Turning Texters into Talkers

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 .

For Teachers:

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. 

For Students

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.




Turning Texters into Talkers

9 thoughts on “Turning Texters into Talkers

  1. These are all great ideas! I love that quieter students can have a voice through technology. My own children have used Chatterpix and had the best time with it, but I haven’t tried it out with my students yet. Blabberize is really cool too – great directions and tips that you have provided here. Thanks for providing ideas for both teachers and students. I found Vocaroo to be the easiest to use – great way to add your own voice to lesson plans or messages home!


    1. I was so frustrated when I created my first blubber, and then I couldn’t save it because I didn’t have an account. Several other things were frustrating, like not being able to embed, and not knowing how to shape the mouth, so I hope I save at least a couple people from the same issues! I was pleased to find Blabberize did work at my school, which I didn’t expect! Thanks for the comment.


  2. Great Ideas! I really loved your talking hyperbole! Kids really seem to pay attention to things that are just different than us…which is great, because to really make that important point stick, we learn to catch them off guard!
    I too had difficulty using the embed option on blabberize. I was so sad too, because it seemed like such a quick copy/paste thing. I tried out blabberize, some pod casts and a couple of other tools on the school network. I was able to access them! This makes me excited to know I can definitely load some readings and have students be able to click links for my listening station/recording station.
    Memes: make posters/evites for school functions. Social responsibility, Reading tips and tricks, book recommendations?


  3. I look forward to your blog every week. I love the break down of application by teacher and student. I never thought of recording myself for the students when there is a sub! What an AMAZING idea (to remember for next year). Your blabberize was great! I had a lot of trouble getting it to work for me, but that was probably because it was one of the first one’s I tried this time around. I will have to take another crack at it now that I’ve seen a great finished example. Good job!


  4. Jacqui McGuire-Day says:

    My students love Chatterpix. This was my first time trying Blabberize, but I really enjoyed it. I like the idea of having the students create character portraits. There are so many ways that Blabberize could be utilized. Students could also find an image of a famous historical figure and record facts and information from a first person point of view of the historical figure.


  5. Once again I love your ideas! I especially love using the use of video to tell your kids what to do when you were out. When I leave for anything nothing I have left ever gets done. I will definitely try this next year! Your talking hyperbole gave me many ideas for many other types of figurative language as well. As I was looking at Blabberize, I kept thinking of The Great Gilly Hopkins and how it would be fun to have them talk about Gilly’s conflict, reactions, and emotions in the first person as Gilly using a picture from the cover. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I liked your ideas for using the Audio tools. I just though of another way to use this tool. I teach 2nd Grade so it’s a little bit simpler, but having students retell a story in their own words is sometimes difficult. I wonder if it would be easier if they were recording it and making it kinda silly. Maybe that would take some pressure off, and make it a little more interesting at the same time. Do you teach in Henrico Co? I’m in Richmond City.


  7. I’m in Henrico co. I think your second graders would have a ball with that! Also a really cute way to tell a made up story. Create characters and have them tell different parts of a story. Maybe explore first and third person narration through that.


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