What it is: Fotobabble seems to be everywhere I am lately, and now that I have had a minute to play with it, I can see why. Just upload a photo, record your voice, and send or embed away. It is very simple to use and has really fun results! The only downside for use in education are: 1. on the home page of Fotobabble you can see other members creations, at the time of writing they are all clean but I would hate to send my kids here without knowing exactly what content they would run into; 2. To use Fotobabble as a student, you must first sign up. This requires an email address 🙁 Which means that under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, that children under the age of 13 cannot sign up for an account on the site for their own creations. I would love to see Fotobabble create an education version that can be used by students under 13 if monitored and signed up by an adult, and without the other user generated content on the home page. That being said, Fotobabble is a fantastic tool for the classroom.
How to integrate Fotobabble into the classroom: Fotobabble can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. For students over 13, it is a great creation tool. Students could take pictures, or find creative commons images that illustrate vocabulary that they are learning and record themselves saying the definition and using the word in a sentence. Students could collect and trade Fotobabble vocabulary with other students in the class and embed them in a blog or wiki to create their own visual talking dictionary. If you teach students younger than 13, have teachers or parent helpers build audio visual dictionaries that can be added to throughout the year. How neat would it be to have a talking, visual word wall?! This would be helpful for math, science, social studies, history, and regular vocabulary words that students learn. The format will be so valuable to your audio and visual learners. Did you take pictures of that field trip? Upload them to Fotobabble and students can record thoughts, observations, and lessons they learned on the field trip. Consider creating a class Fotobabble account that you (the teacher) are in charge of. Upload student illustrations and record a story that they have written using their own voice. This is the perfect type of project to share at parent teacher conference time. Parents can get a good idea of their child’s writing, reading, and fine motor skills all in one spot. If you complete a similar project several times through the year, both students and parents can see the growth and progress that has been made during the school year. Fotobabbles are an outstanding way to send your young students on an Internet scavenger hunt. Along the way, record directions with Fotobabble and embed on your class website, wiki, or blog. Non-readers will be able to listen to, and follow directions for any assignment. Upload a picture of a landmark or map and have students record fun facts that they have learned about the place. Send special messages from your class home to parents in the weekly newsletter. Take a picture of a project that the class has done, or of a fun activity from the week. Students can record a message about upcoming events, fun highlights of the week in learning, and a list of helpers who have signed up for the week. Parents will love hearing their kids give the news updates for the week! Are you wracking your brain for a fun Mother’s/Father’s day activity? Why not record the kids leaving a special message to their parent with a special picture made just for them? Now that is a keepsake!
Tips: Because younger students can’t sign up for their own Fotobabble account, consider creating a class account that you can be in control of. For younger students, having a Fotobabble recording center set up on one of the classroom computers might be appropriate. Since you will control the account, you will be in charge of what content is added by students.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Fotobabble in your classroom.