Friday, September 11, 2015

Toca Life: City Adds Screen Recording

Toca Boca, long one of my favorite developers of contextual digital toys, has added a powerful feature to one of their already very useful apps- Toca Life: City ($2.99 for iPad). The Toca "Life" apps allow you to move characters around interactive environments; in this app, that includes a loft apartment, theatre, food park, hair salon and mall. Characters can pick up and interact with objects in each setting and even move from place to place with objects as you act out dramatic play sequences. These features in Toca Life: City have been enhanced with the addition of screen recording-- this captures the movement and records audio as you and students speak in order to create an animation. The animation can be immediately replayed, but also saved to the camera roll for later review or even sharing!

After rehearsing or storyboarding a "scene" with your students (further emphasizing your language and social targets), just tap the film icon in the upper left corner and begin recording.

Though the Toca: Life apps (see also Toca Life: Town) provide great opportunities to target play skills, cooperation and social cognition, and language targets such as sentence formulation, microstructures such as verbs and pronouns, as well as overall narrative, the screen recording feature can make this work more salient, with auditory feedback on student performance.

That this feature was added recently again underscores the importance of running and reviewing the contents of your app updates, which can be done in the App Store app Updates tab which provides text descriptions of changes within apps.