Sunday, May 6, 2012

Babbling about Fotobabble.

Fotobabble  is a program online (Web 2.0 tool) that lets you upload any picture and then using the computer or a microphone record your voice with the picture and you can share it with friends through Twitter, Facebook and many other ways.  There is even a email system to send to your teacher. 

Students need to make an account to get on this program, but it doesn’t take long at all to do this.  They make their account and then get to work. 

What can you use Fotobabble for?  Anything you can think of. Here are just a few examples for using it in a language class:
  • ·      Home-made greeting cards
  • ·      Talking postcards from different countries.
  • ·      Review products, songs, movies, TV shows, anything!
  • ·      Citizen journalism: Reporting from the scene of something newsworthy.
  • ·      Enhance your Facebook Fan Page
  • ·      Provide commentary on a photo found on the web
  • ·      Promote your brand, products or services
  • ·      Create contests
  • ·      Instant photo/voice messaging between iPhones
  • ·      Narrate the story behind a special photo
  • ·      Talking Photo Facebook status that plays right in Facebook
  • ·      Adding a visual element to your poetry or music
  • .   Adding comments in Twitter.

It is supported by both Mac and PC, but you need a speaker system to listen to it as well as a mike or built in microphone system to speak into it.  For elementary teachers you should get parent permission before hand, and students should put the content in the general public section so that they can embed the program in their electronic portfolio or share the finished product with their teacher through the URL (email the address to the teacher).  It’s fun, fast, and great for assessing vocabulary, accents, grammaire, etc. 

From Teacher First  there is more information as well as other ideas. 

Thanks to Aaron Davis @aarondavis47 for trying out this great web tool and also the Fotobabble App on the IPads.  One special notation about this App from Mr. Davis, when uploading your photos (you can use the camera on the IPad and record into it as well) to their account from the IPad, you need to get 5 – 10 students at a time only.  When Mr. Davis tried to do it with the entire class, he began to have error messages of “Not connecting” or server down.  At first we suspected the WiFi in our school but later, when the students left, Mr. Davis easily uploaded each and every Fotobabble that previously did not work.  The FotoBabble server got too busy or too many people were using the server at the same time.  Please take note of this small problem.

So plan accordingly, and good luck.  This program/App is fun.  If you don’t believe me read Meg’s Notebook to get her review and some of her ideas on using FotoBabble with a class  trip.  You can follow her on twitter @megsnotebook.  Excellent work Meg!!!

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