In surprising news today, Launchpad Toys announced that they had been acquired by Google. Ordinarily, this may not be of much interest to educators, but as of today, Toontastic and TeleStory are completely free for iOS devices and that includes all the in-app purchases that were previously a paid upgrade! Both apps are great storytelling apps for any classroom that uses iPads. Both apps are current favorites with educators, but their newly free features are about to earn them a whole lot of additional fans.
Toontastic, if you have not previously tried it, is an amazing digital storytelling app for the iPad. Teachers everywhere love this app because it is simple to use and has a built-in story arc that actively encourage students to build a well-structured story. I have seen Toontastic used in Kindergarten all the way up to high school. Such is the versatility of this app. It is also great for one iPad classrooms because several students can collaborate on the same story on just a single iPad by taking turns to out different characters in the story. Completed cartoons can be shared online or saved to the Camera Roll for use in other projects. Take a look at the new trailer for Toontastic in the video below:
Telestory is available for both the iPhone and the iPad. It’s an augmented reality video camera that lets students run wild with their imagination. It lets kids write and record a story in a number of fun themes like a news report, a space adventure or a spy movie. Using augmented reality, students become a part of the story themselves with a variety of fun video effects, and can even switch between cameras to vary the action. Great fun, and an incredibly motivating way to tell a story on the iPad. The new trailer for Telestory is below:
Looking for more ideas on how to use these apps? Check out LaunchpadEDU. It has stories, ideas and tips from other educators that are already using Toontastic and Telestory with their students. You may even end up on this page yourself if you share the way your class uses either of these apps!
Google is now making a habit of purchasing popular paid apps and making them free for everyone to use. Snapseed and Word Lens are two recent examples of this so who knows what might be next on their shortlist. In the meantime, if you are an educator who uses iPads in the classroom, go check out the newly free editions of Toontastic and Telestory. Both are well worth your time.