Give any Image a Talking Mouth and Make it an Engaging Learning Opportunity!
There are quite a few web 2.0 tools that provide easy and exciting ways to integrate technology in the classroom. One of them is Blabberize, a free online tool that allows you to quickly create talking images, providing some great opportunities to foster student engagement and collaboration. Here are some interesting ideas and examples for how to use Blabberize in the classroom, doing assignments that's your students will love!
Example of a student-created “Blabber”
Blabberize in History, English, Drama, Social Studies … or any Other Academic Subject
- One use that quickly comes to mind is having famous historical figures talk about their lives, accomplishments or beliefs in short videos. Click here for a look at how HistoryClassroom used Blabberize to present some famous historical quotes.
- David Dean, a teacher and member of the Classroom 2.0 community, suggested this use for Vocabulary: “Blabberize Photos which define vocabulary words used within a specific lesson/project. Then have the students share them with the class. A very engaging way to jigsaw a large list of words (divide and conquer).”
- Nicholas Provenzano, the author of the cutting edge blog TheNerdyTeacher.com, came up with a couple other fun ways to use Blabberize. Have you students, “find characters from a novel and record their favorite line or lines from the story that best suit them. At the end of the class period, you could play a selection for the class. If you are a History, you could use the site to have kids record parts of speeches for historical figures.”
- Neil Finney, a teacher form Ontario, Canada, used Blabberize to teach his young pupils empathy by making them research a particular culture and then write how their lives differed to their own life. Having done that, students would create a Blabber of this person and show it to the class.
- Katy Scott, another Classroom 2.0 member, suggests another interesting exercise, this time aimed at younger pupils. Her students first had to research an animal and subsequently get into the role, recording their voice in Blabberize and saying things like: ‘I'm an ocean sunfish. I move very slow…'.
Blabberize in a Foreign Language
Blabberize is great for vocabulary exercises – both for English and any other foreign language. You can have your students use Blabberize to dictate a passage in another language and then share their work with the class.
This kind of activity can be combined with a guessing game, where children can try to guess the word on the basis of its description. Creating fun songs or entertaining dialogues in other languages is another way to spice up the usual class recordings – check this video made by a teacher who used it to teach a basic Spanish song.
Other Advantages of Blabberize
Blabberize is free and it only requires a PC with Internet access. If the computer you use doesn't have a mic, the message can even be recorded via any phone. Calling a special number and inserting a 4 digit code, the website will record your message and attach it to the image of your choice.
Finney points out that Blabberize can also be used to foster collaboration among students by having primary and intermediate pupils team up, thanks to Blabberize. For example, while the older child can take care of the technological side of the project, the younger would concentrate on writing the role and then dictating.
Blabberize is not a revolutionary tool, but it certainly provides an interesting way to break up your usual lesson plan, as well as foster student engagement and collaboration. To learn how to use Blabberize, have a look at this video tutorial, which features some real student work samples from the video creator's grade two class.
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