Sunday, February 9, 2014

Blabberize Explorer Tech Project


I recently worked with two teachers helping to put together a research project using www.blabberize.com as the presentation method (the subject was explorers - grade level 4th).

Blabberize is a free website that allows you to manipulate the mouths of pictures to make them "talk" with your recorded voice. Click on the picture to see how the site works and a sample of an "explorer interview" or CLICK HERE)

The first group of children used two pictures - one of them and one of their explorer and recorded their voices. They turned out fine although we had a lot of problems with the microphones.

Based on my experience with the first group I introduced a change to the project for the second group. Students had to conduct an "interview" with an explorer. The program can handle a total of 10 scenes so that meant that five questions could be asked. The teacher and I had to explain and model good interviewing skills. The kids did extremely well and if it wasn't for identifying names I would link copies of the finished interviews :(

Students used an interview sheet (see my google sites HERE for a free copy of it) and used it as a guide when conducting their research. The recording was a bit of a nightmare until we switched to audacity (a free microsoft recording software we have on our computer). Students pre-recorded their ten scenes (saving each one as #1, #2, #3, etc.) and then uploaded it when they got into the Blabberize program. It wasn't that hard and once I showed the students they were recording and saving like pros. I contacted the Blabberize folks and they suggested looking at the flash player we were using or the settings related to the flash player. I never did that since the audacity thing worked very well...but I was happy with how fast they got back to me!

I showed this project to some fifth grade teachers and thought it would work within their standards interviewing key folks during WWI or WWII. If I get samples from them I will post.

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