Super Book of Web Tools for Teachers

I’m so excited to share this resource with you! Eleven incredible bloggers and tech enthusiasts have created a document with descriptions of their top tools for use with students at all levels. Suggestions for ways to integrate them into your work are included. Though I regularly read the blogs of a number of the contributors, I was introduced to some new names. I’m continually amazed by the number of people who daily put time and energy into sharing their expertise and thoughts with the rest of us, and making so many resources available for free. Many thanks to Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers for putting it all together. Enjoy reading this ebook, and consider thanking those responsible for it by visiting their blogs.

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Blah, blah,…blabber!

I’ve been having some fun lately with a web 2.o tool called blabberize.  Essentially it allows you to take a digital photo of something/someone and make it “talk.”

I’d seen and bookmarked it in my delicious account, but it wasn’t until I saw this that I got inspired! A talking book crate?  When my first-through-third graders saw this they were entranced!  It allowed me to give my usual spiel about keeping a neat classroom crate for library books, but it seemed to have a lot more oomph coming from the crate itself!

So, I decided to try my hand at making one.  I’ve been using the Skoob (Shelf Elf) character from Upstart the last couple of years and I figured it was time he made a few talking points of his own.

It’s a fairly simple process.  I’ll warn you–there’s not a lot of help on the site itself so trial-and-error worked for me.  The trickiest part was figuring out how to make the “blabber” conform to the shape of Skoob’s mouth and how to make it open just the right amount.  Just click on the dots and drag til you get it the way you want it.  You can always edit it later.  I recorded his message in audacity first, saved it, and then uploaded it.  Quick and easy!  Here’s my humble first try.  You can tell I edited out all the pauses, etc. to get it under 30 seconds.  I don’t normally talk that fast!

Again, the magic happened!  Even the 3rd graders suspended belief for a moment there and thought he was really talking… (How’d he do that?  Is that real, Mrs. L.?)  I just might be able to get a lot of mileage out of this tool.  How about:

Melvil Dewey talking about the DDC?

A book character promoting a book?

One of the presidents or other figure introducing biography as a genre?

Please leave a comment with your ideas for blabberize.  And incidentally, a similar site is but I haven’t tried it yet.  Let me know if you have and what you think of it.