Tech Tools & Pedagogy I – ReadtheWords, Voki & xtranormal

Just updated my blog post on using these three tools.

Here is the comparison chart from my post:

Comparing the three applications

Readthewords synthesized voices only

Voki with syntesized voice

Voki your voice or your students’

Xtranormal

syntesized voices only

Restrictions to free accounts

30 second recordings

Approx 60 seconds

Approx 60 seconds

Not sure; no info but at least 5 mins maybe more

Quality of Avatar Voice

Flat and monotonous robotic voice

Flat and monotonous robotic voice

Depends on who records, teacher, students

Same as for other pre-recorded

Avatars Some variety; male avatars look rather odd; can change clothes; hairstyles

All avatars adults

Can play with avatar looks; a lot more variety of looks, clothes, hair, glasses

Includes cartoon characters suitable for children

Includes animal characters suited to children

Can play with avatar looks; a lot more variety of looks, clothes, hair, glasses

Includes cartoon characters suitable for children

Includes animal charactes suited to children

Reasonable range of avatar looks; adults and younger people; teenagers

Includes playmobil like characters and other fun types.

Additional featuresand issues - Speaker speed can be adjusted

- Advice given on how to deal with mispronounced terms

- Can insert longer pauses

- Video is saved on the application server but can also be downloaded and brought to class in a flash stick or CD

- Can choose from a limited number of male/female voices and accents

- Video is saved on the application server but can also be downloaded and brought to class in a flash stick or CD

- Microphone can be external or internal

- Can have two voices recording a dialogue too (though only one avatar)

- The message can also be sent by phone.

- Sometimes start of recording gets chopped off

- Two characters can be used who interact

- Variety of backgrounds/ settings

- Camera anges (10)

- Characters can be given additional movements and expressions

- Cues to all these tools are visual

- online video tutorial available

Online
tutorials
Video tutorial Available

Additional tips also available

No video tutorial but instructions quite clear No video tutorial but instructions quite clear Video tutorial available
Pronunciation Minimal sound linking

Wrong rhythm & stress

Unnatural pauses/wrong chunking

Flat android intonation

Minimal sound linking

Wrong rhythm & stress

Unnatural pauses/wrong chunking

Flat monotonous intonation

Very good if teacher recorded

Can be excellent motivation for student reading aloud challenges with a focus on good pronunciation

Minimal sound linking

Wrong rhythm & stress

Unnatural pauses/wrong chunking

Flat android intonation

Ease of Use for teachers Relatively easy to use; need to know how to embed but also possible to send link by email Relatively easy to use; need to know how to embed but also possible to send link by email Relatively easy to use; need to know how to embed but also possible to send link by email More complicated as there are camera angles to choose from – can easily confuse someone not used to dealing with such applications
Ease of use for students Instructions in tutorial may be too complicated for lower level students but the visual element helps Instructions have to be read but the application runs alongside them and it is not too difficult to see what to do. Instructions have to be read but the application runs alongside them and it is not too difficult to see what to do. Instructions in tutorial may be too complicated for lower level students but the visual element helps





































If you would like to read some ideas of classroom uses please click here to read original post.

Views: 154

Comment by Grace Gorman on November 20, 2010 at 2:51pm
I use VOki with 4 th grade ESL students to improve their pronunciation. It records for 90 seconds. They do short book reports or oral reports. They listen and if it's not clear they an erase it and practice till it is good.
Comment by Marisa Constantinides on November 20, 2010 at 2:57pm
Thanks for sharing that - will try to correct my post

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