Click here to check out my Voki: Sharon’s Voki
I enjoyed playing around with several of the audio tools in the sandbox. I experimented a lot with Blabberize, but I couldn’t get the hang of marking off the mouth properly in order to make the picture look like it was animated right. I tried using photos of myself and family members and the bloopers were great. This actually made it really hilarious to watch, but I decided not to post here.
I had become familiar with Vocaroo through Libs 642 where we had recorded poems earlier. I found it extremely user-friendly and think I could use this in a similar way in the classroom. Besides having students use it to read poetry and share with others, I may use it to have students post announcements for my webpage. I think they would enjoy this and could maybe use it as a reward.
My favorite tool though is the Voki. I loved working with it. I chose to use the text feature rather than the voice recorder. I was tempted to use the Scottish accent, but decided to stick to the American one as some of the words are really difficult to understand when you add the accent. One of the tricky parts to Voki is that you have to be careful with some of the words you type because the Voki may not pronounce them correctly. If this happens all you have to do is type the word in phonetically. Of course, if you record your own voice you avoid this problem. The Voki could be used for short messages like homework announcements, birthday greetings, school wide news, etc. Students would love the cartoon aspect to this tool.
I enjoyed taking a closer look at podcasts. Podcasts are not something I was very familiar with and certainly not anything I thought I’d use in a classroom, but after looking into them more, I can see great potential. Being a language arts teacher, one that stood out to me was the Classic Poetry Aloud podcast. The podcast features a variety of poems by various classic poets. You can easily perform a search for poets, poems, and even themes. The poem is read aloud and the viewer can read along as it is also posted on the webpage. It is a bit limited on choice, and I wasn’t crazy about the narrator’s voice (it didn’t seem suited for some of the poems), but I would definitely use this in class to let students hear the poem being read aloud by someone else. I could use this for students who had missed school by posting a link on my webpage and allowing them to access an audio version of an assigned poem or have students search for poems with common themes.
Another podcast I think I would use is the Grammar Girl podcast. It features short features on specific punctuation, style, and grammar issues. I would use this to add support to students on topics we are covering in class. I also like the TEDtalks podcast. There are so many instructional, informational, and inspirational broadcasts to choose from. Virtually any topic you would want to cover can be found on this one. The speakers are interesting and the presentations seem to always be well done and hold the listeners attention.
I’m glad I have become more familiar with podcasts. I feel now that I will tap into a whole new resource that I didn’t really know had anything to offer me as a classroom teacher. Funny how that works. 🙂