[Updated] Apps in Action: Using WordFoto to Create Engaging Images

Update 2: WordFoto has now been updated on the App Store (6th Apr. 2015) with a fix for iOS 8 and support for iPad.

Update: since updating to iOS 8 the app has not been working as well as previously. I am currently using the app on an iPad Air, however it does hang or freeze occasionally. bitCycle AB have said they are working on a fix to support larger screen iPhones and iPads, however they have not released anything yet. Please bear this in mind before committing to purchase.

WordFoto is a simple app which quite literally turns photos into words! The results are fantastic and look like works of art. You can take advantage of the engaging nature of the images WordFoto produces to great effect in a variety of ways in the classroom. The app was classified as an iPhone only app which had to be scaled up to fit the larger screen of an iPad. However, the latest update has now made it iPad compatible.

WordFoto in the Classroom
I have used WordFoto in different ways but mainly as starters and plenaries. One of the ways I’ve used the app is to produce an image like the one below, project it on to a screen and ask learners to identify as many of the key words as they can find hidden in the image:
IMG_0853
The example above was used as an introducing the key words of river processes. However it could also act as a recap to a unit of work already studied. This could also be extended in many ways, for example asking learners to define the words they have found or to come up with any other words which should be included but are not.

I’ve also used this by asking students to input words. The example below is from a Year 9 class studying Kibera, a slum settlement in Nairobi, Kenya:
IMG_0851
In this instance, learners were asked to come up with adjectives to describe what Kibera was like as a starter. From this, we produced this WordFoto image.

Top Tips for using WordFoto
– Use photos with lots of smooth surfaces and lots of contrast as these produce the best results
– Use short words where possible rather than long words and experiment with different styles
– Keep re-rendering the image until you get the result you want

mzl.pvvfwyzjWordFoto by bitCycle AB is available for £1.49 on the App Store.

*all prices and links correct at the time of publication and are subject to change

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