Saturday, January 30, 2016

10 Ways to Use Tellagami Across the Content

Not all apps have the ability to attract the interest of both kindergarten students as effectively as that of a sixth grader.  When we find one we both like, it's worth writing about!

The Tellagami app is basic enough to be kinder-friendly, but versatile enough to challenge older students to create more complex digital pieces.  More than that, it has amazing capacity to be used across the content areas for everything from a quick-check activity to an end-product presentation.  

First we'll walk you through the features and then give you TEN great ways to start using Tellagami in your classroom.

App Overview

Tellagami is a paid app created by Tellagami Labs, Inc. that runs for $4.99 on the App Store.  If the budget is tight, the lite version of this app has enough features to create digital products worth your while. Customization and audio clip length are the only limiting factors between the free and paid versions.  However, we find that younger students especially do not seem to mind the limits of the free version.  Older students can find it a tad disappointing, but still enjoy the app enough to groan when told to switch it off.

The screenshots below give you a preview of the main features this app provides (all from the lite version).  This app basically allows students to create a "Gami" which lets them share an audio clip (30 second for lite, 90 for paid) while a customizable character animates against a selected background.  Students can choose from pre-made backgrounds to their own.  Basically anything that they can pull from their camera roll is fair game.  This leaves a lot of opportunity for students to app smash with any variety of apps they may have available.

Let's take a "picture walk" through the app features.

A simple interface makes this app perfect for younger students.

Note the use of graphics that even kinder kids can manipulate easily.
We all know that students inevitably will want to delete.
Note the easy to find reset button on the top left. 
Students can customize their character to match themselves, or
however they desire. 
A proven kid favorite customization is the emotion panel.  Bonus,
they tap quickly the happy and angry buttons the character appears to dance.
This is sure to get a laugh!
Students can customize their background by selecting the camera function,
a photo from their camera roll, or pre-made backgrounds.  Bonus feature:
students can doodle on top of their background within the app. 
The ability to share and manage workflow from an app is crucial.
Students can save their work to their camera roll and share it via LMS,
Google Drive, or whatever workflow app you use. 
Students can record audio, customize their "voice," and add text to their work.
This perhaps is one of the biggest drawbacks of the lite version.  Students only
have 30 seconds to record audio and cannot add text. However, students can work around
this problem by adding text in another app (whiteboard apps, etc.) before pulling
the image in as a background.  Tip:  Wear your ear plugs when letting your students
explore this app.  Trust us!

10 Ways to Use Tellagami Across the Content

Now let's get to those activities.  It's also important to note that you can app smash on the front or back end of Tellagami.  On the front in, pull in backgrounds from other apps such as Sketchbook, Doodle Buddy, etc.  On the back end, string "Gamis" together in apps like iMovie to create full length movies.

  1. Commercials- Students can show off their persuasive skills by highlighting a product, advocating a social issue, and more!  This can tap into all curricular areas!
  2. How-Tos- Students can explain everything from how to solve a math problem to how a weather vane works.  Using the background as the visual, students can practice speaking skills while demonstrating the ability to explain their thinking.  
  3. Newscasts- The background could easily become a weather map or current event.  Limitless possibilities.
  4. Character/Famous People Monologues- Students can demonstrate their understanding of a character from a book or period of history by writing and producing a monologue that captures their essence. 
  5. Poetry in Motion- Students can recite everything from nursery rhymes to their own creations.  App Smash this with iMovie to string several poems together (background could be a a student created illustration using their favorite art app)...instant Christmas or end of year gift for parents.  
  6. All About Me/I Am/Biography/Autobiography Projects- Pretty self explanatory.
  7. Settings Galore- Students can draw the setting of a story, period of history, etc. and use descriptive language to share their understanding. 
  8. Short Stories/Sight Word Stories/Spelling Stories/Math Stories- Have a list of vocabulary or words to know? Practicing addition or subtraction stories? Students can demonstrate mastery here. 
  9.  Explain Anything- Literally. Anything.  Periodic tables, math concepts, life cycles, geography, parts of speech...
  10. Augment Their Reality- Take it to the next level by using their Gamis as the overlay in an augmented reality project.  For example: Sixth grade students created heraldry shields using hands-on material, used their shield as their Gami background, described their shield, and then paired it with Aurasma.  Now their shields serve as triggers that fill a hallway gallery! 
Share with us! What successes have you had with Tellagami?

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