App Review: WordFoto


Another app I love. It’s designed for iPhone but works on iPad and I think some iPods too. It’s very simple, but beautiful things can be done.

All you do is open a picture in the app and choose or add a set of words. Then you get the fun bit, changing fonts, styles and colours. This is the bit where kids could waste a whole lot of time playing, but no more than they do with other visual media like paint or posters.

I made these examples using a combination of apps on my iPad:

Above, I used Image Search to find the apple and Fancy Pages to put it together with the text before putting it into WordFoto with simple sight words – A, and, an, apple.

Used Image Search to find the 5 picture then text, numeral, arithmetic and counters representing 5.

animal cell
A more complicated attempt, I used MediaSlate to draw the cell and Fancy Pages to label it before using the parts as my word set. I don’t actually think this would be a good classroom use – the text doesn’t really add anything to the diagram.

Mining ConsMining Pros
Again, used Image Search then straight into WordFoto.

So I have a series of pretty pictures and had a fun time. Is it useful or a time waster? I think useful – primates are, after all, visual creatures and the picture being a thousand words. I think it can let kids who can’t write well-reasoned essays explore emotional and analytical ideas. It can be a stimulus, a mnemonic or a fun way to begin and end a unit. A way of getting kids to use and practice words and tie them to something concrete rather than a list in a book.

Quick ideas for uses (and this is after a couple of days playing, I’m sure there are so many more):

  • Early readers building a word bank.
  • Encouraging use of adjectives and rich description eg developing characters or settings.
  • Vocab posters for a unit.
  • Understanding numbers – this does not not not not mean counting!
  • Remembering formulae and units in different forms.
  • Looking at pros and cons for things like Science in Society or SOSE.
  • Emotional response or exploration.
  • Summary of a business or enterprise – taglines or mottos.
  • Taking a position in an argument with brief reasons.
Can you think of more?


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