Tellagami – Share a Short Story, Fact or PSA

Tellagami came across my radar again last week. And the timing was right. I had a few minutes to download the app on our iPod Touches and within a minute I had created an avatar that appeared to be standing in Abbot School computer lab, dealing with printing issues. (Check him out here.)

OK- not an epic story, I admit, but it made me think of the curriculum integration possibilities…

Luckily, for me, an unsuspecting teacher was across the hall and available to hear my sales pitch. Again, timing is everything. She told me that her students were in the middle of animal research, and we decided to give the app a test run by having the students record a fact or two in the form of a Gami. Students also would choose a background for the avatar as well as make some character and style options. The Gami would be saved to the Photos app on the Touches, and then emailed to me for uploading to a wiki/blog.

Here are the fruits of our experiment.

As you can see, the character options are male or female with a little room for personalization. (Personally, I think having limited choice sometimes is a good thing, and an avatar can be less intimidating than having your own picture or video footage.) Some students chose to use snap a picture of a book as the backdrop while others took a picture of bulletin board in the classroom- simple and easy to do. The app allows for either recording your voice or typing text for the narration. The audio recording only can be 30 seconds while the text maximum is 440 characters. The teacher chose the voice recording option as it would be faster and there would be less editing. (Of course, having the two ways for narration is ideal for meeting different student needs.)

To help things run smoother during our short amount of time dedicated to this endeavor, students were given a planning sheet to write the facts/script and make notes about what the background would be prior to receiving the iPod Touch. Furthermore, a direction sheet to help guide them step-by-step was utilized as they used the app. The app is pretty intuitive; however, to keep students focused and on track especially with the sharing aspect (since the final files had to be in the correct format for our wiki/blog), the sheet was extremely helpful.

The next step is to have students visit the wiki/blog this week to watch and comment. Not only will students have an opportunity to learn a new animal information, but they will be expected to give specific feedback on the presentation. This feedback and the overall experience is setting the students up for our next endeavor: to use the Tellagami app to create a weather forecast. This action will demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge from science class that will be embedded in an overall weather presentation (PowerPoint).

Do you have any ideas of where a Gami could aid your students in telling a short story, explaining facts or even making a public service announcement?