Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Love with the iPad App Draw and Tell

People often ask me what my favourite app in my grade one classroom is and I'm often hesitant to answer that question.  For me my choice of app is more about what type of learning I'm looking for from my students (or they are looking to show me) than a specific app.  We look at what we are trying to do, then match the app that best fits that need.

Having said that one of my goals for this school year is to make my students' thinking behind their learning more visible.  As often as we are able, I encourage my students to talk about what they have done as a way to document their learning.  There are many apps that will allow my students to do this and they include Explain Everything, Screen Chomp, Show Me,  Educreations, and Draw and Tell.  However as a teacher of grade one students Draw and Tell is by far the number one  app we go to share our learning.

Crayon Option
There are a few reasons why. First off it's grade one friendly because the tools make sense at their level.  If they want a paint brush type tool they choose the paint brush option.  If they want a coloured pencil, or  crayon they choose those options.  The eraser looks like what they see on their pencils, and the stickers are there too. Even when they record the microphone button makes sense.  When things make sense in grade one then they can do things on their own. As their teacher that's something I LOVE!

It is so simple to access the camera roll on the iPad.
It's easy for my students to import a picture from the photo album on an iPad independently too so if they have made something in another app and that app saves to photos then the photo of their work is there to be imported. If an app doesn't save to the iPad photo album then they just take a screen shot of their work so that there is a picture of it in the iPad photo album that they can bring into Draw and Tell. In addition for their non digital work they can easily take of photo of it, and then retrieve that photo from the album on the iPad.  So it's possible to add their thinking to anything they have created digitally or otherwise, and all independently.

The app also has colouring pages which can serve as backdrops to oral stories if my students don't want to draw their own backgrounds. The stickers provided in the app can be moved during recording too so stories or other concepts can be animated.

In addition the app saves what you create in an area called Your Drawings.  From there you can easily select your pictures or movies to save to your iPad's photo album.  At the moment I am sending their movie creations to our YouTube channel when I find the time.  However once the KidBlog app is available my students will EASILY be able to add this documentation of their learning to their individual blogs, INDEPENDENTLY - no need to upload to You Tube.  That's huge for me as a grade one teacher.  The more they can do on their own, the less I have to do for them. The less I have to do for them the more time I have to do other things with them.

One of the draw backs I see with Draw and Tell vs some of other apps mentioned above is that with Draw and Tell you can't record as you go.  This hasn't been a problem for us though because the app has a built in pointer light and if you touch the screen while you are recording it follows your finger.  My students  are encouraged to touch the specific spot on the screen that they are talking about so that the blue pointer light appears and is added to the recording.

Another draw back is that you can only add one photo so it's really just a one snapshot look at their learning.  Some of the apps mentioned above allow more than one snapshot to be uploaded.  In addition you can't add video to this app.  You can create video, but you can't import video.  Again this hasn't been an issue for us. For a sequencing activity this many not be the best choice of app.

So how have we used it in my grade one class?  With Draw and Tell we have:

- demonstrated our patterning knowledge by using the sticker tools provided to create patterns
- demonstrated our patterning knowledge by using the drawing tools provided to create patterns
- demonstrated our letter sound knowledge by using the sticker tools provided to sort picture based on initial constant sound
- demonstrated our letter sound knowledge by using the drawing tools provided to draw pictures and/or write words base on initial constant sound
- imported math done in another app to talk about the learning. Here too.
- used the interline paper available in the paper choices to write about our favourite part/character in a story
- add details to our non digital work (unfortunately still on a student iPad so no link yet)
- used it to create an opening scene in an iMovie
- imported an item created in another app to add  details to it

We've been able to add voice to many of our activities and there is still so much more we could use Draw and Tell for.

We could..

- use the lined paper to write our wonders, predictions, or facts we have learned about a specific topic and then record our voice to go with it
- use the colour pages for background, and the stickers to create animated oral stories-
- add voice explanations to ANYTHING we create - digital or non digital

And my head keeps spinning with ideas.

Have you used this app before, and if so how are you using it to help document learning?


  1. I will definitely have my Kindergarten students explore this app. What a great way for them to demonstrate their learning.

    1. I'll be curious to know what you think of it. I hope your kidlets love it too.

  2. O.K Karen, now that you have given me a personal tutorial over google hangout and have done a blog post on this app...I will definitely be trying this app out with my students. Thanks for all the great examples of how you use the app!

    1. The things I do for those I love! But seriously I really do love the app and I hope you will too. One of my big goals is to document my students thinking behind what they are doing. I love how easy it is to use this one app for so many different reasons.

  3. My name is JOY EDWIN from UK .I am here to give testimony on how I got my husband back. My husband left me for no reason 3 years ago. He moved in with another woman, I felt like killing myself, my life became very bitter and sorrowful. Then 1 day, a friend of mine told me about a great spell caster that is very good and, he said he gave him some lucky numbers that he played in a lottery and he won. I didn't believe it because I've worked with so many of them and it didn't work. He begged me further so I decided to try this great spell caster called DR OBEYED. I still didn't believe. I used the spell he gave me and the next day I received a call from my darling husband Thomas last month. He apologized and came back to me. He even gave me 10,000USD as a means of compensating me. I'm very happy now. Thank you DR OBEYED, You can reach him via

    He can solve any problem like,
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) you need a divorce in your relationship.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women & men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband & wife to be yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial stance.
    (9) He can make you pregnancy.
    (10) He can cure you from any diseases.
    (11) He can cure Deafness

    Contact him now, and smile forever

  4. Drawing App :Best drawing app for ipad to paint on infinite drawing canvas and PLAYBACK every drawing stroke on iPad and iPhone. Visit for best drawing app.

  5. Video Downloader for Mac - Total Video Downloader for Mac is a perfect Video Downloader Mac ,which can fastest download online videos from YouTube and tons of video sites for your Mac.