Monday, October 14, 2013

Create Short Animated Videos for Learning With the Tellagami App

Through a teacher and an educational technologist in my school district, I've recently discovered the Tellagami app for creating short animated videos. The video below is only the third Gami (the app maker's term for a finished product) which I have created. I was able to learn the app very quickly this weekend in preparation for introducing it to secondary fine arts teachers from my school district this morning. I won't take time in this post to teach you how to use Tellagami, because the app gives you a very nice tutorial the first time you launch it. There are also good instructions included on the Tellagami website. 

Check out my Gami (it's only 26 seconds!), then scroll down to learn more about what I like about the app and some ways I think it could potentially be used in teaching and learning.

What I Like About Tellagami

  • The app is free  for both iOS and Android mobile devices, which makes it ideal for both 1:1 and BYOD learning environments. I created the Gami above on my Galaxy Note II Android smartphone.
  • You do not need to create an account to use Tellagami.
  • The app has a few choices for customizing your avatar, which helps keep a focus on the final outcome of the product.
  • There are a few backgrounds to choose from in the app, but you can also doodle your own background,  select a photo stored in the photo library on your device, or take a photo while you are creating the Gami to use as a background.
  • There is an option to directly record your voice or type what the avatar says and let Tellagami add the speech with a computerized voice.
  • The maximum length of a Gami is 30 seconds, which lends itself to succinctness.
  • There are numerous ways to save your Gami, including directly to your device as a QuickTime (iOS) or MP4 (Android) or sending a link by email without saving to your device.
    • An advantage of sending by email without saving is your Gami gets uploaded to the web, and you get a link that you can Tweet or share on Facebook or in a text message. You can follow the link to get an embed code if you want to post the Gami on a website. This is the procedure I used to add the Gami above to this blog post.
    • An advantage of saving the Gami to your device is you can then upload the movie file to a website of your choice such as YouTube or a blog. Here is the Gami I created as a demo during a fine arts teacher inservice this morning, saved as a a file to my iPad, and then uploaded to YouTube.

Ideas for Using Tellagami in Teaching and Learning

  • Any teacher or staff member could create a Gami to add to their website or blog with a brief welcome/introduction message.
  • A foreign language teacher at one of our high schools lets students speak via Gami because it is less intimidating than standing up in front of the class.
  • Create a public service announcement (PSA) on a health, wellness, or safety topic.
  • Create a book teaser/trailer to get peers or students interested in reading a book.
  • Explain a problem, process, or procedure. This Gami uses a screen shot created with the Educreations app to explain a math procedure.
  • Create a news report recounting the important facts of a current or historical event.
  • A possible advanced use could include recording several 30 second Gamis and then editing them together into a longer video. This might be a way to get students to create a collaborative presentation, with each student recording a Gami for their part.

What Other Ideas Do You Have?

Have you used Tellagami before or had an idea spark from the examples above? If so, please share your ideas in the comments, and please include links to any Gamis you have posted on the web!

All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.