App #9 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #9: In our effort to highlight the SAMR Model of integration of technology, we’ve been considering what activities might fit into Redefinition (technology that allows creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable).


What activities might have significant impact to student outcomes? The “tell your story” concept remains one of the powerful ways we have to teach others, to increase audience, to learn new processes, to share expert knowledge in safe ways (consider also that shy student in your class).

Animations are live and well. While many are found in game environments, why not connect our learning outcomes above to the creation of animations – and no, you won’t spend a ton of time learning software!  Tellagami is an app for ipad or android (love that) and produces animated characters (much like Voki or other avatar programs) that can be saved to the camera library, imported into other apps or uploaded to a blog or other website.

Have students create a teaching session or speech (in another language like French, Spanish, etc.) and create a gami to deliver the content.  How about the significance of a historic event via a gami? Complete a biography of a personal hero? Tell a story from the first person perspective. Or how about in Special Ed, where a student might need lots of practice in speaking.  Capturing and “freezing words in time” offers a great way to reflect upon both speech and ideas.
What makes this app a ‘cut above’ are several things: ability to insert own backgrounds (including drawings), ability to save to camera library and no wifi needed unless you wish to upload to a site.  This allows for so many other possibilities to import to other apps like Explain Everything, iMovie or transferred to a computer (mpeg4) – now we have to talk about workflow.  (Stay tuned for more on this in later posts.)

What can you use Tellagami to do, to learn, to share?

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App #5 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #5:   Many of us have our students write stories and then illustrate the text.  While the artists in the bunch do flips and cartwheels (and I’ve had those students),  what happens to those who struggle with drawing the simplest shapes.  You know what I mean… somehow my tree just doesn’t quite look like a tree. Having a teacher say, “just do your best” doesn’t make me feel any better when I stare at my ‘stick tree’.  How about giving the gift of storytelling without the struggle of drawing?

Storybird is a site that captures the imagination and allows a writer to focus on writing.  Starting with selections of beautiful images (drawn by artists), you craft your story.  The images serve to anchor your ideas as they unfold.  A slider at the bottom of the screen shows the sequence of each page – handy for keeping the flow of beginning, middle and end. The finished products are short, art-inspired pieces of text that can be shared on any device.


Teachers can create free class accounts without the need for emails (please be careful about using student names). Options for sharing allows the story to be published on the site or embedded in blogs, wikis, or other platforms.

How can you use this site to grow your writers?

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App #3 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”



App #3:  What happens when you bring together an ipad, an app, words, thoughts, and sound?  Why Book Creator of course. This app for the ipad is a thing of beauty when it comes to creating ebooks.  Images can be drawn or photographed and inserted along with text.  As well, audio can enhance both the background environment and allow student voice. ibooks_shelf

Several options are available for the published copy – email, export as pdf, sent to iBooks shelf or opened via other online apps.

Imagine using Book Creator to merge your research projects, collaborate on a writing series, produce an e-portfolio, create library bank of work for others to read. I think there might be a “passion project” in this?
How would you use this app?