Friday, March 7, 2014

Use Google Drawings to Start Image-based Conversations

One of the lesser-known features of Google Drive is the collaborative aspect of Drawings. Drawings in Google Drive allows you to collaboratively create drawings from scratch and or alter images that you upload to Drawings. By uploading an image you can draw on it and write on it to add labels. Google Drive Drawings supports commenting just like Google Documents. The sharing options in Drawings are the same as those of Documents too.

By using the collaborative drawing tools you could start online image-based conversations with your students. You could also use these tools to have your student collaboratively label diagrams. Directions for these processes are included in the screenshots in the slides below.

Augmented Reality + Avatars + Video = Fun Storytelling

This week at NCTIES 2014 I've learned as much I've shared. One of the highlights for me was seeing teachers combine the use of multiple apps to create one finished product. One of the combinations that I stumbled upon this week was using Tellagami creations in WeVideo.

Tellagami is a free iOS and Android app that students can use to create talking avatars set in a variety of backgrounds. Tellagami offers a stock background imagery, but you can also turn on your device's camera to place your customized avatar into any setting that you want use. For example, I took a picture of a crowd and put my avatar into the crowd. After customizing your avatar and background you can add your voice to the avatar or you can type text that will be read by the avatar. The finished product can be saved to your camera roll or shared through email. I sent my finished Tellagami project to myself through email where I then downloaded the movie file to use in WeVideo.

In WeVideo in the web browser on my laptop I uploaded my Tellagami file to edit out the "tellagami" banner that rolls at the end of the file. I was also able to add in transitions between multiple Tellagami files. If I had other video files I could have added those into the project too.

Applications for Education
Tellagami alone is a great tool for students to use to create short stories for a variety of purposes. One neat use of Tellagami would be to use a science lab as the background for video about lab safety. Or your have students write short stories then animate them through Tellagami. You might also use the app to have students create animations to represent their understanding of a historical event.

By uploading Tellagami files to WeVideo (iMovie also works for this purpose) your students could create a longer video with separate parts or chapters.

Thanks to Kathy Schrock the many other people who helped me formulate these thoughts at NCTIES.