Thursday, March 20, 2008

We are Crazy for More Crazy Talk Animations

We are all going crazy for Crazy Talk animations. Students ride a roller coaster of emotions when their voice combines with animated characters. Many young students are hearing a recording of their own voice for the first time - this is new enough. Add watching a frog's mouth actually move in sync with their words, and see the facial moves show gets crazy!

Sally practiced a poem that she chose about taking care of the earth. Click below to enjoy her video.

Many classrooms on the Kg-first grade hall have trees painted on the walls. Mrs. B's tree has transformed into a singing sensation. Students can't wait for their turn to bring their tree to life! Jack's classmates cheered his job well done with Way Up High in the Apple Tree.

Other educational uses of videos and animations:

Our technology class in SC joined a collaborative project in Oregon about where toys are made. They are developing their scripts, recording each other, editing their work, and are looking forward to seeing their toys come to life on a video.

Students who needed more incentive to learn their math facts practiced and practiced to be able to earn their turn with Crazy Talk. Each student recorded themselves reciting math facts and chose their crazy character. The video clips were combined to make a very crazy math facts movie. After joining in with so many characters reciting their nine-times-tables, students can surely say them in their sleep now.

One class has brainstormed an impressive list of video topics. Many second graders want their character to teach a lesson like tornado safety, fire drills, or how to be a good friend. Videos clips of each student was combined to make a class video of good friends who like to stay safe.

Another class has big plans to enhance a language arts projects on personification - I guess we can just say that this time their ideas will be super-personified.

To see more of our CRAZY TALK5 video clips go to We hope these spark ideas for your school. Share your idea with us -we would love to hear from you!

contact JoNelle Gardner, technology teacher at

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Get Your Cat to Teach Reading - Crazy Talk 5

"Get your cat to teach reading," my email to the district office read. I had previously received a picture of a cat, Steve McQueen, via email and in return I made a video clip. The animated video is of Stevie the Cat reciting a poem about....cats. This clip is making the rounds in classrooms and sparking many ideas of how to motivate students.

How did the digital photo transform into an animated video? With CrazyTalk 5 you can transform photos and images into animated characters with suprizing ease. As with most technology I have found that you can use a little or use a lot - the results are impressive. Upload an image and then manipulate the face with a few puppeteering tools. Use Crazy Talk's recording tools, text-to-speech or even your own sound file for the voice. Another click of the mouse and characters reward you with their crazy moves.

What about the part regarding motivating students? Animated characters are a given for motivation. Admittedly no big news there. The big idea is to integrate creating characters to motivate students to build their communication skills of reading, speaking and writing. Students create scripts and practice recording - writing, reading, and speaking. It is up to us to help our students build these skills well.

So many ideas have come out of Stevie the Cat. Biographies, poems, storytelling, story characters, speeches, my pet, your pet, and many more.

I took pictures around our school to make clips of a cast of characters to play on our morning newscast. Who am I? Where do I live? Can you find me? Interest is building, questions are being asked, ideas are blooming. But they have to wait to find out, "How did she do that? When can I do that too!"

Here is the first announcement below. More applications with examples next time, but first meet Digiraffe- our own digital giraffe!