is the ability to have students express their learning in variety of creative ways. This app certainly allows for this as it  could be used

  • For digital storytelling
  • Create a documentary
  • To encourage speaking through the narration
  • To encourage writing, students need to create a script before recording their narration

Links could be uploaded to a class blog, wiki or edmodo space so other students can watch and listen and these can then be used as peer assessment.  Videolicious is a super easy-to-use video app, however there are some negatives, videos can only have up to 10 images and can only be 1 minute long. However, due to ease of use, you are given step by step instructions, and the fact that the app is free has won me over.


image  Touchcast is an exciting new iPad app that is perfect for the flipped or traditional classroom as it provides teachers an opportunity to create interactive virtual lessons. More importantly it provides students an opportunity to present their work in a way that could not ever before be possible or conceivable. Touchcast sets itself apart from other iPad app video recorders because it has interactive features you can build onto your video. The possibilities are endless. You can record yourself with the front facing camera, record someone or something else with the rear camera, or use the whiteboard to record. Then you get to the real interactivity by adding vApps. vApps are like little widgets that you can add over the top of your recording. You can add things like a web browser, other videos, images, polls, and Google Maps (plus a heap more). When you publish the video, viewers can interact with the vApps by moving them around and using them. I don’t believe there is anything else that allows you to create a multimedia experience like this and unbelievably it is free.

Here is a presentation I created in less than 5 minutes, and while it is definitely amateurish in production you can see what can be created in a very short amount of time with minimal effort. My video includes images, a google map, a website, as well as my recording.

There are some negatives in using the app

  • Once you are done recording and hit save to view your recording, you cannot go back and edit or add more.
  • You are limited to only 5 minutes.
  • You do need to sign in, very simple, (Touchcast require a username and password), however you must be 13 years or older
  • I am not sure of student privacy issue implications, as to share the videos they must be uploaded to Touchcast cloud and made public.

However, as previously mentioned the possibilities of use in the language classroom are endless. Students could

  • Create interactive videos on any topic
  • Create a news report that includes videos and images
  • Be a sports commentator and have their commentary include YouTube videos
  • Be a weather presenter
  • Use for digital storytelling
  • Create an interactive travel guide