A few weeks ago, Okle Miller, a librarian near Tampa FL, shared a great iPad app with me that she had discovered on Richard Byrne’s site iPad Apps for School. Chatterpix allows you to take a photograph with your iPad, draw a mouth on that photo, and record up to 30 seconds of dialogue for the photo. The mouth moves in sync with your voice. This app could have many implications for short classroom projects from historical figures to summarizing strategies to book talks and more.
I recently sent out an email to teachers with some ideas for technology projects that we might do together. Each of the ideas was based in the subjects and standards that classrooms are working on with some suggestions of technology tools that might support those standards. Many of the classrooms are currently working on opinion writing about books along with persuasive techniques. I suggested Chatterpix as an option for students to quickly tell about a book, give an opinion, and try to persuade a reader in less that 30 seconds.
Second grade had already worked with me on writing book reviews for their blogs, so Caitlin Ramseyer, 2nd grade teacher, decided to incorporate Chatterpix into this mix. Her students each chose a book, read the book, and used an index card to write a script that they could finish reading in less than 30 seconds.
Today, they came to the library so that Caitlin and I could work with them on using the iPads. Students brought their index cards and books with them. First, we watched this video.
Then, we looked at my Chatterpix example.
Next, students dispersed throughout the library to use the iPads. Caitlin and I walked around and helped as needed, but the students were very capable of figuring things out and helping one another.
One student didn’t have her book, so she pulled up the book in Destiny on the computer and took a picture of the screen. Other students had very tiny people on their covers, so they put the iPad close to the cover in order to take a closeup picture of the character. There was a lot of problem solving going on as students tried to figure out how to create the best video. Many of them quickly figured out the different filters that they could use on their picture, but most chose not to explore the stickers (this time!).
Once they were finished, they saved the video to the camera roll on the iPad and brought it to me. At first, I was trying to login to each iPad and upload to Youtube, but it was taking too long. Instead, I plugged a cord into my laptop and imported the video straight into Youtube. Caitlin helped them make sure their video was exported to the camera roll and I uploaded to Youtube.
Finally, we gathered on the carpet to view our videos. During this time, we paused a lot and students gave tips for future use of Chatterpix. They suggested things like:
- Since Chatterpix reverses words, try to take a picture of a character on the cover and avoid the text
- Have your script written down
- If you finish before 30 seconds, don’t forget to press stop
- Rustling your paper makes the character’s mouth move, so be still
- If you have trouble drawing the mouth with your finger, use a stylus
- Hold the iPad in portrait view rather than landscape
We reminded them that they had developed some expertise with this app and that we might call on them sometime to help others. Even this list of tips is a way for them to pass on their expertise. Now that we worked out some logistics with how this type of lesson can flow, I think Chatterpix will be an app we will revisit many times.
Here are their book talks: