Tellagami

untitled  Tellagami is an app that allows uers to create video content on their ipad.  It allows for the the combination of voice and photo backgrounds to create customised 3D avatars.  It is another fun way of encouraging digital storytelling, as well as speaking, reading and writing in the languages classroom.  Last week I gave this app a go in my Year 7 class. Students were to write a script about our current topic “Kamu melakukan apa?”  “What are you doing?”, and then get their script proofread and corrected by me.

Once the script was completed, students were to create their 3D avatar Tellagami, complete with their voice recording.

This is a sample of my student’s work.

I really liked using Tellagami in my classroom as it is a very simple app to use, and the process of actually creating a movie similar to my student sample is quite fast and very easy. Users have the option of picking the gender of their avatar, and then have the option of changing their avatar’s facial attributes, emotions, clothing and background image. For the background you can use an image from your camera roll or select one of the apps pre-loaded options. There is a limitation in that you can only audio record scenes for 30 seconds. However, if you wanted to make a longer movie, you can save your 30 second scenes into your camera roll and then use them in another app like iMovie.

This is a really fun app and my students were very excited in the prospect of creating their own talking avatar. It is an excellent app that really engaged my students and assisted them in learning a language.

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Zoobe Pets

image Zoobe Pets is an iPhone app, however it works quite well on your ipad. As you have probably gathered I really like apps that get my students speaking, as I find this is the most difficult aspect of learning a language. Students often feel self conscious or embarrassed with speaking tasks and any app that encourages speaking always gets a thumbs up rating.

The finished product reminds me of Talking Tom app, however rather than passively speaking and then hearing Talking Tom repeat your message, this app allows students to create an avatar, record the message and then share or save as a mp4 file, which then can be used in an iMovie creation or other animation app.

With Zoobe Pets, students choose a cute character, such as a bear, cat or rabbit, they then can dress the avatar using the costumes available, as well as assign an emotion. You can add your own background using images from your camera roll. So, for example, if you are teaching Indonesian, your avatar can be set in an Indonesian setting, such as a market, or at a significant site or point of interest.

Once you have created your avatar and setting, you can record your message. Before students record their message, you might get them to write their script therefore giving them an opportunity to further develop their writing skills. Once recorded, students can view their creation. Their Zoobe Pets avatar will speak in a cutesy voice, with animation that reflects the emotion chosen earlier. Whilst a bit gimmicky, I quite like that voices are changed as some students cringe at hearing their own voices.

The avatar can be shared through email, as well as other social networking avenues or it can be saved to the camera roll. Saving to the camera roll will allow students to use their animation in other apps.

I wouldn’t use this app often, however as a once off it does have usefulness in the languages classroom. Students could use this app to

  • Create a script and then a movie with a relevant image on any topic being studied, for example my shopping trip at the local fruit market
  • Create a series of avatars, and incorporate them into iMovie to create a film
  • Students can work in groups to create the iMovie

While it is a bit gimmicky, I can see potential for use. Certainly worthwhile using considering it encourages speaking in the target language and the app is free. For older students there is another app Zoobe Eve which works identically to Zoobe Pets but allows for creation of avatars which might appeal more to teenage student.

iMovie

imovie I am aware everyone has probably heard about the app iMovie and how it can be incorporated into the languages classroom.  However, when reviewing apps it would be remiss if I did not include this.  There are so many potential uses and it really is limited by your and your student’s imagination.

My students have created iMovies in the form of role plays.  That is, instead of students simply performing a role play in front of a class, in groups, students film themselves or use other apps to create avatars and then create a movie.  As part of our year 7 curriculum, students visit the Royal Melbourne Zoo where they explore the South East Asia enclosures.  Students are required to report about their day, and many students decided to take videos using their ipads to create and an iMovie.  This activity proofed to be excellent, as not only were the students engaged and immersed in the project, they also need to speak (narrate their movie), write (they needed to create a script), read (narrate their script) as well as listen (to their own voices being played back or when listening and watching other students movies) all in the target language being taught.  This really encompassed the four macro skills in learning another language. My students really enjoy using this app.

The app itself is very simple to use, however if you are unsure there are plenty of tutorials on youtube.

Whilst at bit pricier than other apps I have reviewed, at $4.99 it represents excellent value in terms of uses, versatility and creating engagement in the languages classroom.