Audio has the ability to engage students quickly, so that they can get away from their precious text messages and really get talking! Here are some of my thoughts on the tools from the audio sandbox .
The last time I was out on school-related leave, I decided to record a video of myself, to tell students want to do when the substitute was present. I used my i-phone, and I posted the video on google-classroom. Many students thanked me for creating the video, and said that it helped them understand the assignments better, while other students still failed to complete their work for the day. I recognized that these students probably would not have completed their work either way, but at least now we could all avoid the excuse, “I didn’t know what to do.” For this reason I like tools like Voki, Vocaroo, and DragonDictation as tools for communicating announcements and directions, to students and parents. I would also be keen to try out audio feedback as a possible supplement, or replacement to written feedback on an assessments and drafts.
I know my 6th graders would freak out (in a totally good way) over Blabberize or Chatterpix the apps that let your pictures talk. My students in the past have created character portraits as part of reading reflection projects; it would be awesome to animate those portraits through Blabberize, or Chatterpix and let them speak! Characters could say key quotes, or add to the plot of story, etc. Examples of figurative language and idiom could be animated in creative ways (see my example), not to mention, how fun these tools would be for creating clever memes! (There’s got to be a bunch of ways to make memes educational…leave comments with ideas if you have them.)
BookTrack Studio would be a great tool for digital storytelling, creating podcasts, and a good way for students to gain fluency and develop speaking skills.
The Talking Hyperbole-My “Blabber”
Using blabberize was fairly easy. Make an account before you create something, or you might lose your first creation like I did, and have to start over. From the main screen hit “Make”, upload a photo that you have permission to modify, crop if needed using the tool on the site, and then hit the next arrow, to move to the screen where you can add a mouth. The mouth part is a little tricky. At first I didn’t know I could adjust the size and shape of the mouth. Watching a youtube video helped, and then I was able to get the hang of it pretty quickly. It was fun!
I did run into trouble embedding my example using the Blabberize embed code. I tried putting the code into the HTML tab of my blog, but it just showed up as a grey box in the preview, and as a broken link in the published version. I ended up using the feature on the website that allows you to download your blabbers as videos (a neat feature that is temporarily offered for free!) and uploading my video to YouTube. I then embedded the YouTube code, which worked.
Blabberize seems like the kind of website that would be blocked on the HCPS filter, so I’m curious to try it out at school. Hopefully, I will be proved wrong.
Image Credit: Budi, Rollan (2009). Dog chillin’ with red sunglasses. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/rollanb/3545177630 CC BY-SA 2.0
*Photo modified by MissZee using blabberize to animate and add audio.