There are many Web 2.0 tools to help instructors foster engagement among their students, which is especially important for learners who find it hard to focus and allow their thoughts to wander to other areas of their busy lives. Blabberize is one of these tools that become an instant hit in the classroom. Basically, it allows users to quickly create talking photos, providing great opportunities for enhancing classroom engagement and collaboration. Below are some ideas and for using Blabberize with adult learners.
One great thing about Blabberize is that it's free to use. The application itself requires nothing more than a PC with Internet access – there's no need for a special computer microphone either – the message can be recorded via any cell phone. All students need to do is call a number and insert a 4 digit code – Blabberize will record their message and later attach it to the image of their choice.
Knowledge Representation with Blabberize
Blabberize can be great for subjects such as history or science. Instructors can ask students to create blabbers of famous historical figures or scientists, which would talk about their lives, state their greatest accomplishments, and explore their most significant theories.
Occasionally, such an exercise could become a way of channeling engagement through humor – after all, everyone needs a good laugh now and then. The humor involved in making and presenting a blabber can significantly help with knowledge retention – if nothing else, this alternative and funny representation of information will be itself memorable.
A Glimpse into World Cultures with Blabberize
Blabberize can also be an effective tool for engaging students when completing exercises on social or political sciences. You could try having students research a particular culture and then create a blabber about how their lives compare to ours. Another approach would be to choose a member of a certain community and have students present the main problems experienced by inhabitants of that region, their current political situation or what life is like for them.
Blabberize for English Language Learning
English language learners are often self-conscious about speaking and afraid to make grammar or pronunciation mistakes. Blabberize can provide a method for dealing with this. First of all, Blabberize is great for vocabulary exercises – instructors can ask students to pick a word and create a blabber of the definition, then share their work with the class. This would help learners to battle their shyness and train their language skills through the mediation of Blabberize and their blabber figure.
Blabberize is not going to cause a Web 2.0 classroom revolution, but it's certainly a fine tool that can spice up a regular lesson plan, helping to focus and engage, and improve knowledge retention.
Kelly Smith is a dedicated tutor and writer. Currently, she develops her passion at Career FAQs, one of the leading providers of career and educational resources in Australia, where she provides career advice for students and job seekers.
Blabberize is a fun site, but definitely check it out before trying it with your students and be aware that it contains ads and spam in the comments. Have you tried it? What did you use it for? And what did your students think? Share with us in the comments!