‘Edutain’ Your Students, for Free There’s nothing small about the TinyTap app’s vast educational offerings. App-titude
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App-titude  |   March 01, 2015
‘Edutain’ Your Students, for Free
Author Notes
  • Ellen Weber, EdS, CCC-SLP, is an SLP at Fair Oaks Elementary School in the Cobb County School District in Georgia, which serves a population of 96 percent bilingual students. She is also co-director of a summer camp for students with pragmatic deficits. ewslp1@comcast.net
    Ellen Weber, EdS, CCC-SLP, is an SLP at Fair Oaks Elementary School in the Cobb County School District in Georgia, which serves a population of 96 percent bilingual students. She is also co-director of a summer camp for students with pragmatic deficits. ewslp1@comcast.net×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / School-Based Settings / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / App-titude
App-titude   |   March 01, 2015
‘Edutain’ Your Students, for Free
The ASHA Leader, March 2015, Vol. 20, 34-35. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.20032015.34
The ASHA Leader, March 2015, Vol. 20, 34-35. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.20032015.34
So you gave me an iPad. Now what?
When the “technology fairy,” bearing brand-new tablets, arrived in the speech-language department of our Georgia school district two years ago, we were initially ecstatic. Then we found out there was no money available to purchase apps. Most speech-language pathologists put the iPads in their drawers and went back to bingo games and flashcards.
But I had been using my personal iPod and iPad with students—and I saw how much more motivated and engaged they were in sessions, a fact that has been corroborated by many studies. So I started to look for the best free apps and to share them with other SLPs on my website.
In a search for story-creation apps to review, I stumbled across the free app TinyTap (for iOS; and for Android. Delving into its features, I realized the app could potentially do much more than create stories, so I researched the app and the company behind it.
TinyTap, based in San Francisco, was created by its CEO, Yogev Shelly, who wanted to find a way to help his father—diagnosed with dementia—hold onto his memories as long as he could. Initially designed to import family photos and make them interactive, the app gradually added more and more features to increase the options for importing images, adding text, recording voices, selecting answers to questions, and keeping scores (aka data collection!).
TinyTap created a common “marketplace” where people could share their creations. Teachers, SLPs, parents and students share 2,000 to 4,000 creations every month. TinyTap refers to each creation as a “game,” but don’t let that term fool you. You can create narrated stories, quizzes, multiple-choice activities, skill reviews, project presentations, book reports, homework, or just about anything else for any content area, any skill level or any age level—and you can access them all on a mobile device or online. They feel like games to students and keep them engaged. I have actually been able to create an augmentative and alternative communication device with this app that can be accessed by the parents at home … free!
TinyTap is worldwide, supporting 32 languages. Its vision is to create the largest collection of free or low-cost educational content in the world. You can use TinyTap to create and share activities, submit them to be sold, or share them via a private link.

TinyTap is worldwide, supporting 32 languages. Its vision is to create the largest collection of free or low-cost educational content in the world.

I’ll admit I have gone a “tiny” bit crazy over TinyTap, but I’m not alone. TinyTap holds a five-star rating in the app marketplace and received first place—and $1 million—in Verizon’s 2013 Powerful Answers in Education award and has received a similar amount from the German satellite company ProSiebenSat.1.
So why use TinyTap? After reviewing several story-creation apps for my website, the only one that came anywhere close to TinyTap was Book Creator by Red Jumper, Ltd. ($4.99 iOS; $2.49 Android). Rated at four stars, this app allows you to narrate a story that uses your own pictures, but does not offer the variety of interactive activities. Also, unlike TinyTap’s open format, you are limited to using Book Creator’s two templates.
Another inexpensive and comparable app is Make It for Teachers and School by Planet Factory Interactive ($4.99 for iOS). It also boasts a variety of interactive activities similar to TinyTap’s, but users are confined to templates. This app’s previous version had a four-star rating, but no ratings are available for the current version.
The most exciting part about being a “tapper” is following TinyTap’s growth. It is constantly evolving to meet users’ needs, offering a responsive support network. The app recently added a challenge mode—a way to add a gaming feel to timed activities and keep a leaderboard for scores (data!). Future plans include features to create more expressive (rather than receptive) activities, such as text input, speech recognition, open answers, and multiple answers for one question. These features would push TinyTap way out in front of its competitors.
And, in case you missed it the first time, TinyTap is free. And if it’s free, it’s for me!
2 Comments
March 3, 2015
Susan Drouin
AGREE completely
Been loving this app for a long time and it continues to get better and better. The customization and ease of use make it ideal for teachers, therapists, parents and kids themselves can create games for each other.
March 16, 2015
Mirla Raz
Great app
I recently reviewed TinyTap on my blog (www.helpmetalkright.com). It is one outstanding app.
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March 2015
Volume 20, Issue 3