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Little Bird Tales: A Thoughtful Review for Educators (2)

Overview of web-based tool that puts images with the sounds of your students' voices.
by

Bridget Yarusso

on 24 March 2011

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Transcript of Little Bird Tales: A Thoughtful Review for Educators (2)

A Thoughtful Review for Educators What is it? A simple web-based tool you can use to create a custom slide show with your students. Or in this case, your "little birds." How to use it? First, set-up an account. You will need an e-mail address and a password. And yes, this is a free service. The account set-up was simple. Be sure to use an e-mail address that parents will recognize as you share your tales from this account when you are finished. The uploading feature works like most photo-sharing sites, such as Snapfish or Shutterfly; however, you can only do one slide at a time. Be prepared to spend some time setting up your tale depending on your class size. Thoughtful Tip: You don't have to record your voice immediately after uploading your image. You can "Save and Continue" until all of your images are entered. You can record your little birds separately. Once all of the images have been uploaded you can record the audio at your class's pace. You can re-record as many times as needed. You can also reorder or delete slides; even upload new images if necessary. This is a great feature since you may have absentees on the day you want to record or submit their artwork. Thoughtful Tip: Do a test run with your computer's microphone so you can guide your students on where to stand and how loud they should read. You can keep the tale private and only e-mail to parents and guardians. Or you can make the tale public and share with other users. Create your tale in three steps.
Upload (or draw), record, and send.
And don't forget to save. Use it. Share life in your classroom with busy parents. Encourage student creativity by having them write their own story or poem to illustrate and narrate. Assignments that include the whole class will work, but be careful not to make the video too long. Try it out for small group work, too. It's a great tool, but the novelty may wear. Don't plan on using it for every project. Oh, and the site is advertiser-free. There is a "Craft of the Month" and a "Green Tip of the Week" featured for your class to follow. Here are two examples from educators so you can see how they make Little Bird Tales work for their classrooms. http://littlebirdtales.com/tales/view/story_id/964/ http://littlebirdtales.com/tales/view/story_id/3731/ The drawing function has more than enough tools
for child or adult to play with. Unfortunately your drawing is only as good as your mouse or your touch pad skills. If you have a steady hand, then you will be set. Thoughful Tip: If your students require a basic image to match their words, then have them use this tool. If they are budding artists I would recommend them to put it on paper and then scan. More rewarding, less frustrating. Here is how it will look in the recipient's in-box. Don't use it.
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