Phase 1 involves recordings which are different from all the other phases. Firstly, you want to make recordings which include an image (ideally), so you can quickly replay your classroom activities at home. Secondly, you want to do lots of vocab recording (image + word only). Thirdly, there is HEAPS of recording every day to manage (e.g. every Meeting will probably have 5 activity recordings, plus 24+ vocab recordings). So having a fast method is really helpful.
Mesha+ (iOS) — Free for 100 items, then $25 one-off purchase
Mesha was built just for GPA, so it works REALLY well for bulk adding new content quickly. However, it has a bunch of drawbacks that make it only really useful for Phase 1 and not Phase 2 onwards: the flashcard mode is limited, it’s very hard to organise content, all your content is trapped inside the app because there’s no option to export, and whilst the story mode looks good in theory, it’s not very useful in practice. So I don’t recommend trying to use this beyond Phase 1.
Lango (Android only, iOS in progress) — Free for 50 items, then $15/month
This is a new app I’ve only tested it out briefly. The authors have had some GPA exposure. and have designed it to work well with bulk-adding vocab items. It looks like it should work fine for GPA Phase 1 at least.
Phase 2 onwards
Beginning in Phase 2, you start to focus exclusively on recording stories, and then listening to them many times. So you need an app for recording, and an app for playback (can be the same app).
HiQ Recorder (Android) — Free for 10 mins, $5-10 upgrade to Pro
Has all the features you need for recording, including cloud backup. Also has decent playback options. I
Simple Audiobook Player (Android) — Free, with extra features for a $5-10 upgrade
I would happily pay $50+ for this app. It is absolutely perfect for clarifying recordings GPA style, and listening to your recordings at home. I use it every day.
Voice Memos (iOS built-in)
This will do most of what you need. Note: to continue a recording after you have first made it, you need to use the Edit feature – it’s a bit confusing!
If you want to test out other apps, here’s what to look for:
Recording features you need
- Record, pause, stop, continue (not many apps have a good continue feature)
- Backup – your recordings are extremely valuable, so make sure you have some kind of cloud backup option for your recordings (e.g. auto-backup to Dropbox or Google Drive).
- Bonus features: technical audio options like adjusting gain, recording bitrate, file type (mp3).
Playback features you need
- Auto-rewind on pause. This is SO, SO helpful. Simple Audio Book Player for Android has this built-in (rewind by 3s) and it saves me so much time as I’m clarifying recordings.
- Rewind 10-15s. This is the bare minimum feature you need. You will be pausing your recordings constantly as you clarify them, and you will frequently need to replay the last few seconds of the recording as you re-listen.