It is that time of year again, when Cupid strikes and countless students exchange Valentine’s Day cards. Thinking outside the box, here are five less obvious mobile apps that students can use to create the perfect project to show their Valentine how much they are appreciated.
Pic Collage (Free Android Tablet)
Pic Collage is a wonderful app with many ways to use it! This app can be used by middle school students to create presentation visuals demonstrating their understanding of a topic or concept. Children are presented with the option of placing images on a blank canvas or using frames to organize their pictures. They can use a photograph snapped with their tablet’s camera or an image that is saved to the gallery on their device. Students can add text to explain what is happening in each picture. Its versatility makes it an outstanding app for cobbling together meaningful moments on Valentine’s Day.
(Curated by Monica Burns)
Book Creator for iPad ($4.99 iPad)
Next up: an app for students who really want to step up their game and create a Valentine’s Day-themed story. Kid-friendly tools in Book Creator for iPad let authors of all ages create digital books using video, photos, music and text. With just a little instruction, children will be making books about the world around them and sharing them in iTunes, iBooks or email. The features in this app are easy to use and robust, which allow kids to be more creative in their digital media choices. By tapping the page of a new book, kids can add content for each page and write the text that goes along with the video or picture. Music (from iTunes) and voice can also be added to each page.
(Curated by Traci Chanyalew)
Photogene ⁴ (Free iPad, iPhone)
This app includes basic photo editing tools as well as many fun and fanciful effects, collages, and other creative features. Through photo editing with this app, students are exposed to basic editing vocabulary and techniques. They can take their original photos and deepen and enhance the images. There are great opportunities for observation and a type of digital literacy when using this app. As everyone loves to take photos, being able to manipulate those photos and improve their quality or create artistic renditions of them is engaging and fun. Photogene ⁴ is great to use in tandem with Book Creator for iPad to perfect the photos for your kid’s Valentine’s Day book.
(Curated by Julene Reed)
Quill ($1.00 Android Tablet)
Quill transforms an Android device into a virtual notebook complete with lined paper and a variety of pen tools. This app is great for having children compose stories and practice writing on a tablet. Children can use a stylus or their finger to write words and tell a story. This app gives kids lots of options for writing on their screen including colors and line tools. Quill automatically smooths out wobbly lines and children can easily zoom in and out of the page. A great feature of Quill is the ability to split screens. This means that elementary school students can surf the web and write at the same time. For Valentine’s Day, Quill can be used by middle and high school students as a journal to get those “romantic” words down on e-paper.
(Curated by Monica Burns)
Scholastic Storia (Free iPad, iPhone)
Interactive ebooks for middle school students are hard to find, but leave it to Scholastic to create the go-to app, Scholastic Storia, for interactive books. Parents can purchase books for students to read and track their reading habits within the app. Students can choose from a library of over 1,000 titles that are sorted by grade level. Amongst these books, there is a small selection of poetry and other Valentine’s Day-related content. Titles include contemporary favorites that have been amped up to include interactive features like a dictionary, vocabulary tools, quizzes and the ability to annotate. Each user of the app has his or her own virtual bookshelf and individual reading reports are available to parents. Unfortunately, books cannot be purchased directly from the Storia app; instead, parents must purchase from the Scholastic website and add them to their Storia bookshelf. One silver lining here is that students cannot accidentally break the bank!
(Curated by Megan Samarin)