Teachers are always looking for new ways to keep their students engaged and entertained. This is especially true as more and more states begin to adapt the Common Core State Standards. One goal of Common Core is to encourage students to be involved in discussions about what they’re learning. So how are we as future teachers going to make this happen? In ways other than just plainly talking about it? One fun way to get students involved in sharing what they know is through an app called Tellagami.

I originally found out about Tellagami on the scholastic Top Teaching blog, in the post Bring Common Core Alive With Tellagami, by Kriscia Cabral. In the post, she gives great ideas on how to take Tellagami, a non-educational app, and apply it to use with students in the classroom. So what exactly is Tellagami? Tellagami is a free app available on iTunes or through the Android App Store,  that allows you to create and share a quick 30 second video with your “Gami,” or character that you create.

Personalizing Gami

You can change the features to personalize your Gami

The first step in creating your video is to customize your character. Click on the character button to view all of the different features you can alter. You can choose from gender, skin tone, eyes, and head under the body section. As well as hair, top, bottom, and shoes under the clothes section. Use these features to make your Gami resemble you in appearance, or make someone totally different, it’s up to you!

Next you can can either upload your own background, or choose from a gallery of pre-selected ones. You can even doodle pictures or words on it to further personalize your surroundings. Once you’re done with all of this, you can now add dialogue in one of two ways: by recording your own voice, or typing out text to be read.

Text to Speech

You can have your text read in different voices

If you choose to type out your text, it will be read for you in an automated voice. There are a total of 8 male and 8 female voices, all with different accents you can choose from.  The different voices can be heard by clicking the names that appear at the top of the screen.

The final step is to share your Gami with the world! Gamis can be shared in a variety of ways.

Share Gami

You can share you Gami in a variety of ways.

You can email, post to Facebook,  Tweet or text your Gami to your friends! All of these option generate a link to share. You can also view your movie online and get the embed code to share in blogs or wikis. Another neat thing you can do is save your video to your iPad or iPhone photos and upload them to your computer that way. This is also helpful because it allows you to upload them to Youtube straight from your device.

Tellagami is a great tool to use in the classroom to get students involved in using technology as a way to showcase their learning. One way you can use Tellagami early on in the year, is to have everyone create a Gami for themselves, and then record their voices introducing themselves to the rest of the class. You can have them answer question such as their name, age, favorite color/food/animal etc. You can then combine all of their separate videos in iMovie to make one big getting to know each other video. Introducing Sydney Gami, is a video I created  introducing myself to you all.  I used text to speech through the voice “queen.”

Below is the same video uploaded on Youtube, and this time I recorded my own voice.

Another way students can use Tellagami throughout the year is for explaining different projects or assignments. The students can take a picture of their work and set it as the background for their Gami while they are talking about it. Math about Me Gamiis a real-life example of how Kricsia Cabral used Tellagami in her classroom, by having students explain some aspects in their “math about me” posters.

EDTECH, a technology- focused magazine for both IT professionals and K-12 teachers alike, recently completed “The Tellagami Project,” in which they had edtech teachers from around the world talk about the importance of technology in the classroom, through the use of Tellagami. They then combined all of the messages into one 10 minute video that can be seen below:

Pretty cool huh? I would love to know what your guy’s thoughts are on Tellagami! Do you think you could use it in your classrooms in the future? If so, in what ways? I strongly encourage you to download the app now and just fool around with it, it’s a lot of fun!

To learn about other ways Tellagami is being used in classrooms check out the following :

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16 Responses to Tellagami

  1. Kelly F. says:

    Hey Sydney – This Tellagami tool sounds really awesome! At first while reading your post I thought that it would be like the digitally generated faces that speak in robotic tones and are (to be honest) a little creepy, but this wasn’t creepy at all! I loved how you used your sample project to explain how this tool can be used in the classroom, I could see students really getting into this and really learning something from it.

    • B. Taylor says:

      Cool thing about this and other tools you might have seen (Voki?) is they allow both options – the “robotic” voice from text you type or recording your own. See Maria’s wiki page where she recorded her own voice speaking Spanish through a Voki avatar. Sydney included a link in this post to a gami video using the synthesized voice too so you can compare.

  2. Angie E. says:

    Great job Sydney! This is an awesome tool and I love your idea of creating a “getting to know you” video at the beginning of the year with students. I imagined assigning a book report-type project in which students create a Gami for one of the characters, and explain the story from that character’s point of view. I did have a few questions: Is the app only available on Apple products and can you create a gami on a computer? Thanks Sydney!

    • Sydney R. says:

      Hi Angie, thanks for the kind words! The book report idea is great, I hadn’t thought of that! The app is available on both apple and android products, however it is limited to mobile devices, so unfortunately you can’t create a gami on the computer just yet. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Mary F. says:

    This is such an interesting tool Sydney – definitely a very unique one! As Angie previously stated, I loved your idea of students using this at the beginning of class to get to know one another. What a cool way to turn a boring get to know each other thing around into a fun and interesting project, definitely something your students wouldn’t forget. Great post!

  4. Tabitha C. says:

    I think this tool is so cool and funny. I love how your avatar is at Elon outside of Moseley–I think that is just amazing and shows how advanced our technology today is. I want to get it!!

  5. Sara R. says:

    This is an excellent tool and I can see definitely applying to the students! I know that when we made our avatars in class, I found it extremely fun and exciting. So, students will probably find it just as exciting–or even more so–than I did! The fact that this tellagami can actually interact and speak in their own voices, if they so choose, is awesome! I know that I hated seeing myself on video whenever I had to make one for school, so I really wished that this was an option when I was asked to do so!

  6. Katie H. says:

    Great post Sydney! This tool is so interesting. I personally don’t see myself using it that much in my own work, but I can see students being interested in using it. Making avatars would be very fun for children and being able to see and hear themselves present something online would be very exciting. It is an excellent way of showing students the variety of technology there is out there. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Steph G. says:

    This tool seems SO COOL! I can really see students liking it, although I agree with Katie that for me, it would not be very beneficial, I definitely see students using it! I think younger students would especially love it because it would be like seeing themselves on the internet! It’s crazy how much technology can do these days!

  8. Laura H. says:

    This tool seems really awesome! My first reaction, was that it minded me of the characters you make on the Wii game system, which I use to love doing! Kids will definitely get super into this and want to use the tool to play with the character they made. Good job Sydney!

  9. Maria H. says:

    Sydney, I really enjoyed reading this post! In my wiki, I posted about a program called Voki. It’s extremely similar to Tellagami in the way that you can create an avatar and have it say whatever you want. Tellagami is cooler than Voki in the way that you can choose so many backgrounds and it seems more student-friendly. I really like this, Sydney, great job!

  10. Winna P. says:

    Hey Sydney! Great post! This totally reminds me of a Tomagochi that I used to have when I was little. This is a super cool tool that I think students would really enjoy. I also agree with Tabitha. I love how you put your avatar outside Moseley. I think kids would really enjoy how cute it is! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Chelsea S. says:

    I bet kids would love this! ONe of my favorite things on the computer game Sims was to create characters and what they looked like. I was also really excited when we got to create our own avatars in this class! This may be a long shot, but I feel like this could be an introduction for children for public speaking. I know a lot of students aren’t fans of public speaking so if they are able to give a presentation through here they can hear their voice, an avatar that looks like them, and perhaps see how confident the avatar looks in the little presentation. Hopefully the child can then mimic that in real life eventually. I don’t know though… We’ll have to see!

  12. Alexia M. says:

    This seems like a really cool tool! Since I plan to work with lower elementary grades, I can definitely see them loving something like this. It’s like they get to be their own cartoon, but they are learning at the same time! I could see this helping shy students present because when they record their voice, they aren’t having to stand in front of the whole class to do it. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I opened this post but it seems like a great tool!

  13. Victoria B. says:

    Sydney, this is a really unique tool! While I am not a fan of the strange voice that the character produces, I think students would love it! I think it would be great for students themselves to use this tool for their own presentations. Students love creating avatars and they would have a great time using them to present their own findings. I think this could help shy students because they won’t have to get up in front of the class to present, and their voice won’t sound quite like their own. Thanks for sharing!

    • B. Taylor says:

      Hey Victoria, Did you play the Tellagami Sydney included that used her very own voice? That’s one of the really cool features of this tool – you have a choice of synthesized voice or recording your own.

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