Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Scribble Press: Mad Libs with super powers!

Remember Mad Libs from when you were a kid? They are still around, and they can be fun, and even therapeutic with applied clinical reasoning.  A modern take on Mad Libs is an app called Scribble Press. My colleague Ashley wrote a grant recently which was approved, to supply each of our elementary and middle schools with an iPad and the app.  We are very excited to implement this program. In the meantime, other staff have been using Scribble Press with good results.  Scribble Press received the Parent's Choice Award, Apple Staff Favorite, top 20 Educational App for iPad, Winner, Readers Choice Award 2011 Apps for Homeschooling. 

It should also be pointed out that Scribble Press sells for the remarkable price of "FREE"!  We like that!  It is only for the iPad.

Scribble Press allows the writer to pick from 50 story templates . The more adventurous can work without a template using the "Blank Book".  Once your choose your category, you than can choose a specific topic.  For example: "My _______ is a Ninja". Obviously a favorite of mine!

Much like Mad Libs, with Scribble Press, the writer is presented with pre-written sentences, with blanks every few words to be filled in at the author's discretion.  The original Mad Libs would ask you to provide an adjective, noun, preposition, etc and then randomly insert them into the text. With Scribble Press the author is not prompted with a grammatical cue, however, they are privy to what the sentences are about.

Armed with this knowledge, author can be as concrete, or as loose as they wish, humorous, or silly. Text input is via the built in iPad keyboard.  However, this is where I like to make a departure and build in some Occupational Therapy. If we are working on printing skills, I want the student to handwrite their text first on loose leaf paper with the appropriate lined paper.  In this way, we can work on sizing, letter formation, spacing between and within words, and letter orientation.  I also like to use a real keyboard synced with the iPad via bluetooth. This allows the student to get a better keyboard experience, and practice their keyboarding skills if appropriate.

With Scribble Press, there is also an option to draw.  Granted the drawing aspect of the app is not it's strong point, being unable to do much fine work. None-the-less, for basic representational drawing, it works.  Built into the app, the author can draw with a very wide variety of colors, pen sizes, as well as stamps.  So, while not a precision drawing app (which it never claimed to be) there is a bit of versatility.  The author can also use photos from the iPad photo library.

Once a story is written, the author has a multitude of ways in which he/she can share the work. At the bottom of the book collection, one can choose to edit, the work, share to iBooks on the iPad, share a variety of other ways - discussed down the page, order a hard copy to be mailed to you, and discard if appropriate (though I can't imagine doing so).

If the author clicks on Share, they will be presented with a more choices: Publish in Gallery, Share on Facebook, Share on Twitter, Email a link, and again, open in iBooks.  The Gallery is a web-based storage offered by Scribble Press at no cost. It is shared with other Scribble Press users and may be read all over the world.  Kind'a cool, but be aware that this is what this means!  The others should be self-explanetory.

Before the sharing actually occurs, Scribble Press asks the user to verify their age, and that there is no identifying information in the story to be shared.

This is a great app to support story telling, sequencing, typing, keyboarding, etc...

Some of our staff use it with students with Autism to create Social Stories.

And, remember how the stories can be share in the Scribble Press Gallery? Well, you can access those for your readers here.  Scribble Press has divided their vast library into the "Most Downloaded", and then age specific groupings. They also have a "Featured" section that changes out periodically.

Happy Therapy!

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