Digital Storytelling and Flipped Instruction using Tellagami

Lisa Blessington
Lisa is an EdTech coach, consultant and all-round lover of learning and technology. As the curator of Fractus Learning 'Bitesize' PD, Lisa is dedicated to sharing her knowledge, experience and passion with as many educators as possible.

Overview

Tellagami is an app gaining more and more popularity in classrooms with a fun and interactive take on creating animated videos. The app lets students create their own virtual performances using 3D digital avatars that they can design and customize themselves. By recording their own voice or simply typing the script, they can watch their own digital character bring their story to life.

TellagamiName: Tellagami – link to app
Pricing: Free / Edu ($4.99)
Compatibility: Tablet/Mobile
Access: iOS/Android
Privacy: Standalone app (privacy policy)

 

A Quick Look

In this short video created by K-6 Computer Teacher and Technologist, Meredith Martin, you can see just how customizable each character is and how kids can really get involved in the creation process.

 

In Practice

1. Virtual presentations and speeches

This is a great idea and stepping-stone for students who may be hesitant or uncomfortable speaking in front of an audience. Ask your students to use Tellagami to record or script their own presentation based on a topic of study. Once created, students can present their digital self to the class or share their video online. Check out this imaginative example from grade 3 & 4 teacher Miss C, who had her students present ‘why they should be considered as a member of the Mars One team’.

2. Language learners

When learning a new language, it is essential for student to listen and learn from the sound of their own voice. Try using Tellagami with your language students as a more fun and engaging way for them to record and listen to themselves. By collecting and archiving these videos it can also be an excellent portfolio for your students to look back over and reflect on their progress.

3. Someone else’s shoes

This is a fun exercise that can be applied to nearly any discipline. Have your students study a certain character in history, film, sport or any actvity that takes their interest. Using Tellagami, ask them to create a 2-3 minute video, where they will speak as that character, discussing the world through their eyes. This can be as simple as having students re-enact famous speeches or read well known passages, all the way to more thoughtful reflection on the person’s life. Not only can this be a meaningful research exercise, it can also be a good opportunity for your students to empathize and see the world from a different perspective.

4. Tellagami treasure hunt

This is a magical idea from 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Marino. Although it involves quite a lot of prep, it will certainly pay off and be a lesson to remember. Set up a number of digital checkpoints around your classroom or school using QR codes or Auras (using Aurasma). As students make it to each checkpoint it will trigger one of your pre-made Tellagami videos that will give them the clue to the next location. What fun! If you’re interested in a bit more detail, take a look at the blog post from Mrs. Marino.

5. Flipped instruction

This is where you get to be creative and make your own Tellagami. As an alternative to recording screencasts, try creating a series of Tellagami videos for your students. Create an avatar that looks (flatteringly) like yourself and use the app to develop videos to replace in-class lectures. In running with the flipped model, your students can watch these videos in their own time, freeing up class periods for discussion and questions.

 

Links and Next Steps

 

Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, Barrett.Discovery.