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.
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.
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.
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 Gami, is 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 :
- A Handful of Ideas for Using Tellagami In School by Richard Byrne on the blog Free Technology for Teachers gives some quick ideas for other projects to use with Tellagami.
- Tell Me All About it with Tellagami, on Baker’s B.Y.O.D, has examples of Tellagamis that she made for different topics.
- Tellagami in the Classroom, on Comfertably 2.0 by Craig Badura, explains and provides examples of ways Tellagami can be used in different subject areas such as Spanish!