Apps, Art, Augmented Reality, Education, K-12, Research, Teaching Tools, Videos, Websites

Morfo/Tellagami/Aurasma App Smasharoo

Graphic Design - Canva, Videos created using Morfo and Tellagami, Scan with Aurasma
Graphic Design from Canva. Videos created using Morfo and Tellagami. Scan printed page with Aurasma to make art come to life.

UPDATE:   Tellagami no longer offers the text-to-speech or customization in the free version of the app.  You can read more about the Tellagami changes here.

I decided using three apps and a website for one project was not enough, so I decided to throw another iPad and an additional website into the mix this time. Inspired by these Morfo projects, I thought I would use that app for a lesson I was planning on searching the internet.  My 3rd graders are about to embark on a brief study of Leonardo da Vinci, but I hadn’t told them that yet.  I decided to let them figure out who the mystery artist was by doing an internet search using clues from some of da Vinci’s work. I knew the Mona Lisa would be a dead give-away, so I chose some other pieces from the artist’s massive collection.  I saved four of the portraits/sketches in which the subjects were mostly facing forward (one is not, and her Morfo somewhat suffered as a result) to my Photos on my iPad. Since 3 of the subjects were men, I deliberated on how exactly I was going to record them speaking.  Then I remembered Tellagami.  I got out a second iPad, and typed into Tellagami what I wanted one of the subjects to say.  On the first iPad, I got my Morfo ready to record.  I hit the Record button on Morfo at the same time as the Preview button on Tellagami, and got my video recording without having to fake a deep voice! I created the page using Canva, my new go-to site for graphic design,  to display the four portraits.  You can learn more about Canva here. I uploaded the 4 portraits to Canva, did a couple of page edits and then printed out the final copy. Then I fired up Aurasma Studio on my laptop, and loaded the original images as the triggers, and the Morfo videos as the overlays. I opened Aurasma on an iPad, and scanned the page. Nothing. I realized that my trigger images needed to be from the page I printed, as the original images from the internet were much smoother than what my inkjet printer produced.  I took shots of each image on the printed Canva and loaded those as the trigger images instead. It worked! Each portrait “spoke” when I aimed the iPad at it with the Aurasma app. I’ll be honest.  I wish the Morfo videos merged better with the printed images (maybe some of you have a suggestion?).  Instead, the video overlay puts a black box on top that kind of ruins the effect.  But the students did not mind at all, and were completely engaged in taking notes from the spoken clues.  This will be great prep for when they make their own. So…

Morfo+Tellagami+Aurasma+2 iPads+Canva+Aurasma Studio = Engagement
Morfo+Tellagami+Aurasma+2 iPads+Canva+Aurasma Studio = Engagement

Interested in checking out the finished product?  Be sure to follow the Hidden Forest Elementary channel in the free Aurasma app before you print out and scan this file with Aurasma (and turn up the volume on your device!)  Also, be sure to check out myAugmented Reality page if you are interested in finding more resources.

5-8, 6-12, Apps, Art, Creative Thinking, Education, Fun Friday, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos

Making Art and Artists Come to Life

I can’t believe it’s already Phun Phriday!  This week has flown by!  Despite being super busy,  I managed to collect enough bits and baubles to use in the next ten Phun Phriday posts, so I may be doubling up for the next few weeks!

I saw a tweet about this yesterday, and thought it was such a neat idea for using the Morfo app.  @mrszickartchick shared this YouTube channel of videos her students created where the artists tell you their autobiographies.  It’s a creative way to present that I am definitely going to share with my students.  Even if you don’t plan to use the app, your students would get a kick out of learning about famous artists this way!  Several of the students did their best, even, to use accents and vocabulary that you would hear from each artist, making the videos even more enjoyable.

Screen Shot from Grant G.'s Leonardo da Vinci Morfo presentation
Screen Shot from Grant G.’s Leonardo da Vinci Morfo presentation

And, speaking of artistic impersonations, I wanted to share this, “Famous Works of Art Halloween Costumes“. (Some might be considered inappropriate for young children, so please preview before sharing.)  I really wish I could do this Magritte one this year – but the party I’m attending has a Medieval theme.  Ideas anyone?

image from:
image from:
Apps, Education, Fun Friday, Games, K-12, Research, Social Studies, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos


Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 6.26.34 PM
Morfo is an app that was probably designed purely for entertainment, but some creative teachers have found a way to make it educational.  Because it can be both, I decided to use it for this week’s Fun Friday post.

Morfo is a free app on iTunes that allows you to basically animate a still picture of a face.  After you give the app some direction, the eyes on the face will move around, and you can add a recording that will play as the mouth moves.  You can even change facial expressions.

I was trying to make an example for you, but gave up after I goofed up five recordings.  Fortunately for me, the internet was right at my fingertips.  I found this delightful video that not only explains how to use the Morfo app but, by applying it to a picture of Henry the VIII, gives it the educational tweak that I was trying to achieve.  In addition, the narrator has a lovely accent that sounds much better than any recording I could ever make! Here is the link in case the video does not play: