Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blabberize



Blabberize is easy, quick and another opportunity for kids to write for an authentic audience. It allows you to "speak" through a picture by recording your voice and moving the mouth on the face of the picture you have chosen. You need to write a script of some sort first, and then read it aloud, so it's another fun way to use literacy skills online.

You don't need to register to use Blabberize, but you do if you want to save and
share what you create. The interface is so simple that it took me two minutes to make my Blabber.

The first step is to choose the picture you want from your computer. Kids could draw their own using software like Paint, and save it to a location on the computer, or draw their own on paper, then you'd need to scan it into the computer. The best type is a close-up or portrait with a clear mouth. I used a photo I'd taken previously.

Once it's chosen, you can crop it to hone in on the face and mouth you want to "speak" with. Next, you place the mouth, a red moldable sphere over the mouth on your picture's face, and tweak it to fit. Then you either record yourself saying something eg a previously written story, or upload something you've pre-recorded. And that is about it, except for saving and sharing, or keeping the whole thing to yourself.

You can see examples of other people's creations
on the site. As usual, I recommend parental guidance in case of inappropriate content. I also recommend using a good quality microphone - mine is the mike/headset I use for Skype.

I think Blabberize has potential for use by students who want an interesting way to present their research about a famous person, or animal. It would make a cute way to send a digital story to a friend - simply find a picture of yourself, "mouth" it, save it and send the link or embed in your blog. The technology is not difficult, so it's accessible, user-friendly, and motivates kids to write. Here's an example of a teacher using Blabberize to set up her class project, and a student project about chickens. .

If you make your own Blabber, please let me know!

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