Friday, June 20, 2014


Our librarian loves to use Voki with our kiddos. And I have to say: our kids respond well to Voki. But with the rise of iPads in our school, I thought it might be nice to know about an app version.

The app is called Tellagami, and it's free to download.

Tellagami works a lot like Voki, except there are only male and female options {no aliens or animals like Voki offers}.

Customize skin color, hair color and style, clothing, eye color, and even head size.

There aren't too many customization options -- for the female avatar, there were about 4 top options in 3-4 colors each in clothing, for instance -- but it's enough to get the job done.

Once your avatar looks the way you need him/her to, move on to customizing the background.

The app comes with 2 free sets of backgrounds {"free" and "road trip"}, but there are plenty of other background packs you can purchase if you so choose. I particularly liked the educational backgrounds. One of the edu sets appeared to be for college, while the other set was geared more toward elementary; the elementary backgrounds have alphabet/color borders above the blackboard and brighter colors.

 I chose to customize the emotion of my avatar after my background. Choose from 7 emotions:

Finally, add some speech. You can either record your own voice, or type something in and choose from a dozen or so male and female voices.

Preview your Tellagami to make sure he/she sounds the way you need it to, and then share your creation. I like that you can share on social media sites + e-mail + text messages.

I e-mailed it to myself to see if I could figure out how to embed it on my blog, and wouldn't you know it? Clicking the link in the e-mail takes you to a screen that offers a link to the video and an embed code. Yay! Here's my sample Tellagami:

One thing I love about this app is that you don't have to have an account in order to save anything.  Just open the app, create, and send. I don't see a way to edit the Tellagami after it's made, so that may be the only drawback I see so far.

For reference, the maximum length of time for a recording on Tellagami is 30 seconds {which is the same for Voki, if I remember correctly...?}.

Ideas for using Tellagami or Voki in the classroom:

  1. As a getting-to-know-you activity, all students could create a Voki or Tellagami to represent themselves. The avatar could speak essential information, favorites, etc. about themselves, and then al students could play their creation for the class. 
  2. After reading, students could create a Tellagami or Voki project to summarize what they read. 
  3. After reading a story, students could pick their favorite character and create an avatar that speaks from that character's POV.
  4. On a similar note, students could create an avatar of a famous person or a historical figure; the avatar could speak facts about that person's life and achievements. 
  5. After writing a story, students could make an avatar of their choosing, and then use the call-in feature to read their story to world.
  6. Instead of always posting things to your classroom website in words, create a Voki or Tellagami video to get the information across. For instance, I once embedded a Voki into a class blog entry and used it to prompt students on their next assignment. {I included text, too, in case students didn't have speakers available, but this is a good option in the paperless classroom for those kiddos that may struggle with reading or just prefer verbal instruction.}

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