by Jean-Eudes Lepelletier

It’s story time on this fabulous Friday.  From the creators of iVocAudio, they recently launched last week, Tapikeo for your Apple device running iOS4.1 or later. This multi-purpose application allows your child’s voice and pictures to come to life in a number of ways.  It’s scrapbooking, creative writing and an adaptive communication application that can be used by parents, teachers or children.  When using Tapikeo, users will notice that stories are organized or managed into grids.  Before getting started, a new user might find it helpful to view the 4 preloaded examples to see how all the pieces/grids come together.  Socially and academically, this application has a great deal of potential.

When ready to begin communicating or telling a story, simply click the plus button in the upper right hand corner.  It is here that new grids are created and named.  Through our exploration, we noticed that when building a new grid that there was an e-book feature which you can turn on or off.  Unsure as to the possibilities that this feature may have for my own experience or my students, Applicable2U began searching the settings tab and their FAQ section.  Unfortunately, this was not explained, but would love this to be added in a future update.  Regardless, Applicable2U was determined to find the answer.  Through trial and error, my answer was found.  When the e-book feature is set to off, grids may have multiple images and recordings, however, they will not play like a book.  Each individual page must be selected in the play mode in order to see and hear.  If the e-book mode is set to on, when grids are played, users will now notice a green forward and backward button, allowing users to read this compilation of pictures and sounds like a real world book.  Having this option will make the creations vary depending on ones needs – flashcards, soundboards, digital photo album, verbal prompts and so much more!

Once a grid has been made the fun can now begin. At the bottom of your Tapikeo screen, users will notice four buttons: Play, Edit, Grids and Settings. Select which grid you would like to build within and click the edit button. Here storytellers can add text, picture(s) from your Apple device photo gallery or use the devices camera to take a picture.  In addition, sounds and voices can be recorded, played back for clarity and deleted if necessary.  After editing is complete, grids can then be played.  Upon entering a grids play mode, users will see a 4X4 array representing the pages within.  A flashing image will indicate where in the story you left off or may want to begin.  Regardless of what is flashing, other images may be selected and viewed.

The initial cost of this application is free!  However, additional features can be added for an in-app purchase of only .99¢.  Additional features may include the ability to download additional template grids with an internet connection.  Tapikeo also offers the option to email friends and family members grids that you have created.  If Tapikeo is loaded on their device stories, flashcards, and things like albums can then be shared.  To gain these options right away, you can download Tapikeo HD for 2.99 and receive the Premium options for free.  To access the HD version and its premium capabilities, please click here.  Recently, Applicable2u also reviewed iVocAudio which is also designed by Jean-Eudes Lepelletier.  While writing this review, we wondered what the possibilities may be for the two applications to interconnect.  Within a classroom setting, we can envision a story being created by the teacher.  As this story has now been differentiated through visuals and recordings, the student can then go into iVocAudio and complete pre-made flashcards that correlate to the story in Tapikeo and test their knowledge and understanding.  This is just one of the amazing options that these two applications can have within a classroom in school or at home.

If you would like to learn more about Jean-Eudes Lepelletier and the educational apps that he and team of developers have created, please visit their website here.  You will be amazed at the creativity and independence that Tapikeo will provide your child at any age.  To begin downloading Tapikeo to your iTunes library, simply click here.

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