I have posted before about the iPad app, Puppet Pals, here and here. Yesterday, I was reading a post by Lisa Johnson at techchef4u.com, and saw that there is a brand new Puppet Pals 2 app that was just released in January. So, of course, I had to try it out. Just like the original version, there is a free app, and you can also buy an “All Access Pass” for $4.99. Because I downloaded it to a school iPad, I stuck with the free version. Here are the new features as described in the iTunes store:
• Characters walk and talk!
• Use your own photos for heads!
• Fully pose-able limbs!
• Ride a wide variety of vehicles (camels, giraffes, planes, cars and more)
• Tons of musical soundtracks to set the mood
• Explore different terrains and settings
• Experience low gravity on the moon
So far, I have found that the free version does not allow you to add your own photos (you can add that feature for $1.99, which might be well worth it – allowing you to create as many of your own puppets from photos as you like), and the characters (the set of 3 “Pure Genius” characters – Einstein, Van Gogh, and Twain – costs .99), rides, and locations are limited. The Puppet Shop is fun to look through, though…
One of the best new features is that, if you touch a character while recording, his or her mouth will move along with your words. The movement of limbs is a vast improvement, too.
Be forewarned – your students will want to fully explore this before actually doing an assignment with it. They will need at least 15 minutes to giggle over combining different character heads with different bodies, such as Shakespeare’s head on a ballerina’s body. And they will probably want to play every music sample, too.
Another thing I like about Puppet Pals 2 is the section that is included for Parents and Teachers with suggestions, tips and tricks.
Of course I wish the free version offered all of the bells and whistles, but I have to admit that there is a lot that can be done even with the limited resources on this version. If your students produce any great samples, I would love to see them! E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.