Happy Wednesday everyone!  Today’s Teach it Twednesday is all about our current Winter Olympics French unit and how we’ve integrated the use of iPads in order to have tons of fun practicing our oral French.

A while back I mentioned the amazing, free app Tellagami, which uses personalized avatars and self recorded or computerized voices to create 30 second presentations.  My students’ greatest fear in French class is actually speaking French, but Tellagami offers a safe and engaging way to make oral presentations accessible and fun for all learners.  We have been working on creating our Olympic characters for two weeks now (choosing their hair colour, eye colour, specific sport, details of the sport, etc.) and this week all my French students were able to play around with our school’s set of iPads and get a feel for Tellagami.  Here are some of the avatars my students created in about 5 minutes:

This avatar was created to be part of a bobsled team, so the student found a photo online of a bobsled track and set it as the avatar's backdrop.
This avatar was created to be part of a bobsled team, so the student found a photo online of a bobsled track and set it as the avatar’s backdrop.
This avatar is an Olympian proudly speaking about his sport in front of the Olympic rings.  Yes, you can adjust the head size of the avatars.  Yes, some of my students' avatars have giant heads.
This avatar is an Olympian proudly speaking about his sport in front of the Olympic rings. Yes, you can adjust the head size of the avatars. Yes, some of my students’ avatars have giant heads.

A few issues we’ve discovered with this app is that because students don’t have to create an account to use Tellagami, we can’t store our projects/data on the app itself and come back to edit the work later.  We could save the Tellagami projects on the camera/video of the iPads, but these iPads are shared with 500+ students and will very likely be deleted once the iPads leave our classroom.

To solve this problem I allowed my students an entire block to play and experiment with the program – we had so much fun! My favourite Tellagami “tester project” was a female avatar (created with a deep, British man’s accent) who was programed to say, “I came in like a wrecking ball”.  I laughed so hard – thank you, Miley, for inspiring my student to be hilarious.  After the one block of Tellagami iPad playtime my students are now confident using this app and they have their French Olympic character scripts ready to go, so that the next time we use iPads (next week) we can quickly whip up our avatars again and spend the majority of the time recording our scripts.  Once my students finish recording their voices into their avatar they can “share” the project with me via email.  I will be able to open their projects in my email and watch/mark them.  We will definitely project the Tellagami projects onto the wall for presentation’s  sake (and entertainment!)

Has anyone else out there used Tellagami? What have you used this awesome (free) app for?

Karley