App Review
Procreate

Impressive, pro-level digital art tool great for experienced students

Quick Take
Pros: With customizable tools and an easy-to-use interface, you can create beautiful, high-resolution images.
Cons: Students without digital design experience may need some guidance, and a few standard tools are missing.
Bottom Line: The touch-screen interface lends itself perfectly to digital design, and the app stands on its own merits; there's no need for a desktop program.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Kids already familiar with digital art and design will have a hard time pulling themselves away from this powerful, professional-level tool.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 5

Kids are empowered to create using the same tools and techniques as the pros.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Experienced designers will find the touch-screen interface to be intuitive. An online forum brings users together to offer one another ideas and support.

Our Review
What's It Like?

Procreate is a professional-level medium for digital artists. Its 48 brushes include sets of pencils, inks, paintbrushes, and digital tools. Kids can also create their own custom brushes or buy additional brushes. They can work in layers as well as choose the canvas size and shape. Procreate is capable of producing incredibly high-resolution work -- up to 16 megapixels (which is 20 times better than the original iPad's resolution). Kids can import files from Dropbox or a camera, and they can export their creations to Dropbox, iTunes, or as Photoshop PSD files; they can also share creations via social media.

Is It Good For Learning?

Procreate isn't just an app to use on the go; it's simply impressive enough to take the place of many desktop programs. Thanks to the customization function, the brush options are limitless, but an impressive arsenal is also included. Working in layers is easy, as students can move between layers with just a tap.

The ability to create very high-resolution images is impressive, and Procreate is more customizable than Sketchbook Pro. However, teens used to working with Sketchbook Pro may miss options like flood fill and the clone brush, among a few other tools. While Procreate is fantastic, it's probably too sophisticated for younger students. For beginners, or kids just dabbling in digital art and design, a simpler option might be better.

How Can Teachers Use It?

Use Procreate for whole-class instruction to introduce different strokes, effects, and tools to your students. For another option, you could start an open-ended project on your own, then have the students import it and let each of them finish it in their own style. Afterward, have students share their work with each other. You can also show kids examples from the Procreate gallery or the website to demonstrate the range of digital art one can create with this powerful tool. Mostly, though, Procreate would be best used for self-directed, individualized learning and digital art projects.

This review of Procreate was written by

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