I have been playing around with a few of the audio tools in our sandbox for this week, and Rue here was my favorite finished product (not surprising). If you can’t see her and you are on Chrome, click the little shield that appears right next to the star in your address bar.
Rue was made on Voki very quickly. The site is very user-friendly, and kind of reminded me of playing The Sims as a kid. I picked out an avatar, picked out accessories (or hair, clothes, etc. if I chose a person), and got to customize the voice and what they say. Fun! I understand why so many people use Voki – it is nice to have an avatar do the talking for you. It adds some anonymity, and can be used as a constant character/ambassador to your blog. I think it would be fun to re-enact literature using Vokis. Students could design their character and tell their side of the story in their own words, interacting by talking back to other students’ Vokis. This could make for a very entertaining blog project!
I loved one of my classmates Blabberize photos, but I didn’t have such a successful attempt. The site is honestly laid out simply and intuitively. It was almost at the point where I was confused because it was so easy. Then….I actually was confused. I couldn’t figure out how to re-orient my uploaded photo, which kind of made my image a bust. Did anyone else have this problem or a solution? Blabberize could be used for so many project and presentations, and would be completely entertaining for kids. Again – putting literature characters in their words would be pretty hilarious on this. I immediately thought about presenting famous historical figures using Blabberize. I think the site could be used by upper elementary levels, and this would work wonderfully with the History SOLS in Virginia for 4th & 5th grade. Students could rattle off background information, achievements, etc. using a painting or photo of the figure.
Vocaroo is fabulous because it (also) is EASY! No sign up, no login, just easy-access audio recording. I think the best part of the tool is that it gives you so many options for sharing: embedding, emailing, linking to various sites, downloading as MP3, Ogg, FLAC, or WAV, even a QR code link. It also gives you the option to delete the link, which is quite often overlooked. I can see this tool being used to post student book talks alongside an image (or images), or used in a Glogster to tell a story that is more easily explained that depicted. Vocaroo could also be the new tape recorder. Set up a device, press record, and you now have a free shareable, reviewable lecture. This might also be a tool to introduce students to who are practicing presentation skills (eliminating “likes” and “ums,” adding/reducing talk time, telling a clear story, etc.). I think this could work as a podcast lite – an easy recording device for younger students who may not feel comfortable producing/broadcasting a podcast, but have a story to tell nonetheless. A classmate of mine mentioned using this tool for ELL students (fabulous idea!), and I think we could build on that and use it for students that require audio proctoring for exams. Perhaps we can pre-record so these students can use headphones instead of being taken out of class for tests.