Tellagami App – creating animated messages..


Tellagami is an app which allows you to create a short 30 second animated movie called a ‘gami’ (It is free for a limited time from the iTunes store). It is very similar to creating a Voki for those of you who may have used Voki and is very simple. You start by creating and customizing a character and then selecting an appropriate background (you can if you wish take a picture of your classroom or another area and use this as the background). Finally you decide how you want your character to talk. You can type in text (choice of male / female and a few accents) or you can record your voice (limited to 30 secs). Here is a quick video (not surprisingly a ‘gami’ explaining the Tellagami:


Great potential for creating little video clips of characters – these could be historical characters with extracts of speeches or characters putting across a point of view in a debate. These could also be little starters to lessons to set the scene. This could be useful in various areas of the curriculum. Students could also write 30 sec scripts and create their own Tellagami’s

A handful of useful ideas for using Tellagami in the classroom

Create narrated animations on your iPad

Stop Motion Animations – MonkeyJam

A colleague has asked me to help with some ideas for how to carry out stop motion animation that they wish to get their students involved in and this has made me pause to evaluate the options with regards to stop motion animation. I firstly remembered the useful video below which I blogged about back in 2010.

We have used stop-motion animation in the Geography Department for a couple of years to encourage students to apply knowledge and understanding in the formation and development of coastal landforms and also in documenting the processes and features created at different plate boundaries in the study of plate tectonics. We have used plasticine for students to create and manipulate models and used flip cams to record stills which have then been stitched together in moviemaker. The results have been variable, there have been some great films produced, whilst others have been less successful. The method we have used in the past has been quite time consuming which has meant that some have been started and not finished, some have also been quite ‘stop start’ and lack the smooth look of some animations. I am therefore keen to look at how we can rationalise the process and what other software could be used. I am therefore going to have a look at MonkeyJam, a free stop-motion animation programme.

There are a number of basic tutorials available on YouTube for how to use MonkeyJam (see below) and by all accounts it seems very user friendly.

MonkeyJam seems to work well with a web cam as shown in the video, however this tutorial video from the BBC show how to use a digital camera and simply then import the images into Monkeyjam to carry out 2D animation; the beauty of the webcam however is the ability to capture straight into the Monkeyjam software.

There are some great examples of stop-motion animations on YouTube using lego figures – for example this short one on Free Running

I am looking forward to seeing what our students might be able to produce!

StudyJams for Maths and Science

Thanks to Danny Nicholson (Whiteboard Blog) for the heads up on these excellent resources for Science and Maths (would be very useful for KS3). StudyJams is a website from Scholastic with many free resources, including teaching videos / animations and slide shows on a variety of Science and Maths topics. Each topic covered also has key vocabulary lists as well as a test yourself option and some even have fun ‘Karaoke’ sing alongs to help revise concepts! Well worth a look!

Stop Motion Animation

Here is a superb instruction video useful for students on how to make stop-motion animation! It was made by Catherine Elliott, the training manager at Sheffield South City Learning Centre. (some other great ideas from Catherine can be found in this post on Joe Dale’s MFL blog)

 Could be very useful in many different curriculum areas, we have already used it successfully in geography this year for students to explore the formation of coastal landforms and some classes in science have been using it show animations of cell development. There are many other potential uses, for example in languages for students to design and narrate a short scene in their chosen language – using the mp3 microphones to create a soundtrack to go over their animation.

Capturing Digital Media for the IWB – 1. Animations


We have all been there – we have found the perfect flash animation on a website we use in our schemes of work, but when we go back to it the site is no longer available or we can’t remember the URL! Don’t panic, whilst you need to be aware of any copyright restrictions, it is possible to capture flash animations from the web which can then be imported directly into SMART notebook and used as part of lesson. Whilst animated clipart which are actually .gifs are quite easy to save, in order to capture a flash animation .swf file we need to use a piece of software.

There are a number of free as well as commercial resources which will help you with this. The Sothink SWF catcher is a free option which is available to download for both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Another option which I have found successful in the past is Flash Saving Plugin which is freeware for use with Internet Explorer.

Below is a simple tutorial for downloading a flash file using the Sothink SWF Catcher for Internet Explorer.

1. Firstly download the software to your computer. You will then need to extract the files and select the option to run the programme.

2. If you have your Internet Explorer browser open you will then need to close it and re-open it. You will not see any difference when you re-open apart from the fact you now have a new option under “Tools” on the browser bar.

3. To download your flash file, select the website which contains the flash animation and then from Tools, select SothinkSWF Catcher


4. At the top of the box it saves “Save to” – this is the default area to which your animation will be stored when saved. If you want to change this location, before clicking on Save – click on Settings


5. You now need to choose the directory and folder in which you want to store your downloaded animation, this is important so that you know where to look for the file once it has been saved!


6. Finally click “Save” and the animation will be saved to the folder you indicated in the Settings profile.


8. You have now captured your flash file and it is ready to use in SMART notebook – simply open up a new notebook file – click on INSERT and select flash file


9. Finally navigate to the directory / folder where your animation is stored and click ok – your animation will now appear in your notebook – you can now add text around it / change background / add other resources (e.g. with the chosen animation of meander formation, I might also add in a photograph of a meander and a video clip by the side to help students visualise the development of the landform and enabling them to then come up and write labels on to explain the formation.