Get Appy with Us!

Acquisition Abounds

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to thank you for following this blog and ask you to consider checking out my new all-in-one blog called “Acquisition Abounds: The Adventures in the Life of a Language Educator.” This new blog is where I plan to do most of my blogging from now on.

I really hope to see you there!

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Check this out! You could be a App store gift card winner! Follow directions in the blog!
Thanks for this chance, Steve!

Thank you readers so much for the over 100 000 page views on!

The most popular posts of the year were:

How to use Instagram’s features without posting online

TubeBox Pro (Now unavailable, but replaced with Instatube) – Save YouTube videos to your iPad!

How to be a Terrible iPad Teacher 

Setting up your iPad for projected display

App Store Cards Giveaway

I am going to give away a few $10 App Store cards  to people who share this website or any specific post(s). Leave a comment and mention where you shared it. Share using Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or just by word of mouth to your staff at school. Remember to leave your location and email address or Twitter handle in the comment (your email address won’t be posted publicly!). I will randomly select winners from the comments, and contact you through email.

Here’s to the next…

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I hope to earn a free promo code to this app…and then create a book en français with the kiddos. Looks like fun!!!!

“Storypanda is an iPad story platform that brings families together by enabling them to read, create and share kids stories. One App, Unlimited stories.”


With this interactive children's book app, students, parents and teachers will be able to create personalized stories based on the original books. Storypanda is an app that has a great collection of books that both kids and adults will love. New books are added regularly, and the people over at Storypanda are looking to incorporate lesson plans to go along with these books. Reading will become (more) fun, and kids will increase creativity in changing the stories.

While the app itself is free, most books cost $2.99. You can purchase them within your bookshelf. Each book can also be made available as a separate purchase through the App store, and they will be brought back into the bookshelf of the original app (if…

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Very few apps will ever earn a title like this by the “Appy Family,” but Videoscribe by Sparkol has done it! This easy to use app has some amazing features that blow many other creation apps out of the water.  It creates professional-looking content in a matter of minutes! Here is a link to their website and here is a link to purchase the app.

I have my friend, Sylvia Duckworth, to thank for tweeting me this a few days ago (click tweet to view Sylvia’s animation):

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Some quick words of advice on how to get started:

1. Make sure your iOS software is up to date. At first mine wasn’t, and therefore I was unable to launch

2. Play around with the app just a little bit before you start anything serious

3. Watch the tutorials (Even if you’re like me and usually try to just figure it out without the tutorial…I did NOT watch them and wish I had as it would have saved me some time and trouble). Click here to view the tutorials. The first one should be enough to get you started.

4. Plan your video out from start to finish before starting with the app. Include your wording, layout and image ideas. Only when complete with planning, start creating with the app.

5. Plan to create the animation when you have a good chunk of quiet time. I was in a semi-public place and you can hear quite some background noise behind the music. Also, I ran out of alone time well before I wanted my time to be up…the app is ADDICTIVE!!!

6. FYI: When importing images, best to use .svg since those are will draw the best, but you can also try others like .jpg, .png, etc.

7. Have fun! This is going to be an extremely fun app to play around with!!!


Here’s my first videoscribe:

The downsides:

The audio recording feature is  one thing I’d like to see improved. What I don’t like about the built-in feature is that you cannot record small sections of audio as you go…it’s all at once (unless I’m missing something). I know that you can upload your own audio file that you create using another software, however.  I guess I am comparing it to Explain Everything a bit. I really like how with Explain Everything you can record small sections of audio that go along with your presentation as you’re creating it. To learn more about this other “Pure Genius” app, visit this blog post. It is possible, however, that I just haven’t learned enough of the advanced features yet…I’ll have to report back if I was mistaken on the above judgement!

Secondly, I was unsuccessful publishing to YouTube or Facebook directly from the app. It stated that it had published it, but it had not. I ended up saving it to my camera roll and then publishing it from there. Not a biggie, but weird that it didn’t work as it should.

Lastly, I’d like to see more images added to the free built-in library with future updates.

Despite these minor downsides, Videoscribe still earns the highest thumbs up ever and has made one very (h)Appy Family! I am VERY happy to report that this is our new favorite creation app!!! It is just too cool! 🙂

I simply cannot wait to see what creations will come of it and neither can my husband…he was quite impressed!!!

Thank you, Sylvia and thank you Videoscribe!!!!!

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Today’s free app choice is available in English, Catalan, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish! In fact, that’s why it has been chosen for this honor!

I honestly haven’t had much time to test it out, but because it is available in multiple languages, including French and Spanish, I’m downloading it for future use with my children and students!

Thank you, Touch Press!!!!! 🙂

Cloud Storage Solution = COPY! Love it!
Thanks for yet another amazing blog post and especially for the final tip at the end that saved me and my macbook!!! You rock, Steve!!!
Also visit my blog post which includes more by Steve Lai! Here it is:

There is an ever growing number of teachers and students using iPads for creation projects. Little by little, people are understanding that the iPad is not just a consumption device for reading emails, watching YouTube and checking FaceBook and Twitter. The iPad is a powerful creation device. But an issue arose during the year at my school: How does one share large student videos and other projects with parents? Read ahead to find out.


I have been using Copy quite heavily since I firstreviewedabout it six weeks ago. I wanted to share some of my personal experiences with it, especially with regards to sharing larger individual student projects (i.e., get them off the iPads and on to something where parents can view them at home.)

Download Copy here (free!) and receive 20GB (inc. a bonus 5GB) free cloud storage,

then refer your friends for an extra 5GB…

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Apps for Education Pinterest Board

Elementary Apps Pinterest Board

Apps pour enfants 0-6 Pinterest Board

Apps: Special Education Pinterest Board

The 55 Best Free Education Apps for iPads by Teachers with Apps

iPad Lessons Pinterest Board

4 Excellent iPad Apps for Creating Classroom Posters

Studies of iPad Use in Education

Les Histoires Farfelues

People have asked me why I don’t rate the apps that I blog about. Truth is, most of the apps aren’t for me…they are for my kids. To truly rate the apps my children use, I feel  I need to give the apps the test of longevity. My children may love a new app once, but then not seek it out ever again. To be honest, I have not been able to successfully predict which apps my children will like best. For example, when I purchased and tried out “Les Histoires Farfelues” I did not think the kids were going to like it. In fact, I thought I had just wasted another $3 on an app that would go untouched, along with dozens of others.

I was wrong.

This is one of the first and only French apps that the kids seek out even when they are allowed a few minutes of free-choice on the iPad. They think it’s hilarious. You get to choose the characters and backgrounds. The characters can have either matching heads and legs or unmatched. It has fun sound effects and the stories are short. During story time, I usually tell them they both can have two stories but they always ask for more and I usually want to create my own mix-up after their turns are over as well. It has become kind of addicting for all of us…in the best sense of the term!

One thing I’d love to see added to the app is subtitles. I always like seeing the written word in my children’s apps. It gets them used to seeing the text and it helps them start to associate the sounds with the words.

We are all learning more French with this app. It includes vocabulary that is even above my head! Sometimes this may be a hindrance, and I fear the kids aren’t truly understanding everything that is being said, but I am not going to worry too much about that because they are having fun with French!

Why, though, do they love this app so much? Especially when initially I thought it was another wasted purchase!?!


Now that I think about it, this app gives them something the others don’t. It gives them control over what the story becomes. They are the creators, so to speak, of their own story. As an educator, I understand the power of providing choices for learners. The smart people who created this app have very cleverly incorporated the users choices into every story. It is addicting and fun and I am sorry that I doubted its ingenuity!

If I had blogged and rated this app before giving it the test of time, I would have scored it low. Now that we have had it for several months, I see that the children are seeking it out ON THEIR OWN! (That is huge!) The rating has gone through the roof and I now recommend this app very highly to families learning French! The Sunny Earth kids love it! (Ages 4 and almost 6) Hope yours do, too!!!!!

Enjoy! C’est vraiment amusant!


I have used sock puppets with my own children as well as at school with Kindergarteners. It is a winner!

As a primary school teacher, I am always looking for ways to enhance the learning experiences for my students. As we have recently set up a partial class set of iPad minis, we are encouraging all of our teachers to use content-creation apps as opposed to content-specific consumption apps to share our knowledge. Sock Puppets (free, with optional in-app purchases) is a great storytelling app that both educators and students alike will enjoy.

If you have yet to hear about Sock Puppets, it is an app that will let you create funny and original lip-synched videos that you can share with your class. We have already had a few classes try this app, and our students (ages 7-11) have had no trouble with it all. Learning how to use the app is actually fun, and the many options of backgrounds, props (most of them moveable!)…

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As a teacher in the U.S., this is of interest to me! Thank you, Steve, for yet another great blog post! 🙂

“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.” —

The Common Core Standards

If you are a teacher from the US, you will no doubt be familiar with the Common Core State Standards. I have been introduced to this great lesson planning app which focuses heavily to these standards. Here in British Columbia, Canada where I teach, learning standards will be found in the BC Prescribed Learning Outcomes.

Check out this video which will show the main features of the app:

Here is a snippet from the developer, Thomas Story, a teacher of over eleven years himself:

The Common Core Lesson Planner is must-have app for teachers who want to fully utilize their iPad into their daily teaching routine. The Common Core Lesson Planner was created…

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