TinyTap is an iPad based game creation app that allows users of all ages to create colorful and interactive games. The app is free to download and features a bevvy of graphics and sounds to turn your game idea from drab to fab. The app is incredibly intuitive and user-friendly, offering guidance and inspiration seamlessly and effortlessly. It can be used to help faculty create mobile lessons on any topic using the several built-in design tools. A full library of teacher and student-created apps are available.
Type of Material:
While this app is a strong tool for educators to use to create games for young learners, this app could easily be integrated into an assignment where students are tasked with creating games.
The iTunes store states that the app requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The goal of this app is to spark user creativity in the development of rich, interactive educational experiences for learners of all ages. Both game creators and game players are offered an immersive environment that supports multiple intelligences and modalities.
Goals for the individual creations are made by the instructor who uses this tool to build lessons.
Target Student Population:
Depending on the nature of the game designed, this app could easily be used by K-12 learners and teachers alike, along with pre-service teachers and other adult users.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Ability to download and run an iPad app. It would be most effective if one knows how to create a lesson based on learning outcomes.
With the ubiquity of gamification of learning, this game serves as a shining example of the effortless creating of interactive educational experiences. Students are rewarded with badges for their forward progress, and encouraged with meaningful feedback when they make mistakes. Given that the material is supportive of all disciplines, game creators can launch into the creative experience without pause.
Though the initial help files are no less than fabulous, it might be helpful to offer some guidance on creating games for older learners. This could be a filter that appears in the market for users older than 6.
There is no quality control for the apps in the library, so users must choose based on their own review of the material.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This app is rooted in education from the very start, with intuitive navigation and helpful menus guiding users through the game-making process from the very start. Given that users can upload their own images into the app, authentic material can be leveraged to focus the learning content in the target discipline. Additionally, the creation of the game supports sound educational pedagogy - a user could have easily and effortlessly created a game using Gagné's Nine Events of Instruction by simply swiping and tapping away. No less than remarkable!
It would be awesome to see examples of assignments that could be given to students where they create their own games.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Seemingly difficult tasks, such as resizing objects, recording audio, and creating hot spots on the creation space to use for the games, are ridiculously easy to use. The payoff is great, with a fully-functioning game element created in mere seconds. Help files are contextual and linked from every screen, a rarity when it comes to apps these days.
TinyTap App Creation is very intuitive. Apps can be searched and developed for many languages including English, Romance Languages, Slavic Languages, Scandinavian Languages, Turkish and several Asian Languages.
Though the bad is far outweighed by the enormous good, this app crashed on a reviewer twice after mistakenly clicking "Don't Allow" on the sharing settings that let you bring in images from your Photo Library. Additionally, there is a security feature that has grownups click and hold a button to access the link to Facebook and sharing on the Tiny Tap site. While this consideration is a good one, young ones will easily be able to figure out how to pass this security test (particularly if they've literally just created a game by themselves).
Other Issues and Comments:
This app is gloriously inventive and should be considered by teachers from a wide variety of disciplines as a means of sparking new creativity and life into some of their tried and true lessons. It is very easy to learn and opens with an interactive multimedia tutorial. Instructors must have a lesson plan and goals before creating a meaningful quality lesson with this tool.
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