Saturday, July 04, 2009

Going Beyond a Text Document

Using digital tools in education can add fun and creativity to a task and help to engage students in learning. An example of this is using different digital tools and media for a task instead of a typed text document.

Here are a few ideas which could be applied to any subject area or assessment piece such as a review, self-evaluation, analysis, interview, study or report. You may choose one to focus on or give students a few to choose from depending on their strengths and learning styles.

Avatar Video:

Using a webcam and avatar software. I use Logitech Quickcam Vision Pro. The software calibrates with the face of the person sitting in front of the camera and the avatar imitates the person’s movements. The camera has a built in microphone which allows the student to record their voice. The video is recorded with the final result looking like the avatar is speaking. This is also a useful alternative to oral presentations for students who are nervous of standing in front of the class. The video can also be added to a power point presentation.

Talking Picture:

Using a site called MashFace. You can combine your voice and with a picture to look like the picture is talking. This could be a great task for a portrait task where students could find a painting of a portrait and do an analysis of the painting. Alternatively, students could choose an identity depending on the task, such as a musician, sportsperson, actor, famous person from history, etc.

Avatars with text:

Another alternative is to use an avatar again but instead use written text and a generated voice.

Voki - This site allows you to choose an avatar , type in text and voice is generated. The site provides script to allow you to embed it into a Virtual Classroom, blog or website.

Xtranormal - This site also allows you to choose an avatar, however, you can include more than one character. Therefore, the task could be to create an interview. The voices are also generated from text. You can also include movement of the figures.

Comic Strip:

Students can write their review in the form of a comic strip with characters. They could set it up as an interview with one character asking the other character questions about the work or it may be one character giving the information. The characters are provided students simply drag and drop content into their comic strip. Once the comic is created students can save a screen capture of it.

Some sites to use are :
Super Action Comic Maker
Make Beliefs Comix
Myths and Legends Story Creator 2
Go Animate Toondoo

Animated Movie:

You can create an animated movie using characters and text or voice recordings. These sites provide backgrounds and characters. You simple drag and drop.

Kerpoof - Movie option

Make a Storybook

Create a virtual story book by typing in text and adding backgrounds and characters.

Kerpoof - Story Option
My Story Maker

Make an Ebook

Make an EBook which is a virtual book which allows you to turn the pages and add all your own content.

Myebook – create an Ebook by adding photos, images, audio and video or convert PDF files

Wobook – convert files such as PDF, Word or Power Point into a virtual book.

Voice with a presentation

Produce a presentation to include text or a voice recording.

Voice Thread
280 Slides

Make a Photostory

Using Photostory , create a presentation combining images with music and a voice recording.


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