Tagged: technology in education

Animation 2.0 at School

Picture1Animations have already been so popular even before internet; and with the developing Web 2.0 applications, it has become an  effective and an engaging tool in the classrooms. Creating an animation has never ever been so easy and inexpensive. Today you can create yours with different graphics, characters and fun elements with very little talent.

ZimmerTwins is a simple site to make great and fun animated stories. You can start making your animation from scratch or you can create your own using one of the story starters. You choose the characters, settings, transitions, actions and emotions by using drag-and-drop feature. After, you only write the text in bubbles. You don’t need any drawing skills to make animations with Zimmertwins. 

You can create a mini animation with DVolver by pointing and clicking. You can choose the setting, characters, music at the background and how the chosen characters interact in your animation. You write what you want your characters to say and it shows up in bubbles in your animation. When you finish, you can mail it others, get a link for it or simply embed it to your blog.

Xtranormal is a site where you can create animations using text-to-speech application. You choose your animation styles and settings, characters and the voice for them. When you finish choosing all,you can write what you want your characters to say. When you have finished writing your text, there are some directions that represent cameras, looks, points, pauses etc. You can insert them into your text. When you finish your movie, you can publish it, get a link, embed or directly upload it to Youtube.

Fuzzwich is a site that lets you create 20 second animated movies. You can choose the setting, choose among ready characters or customize them by uploading your photos, text, music and movement as well. When you finish, you can get a link or embed it to your blog. 

With GoAnimate, you choose your theme and characters or you can even create your own animated characters by changing the size and colour of their body parts and clothes. You set up your theme on the timeline. You can change the background, add characters and prompts. Characters can do different actions such as walking, dancing, talking. You can use text to speech application to make your characters talk or simply record your own voice using your microphone. You can also use zooms in/out or colour effects on your video. You can upload your own music or sound effects as well. You can post them on  social networking sites or upload them on Youtube.

Domo is another site that GoAnimate features. You can create animations and slideshows. All the animations are reviewed and appropriate to use. You can add music and text to your animations.

Doink is site that lets you create flash-style animations. You can create your animations from scratch or reuse the work of others. You only have to draw the pictures step by step to animate them.

Animasher  is another site to make animations by using pictures from the gallery or you can use your pictures too. You can add music, some sound effects, text or record your own voice for your animation.

You can also use Memoov to make animations. You choose the background from the gallery, add different characters to the animation. You can change the colour of the characters or give them different emotions or movement. You can add objects too. You can write a text or make the characters speak with your own voice. You can add music and several effects. When it is done, your video will be directly sent to Youtube for easy sharing.   

Using animations is  a great way to improve different skills of kids such as reading, writing, storytelling, decision making, problem solving as well cognitive, social and innovative skills. It’s sure to facilitate learning of the kids and boost the way you are teaching.

Cross posted on TechLearning.

Text-to-Speech:Let the Computers Talk

sdff Increasing access to the internet and different Web 2.0 tools have provided different, engaging and fun alternatives to teachers. Now, we can create our own web based activities easily with free and various tools that can be easily accessed by the learners. We can create our own videos, podcasts, upload them and share them with other teachers or our students, create digital stories using animations. Furthermore, there are many other websites that will help our learners to improve four essential skills; reading, speaking, listening and writing as well as grammar and vocabulary.

Text-to-speech applications can be an alternative way to check the pronunciation of words and sentences or to create listening activities. The applications let us listen to any written text, create audio narration of the text with a human sounding voice, adjust the pitch and decide on the speed and the accent.  Here are some of these applications:

Vozme lets you turn your text into speech. You can choose a male or a female voice and you create mp3 files and listen to them anywhere you are.

ReadtheWords is a  service that can generate sounding audio file from almost any written material. It can read the words out loud, that you you want it to read. There are 15 different voice selection and you can hear a sample before you create it. This application can also read Spanish and French too.

iSpeech is another text-to-speech application that will convert  your text (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF, blogs, RSS feeds etc.) content into audio with minimal effort, no software installation and no technical expertise. You can download it, podcast it or embed it to your blog or your website.

HearWho  converts your text to speech and saves it as an MP3 file so that you can listen to it on any device capable of playing MP3 files, such as ipods, PDAs, mobile phones, MP3 players.

NaturalReaders can convert your text such as  MS Word, Webpage, PDF files, and Emails into spoken words. It can also convert any written text into audio files such as MP3 or WAV for your CD player.

Text2Speech is another free online text to speech converter.

Kakomessenger is a fun text to-speech application. It’s a singing telegram machine that will sing your text. You choose between two singers, Gina and Humphrey, write your text and let the singers sing them for you.

TalkingPets is another fun text-to-speech application that makes the pets talk. You chose your pet, accessorize it, write your text, choose the voice and your pet is ready to talk.

ReadSpeaker is a site that gives your website or your blog a voice. There are nine languages and 18 voices to choose from. By using this service, you can attract your visitors, make it easy to read your content and enable your readers to do something else while they listen to your blog.

Voki can be an alternative to text to speech applications. You can write your text, choose the accent and let the Voki avatar says it for you. You can get the link or embed it to your blog or your website.

SayitRight is a text-to-speech software that assists you with English pronunciation of the words. You can also slow down the text and see the mouth movements for a sound or word.

Although text-to-speech applications provide human sounding listening, give us a chance to facilitate learning, they sometimes lack the right intonation and stress, but I believe with the growing technologies, text-to-speech applications will provide us with the natural speech in the near future. 

Cross posted on TechLearning.