Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo!
Blabberize allows you to upload an image, have the mouth’s
image move in a comedic way, and then “speak” your voice. Students can use
their own photos, or a famous person, cartoon character, etc. Blabberize can be
used in the same way ESL/EFL teachers sometimes have students use puppets —
students can feel more comfortable speaking when it’s not really “them” doing
A Voki is a talking
avatar students can design and easily post on a blog or website. Sue Waters has written excellent step-by-step instructions on
how to post a Voki.
Cinchcast is like an
Outshouts lets you
create a voice mail message that goes along with a song and email them both to
a teacher or a friend. You can then post the url on a blog or online journal.
You can also save your past messages in your account. The main reason I ranked
this above the previous two sites is because in Outshouts you can also write
your message in the email you send so a listener can both hear and read it at
the same time. I’m recommending this site with once caveat, though. Some of the
songs might be inappropriate for classroom use, so
teachers probably want to check them out periodically since they appear to
LiveMocha is a
fast-growing language-learning site that has an incredible number of features.
For speaking, not only can users send their recording to whomever they choose,
but there’s also a social network component that lets others provide feedback.
Another nice aspect of the site is that it’s structured so that users are
responding directly to prompts from LiveMocha’s scaffolded teaching/learning
Voice Thread is
well-known. Between the free unlimited account for educators, the ability to
type text as well as record audio, the ability to grab images off the Web to
reinforce understanding, and the great feature of being able to leave audio
comments, I don’t think anything beats it.
an audio “chatboard” that I’m adding here. It’s super-simple to set-up a
private forum where students can listen and respond to others and don’t have to
be online at the same time. English Language Learners can communicate
with other classes around the world, like in our International Sister Classes
Project or just be given a simple speaking assignment to complete. I love its
simplicity and ease of use.
It some ways it’s similar to the Vaestro Voice Channel that allows you to have, for
instance, your own class “voice channel” where students can easily record messages. TVO Wikispaces has a good explanation and some examples
on its site, along with a bunch of other good language-learning
resources. Vaestro, though, is a bit more complicated than Grapevine.
I’m adding Voxopop to
this list. Formerly called Chinswing, it lets you easily create private
voice “chatboards.” Students can leave messages and respond to one
another, or teachers can leave speaking assignments for students to
complete. It’s similar to Grapevine and to Vaestro Voice Channel.
Vocaroo is a super
easy way for students to record a message — of any length — and then place a
link or an embed code on a student or teacher website. It’s got to be one of
the most simple ways for audio recording out there — no registration is
required and you just click “record.” (NOTE: Unfortunately, Vocaroo has
recently announced that messages will be deleted after six months)
The extraordinary The Art of Storytelling is a site from the Delaware Art
Museum that allows you pick a painting, write a short story about it, record it
with your computer microphone, and email the url address for posting on a
student website or blog. It’s extraordinarily simple, and extraordinarily
accessible to any level of English Language Learner. No registration is
PodOmatic looks like
an extraordinarily easy way to create a podcast. Sign-up and your class has
your own channel — all you need is a computer microphone.
Woices allows the
user to easily leave an audio message about a specific place. That message can
then be listened to by others. Students could could leave messages about where
they live now, places they’ve visited, or their native countries.
Chirbit is a new
site. After registering (which is very easy — I love sites that don’t
require an email activation), you can very easily make a recording or use a
text-to-speech feature to create audio. You’re then given a unique url
address for the recording. It’s as simple as that. It has other
capabilities, too, including responding to the audio message.
Audio Pal is
a new tool that lets you easily record a message — either by using a phone,
computer mike, or text-to-speech — and then add the embed code to your blog or
website. Students can update it as often as they want, and get as many
different ones that they want. It’s pretty neat. No registration is necessary,
and it’s free.
Myna is a new audio
recording tool that’s great for students to use for speaking practice and to
create podcasts. It’s really quite a simple tool for use by English
Language Learners or anybody else…after you watch the short demonstration video. It was confusing to me prior to
watching it. It’s easy for users to add music that’s already in the Myna
library to their recording, and certainly easy for them to record their own
Fotobabble is a
super-easy application that lets you upload a photo, provide a minute audio
recording to go along with it, and then you get a link and an embed code that
can be used for sharing. It’s a simple tool students can use to practice their
speaking skills. It’s very easy to use but, just in case, Russell Stannard at
the great Teacher Training Videos has
posted agood video tutorial on
how to use the app.
Audioboo lets you
easily create what is basically a voice blog. After signing-up (which is quite
easy), you can make recordings of up to five minutes in length. Not only can
your messages appear together on one public page, but you can also choose to
embed them. People can leave text comments on the messages, but one negative is
that they are not moderated. However, you do have to be registered on the site
in order to leave a comment. (I talk about a great and easy way to use Audioboo
in This Seems Like A Pretty
Easy Way To Practice Speaking….)
Winkball lets you
easily create a video or just an audio blog. You can also use it to send video
messages. It seems to have other possibilities, too.
Hollur is like an
audio blog. After quickly registering, you can leave as many twenty second
audio messages as you want. In addition, your recordings can be embedded
Blurts lets you
quickly and easily record thirty second voice recordings with shareable url
addresses. You have to register, but all it requires is an email. Students can
also use it to create an “audio blog” if they want.
A teacher’s guide to
using audio and podcasting in the classroom is a nice overview
of applications to use in the classroom, including videos. It was created by
Little Bird Tales lets
you easily make slideshows where you can add text and, more importantly for
English Language Learners, provide an audio narration. On nice touch is that
you can virtually paint/draw artwork in addition to uploading images
(unfortunately, the site doesn’t have the ability to grab photos off the web by
url addresses). It’s free to use, but I’m unclear on if there will be an
eventual cost to use the site. It appears to have an upper limit on the number
of shows you can produce.
Broadcastr is a new
site that lets you record audio for up to three minutes and then “attach” it to
a map location. It also gives you the url address of your recording. This could
be a great resource for all students. They could write, and then record,
reflections from a field trip, describe their home countries, talk about
something that happened in a particular place in a work of fiction, and then
attach it to that geographical location. In addition to being there for an
“authentic audience” (someone other than their teacher and classmates), the
link to the recording can be posted on a student/teacher blog or website.
SoundCloud lets you
very easily record an audio message — the first 120 minutes are free — and then
you can post the link or embed it where you like. They’ve also just begun a new
site called Take Questions,
which TechCrunch calls
a “Quora for audio.” There, you can set-up your own page to take audio
questions that you can then answer — in audio.
Spreaker seems like a
pretty easy way to have your own Internet radio show.
Anmish lets you
choose a caricature of a world leader and then lets you put words in his/her
mouth for thirty seconds via a microphone. While you’re recording, you can also
easily change facial expressions on your caricature by pressing a letter on
your keyboard. It doesn’t appear you can embed the video, though you can share
a link to it. You also have access to parodies created by other users, which
might make it problematic for classroom use.
Knovio might end up
being one of the best Web 2.0 applications of the year. You upload a PowerPoint
presentation, record a presentation with your microphone and webcam, and then
it’s done! It’s free, and it is not open to the public yet, but I received an
invitation about five seconds after I requested it.
Shoutomatic is a new
site that lets you quickly and easily (after a very fast registration) record a
thirty-second “shout” — an audio message — that you can embed or link to…In
addition, you have the option of uploading a photo to attach to your audio
message, but you can’t just grab one for the Web with a url address. It could
be a nice and easy way for students to practice speaking.
QWiPS easily lets you make a thirty second audio
recording that you can share — you can also connect it to a photo or video.
Voisse is a
relatively simple audio recording site.