Monday, September 1, 2014

Morfo App for iOS - Animate Your Photos for Class Projects

While attending a technology training in 2013 at our local educational cooperative (Dawson Education Cooperative), I learned about an app that will allow you to animate photos. The app is called Morfo, and it is free! You can animate a photo of a person that you take with a device or a picture that you find online! It will allow you to record up to 30 seconds of audio in a movie format in addition to making the Morfo animated face show basic expressions (smile, frown, scowl, etc). You can even make your Morfo headbang to a rock beat! (Students love doing this.)

I would like to briefly share about how we have used this app over the last two years. I will also provide student example Morfo videos. Finally, I will share a link to our new YouTube video showing how to use the app!

How We Got Started With Morfo

While visiting with our Spanish teacher during a brief lunch break in March of 2013, I told her about this new app I had learned at a tech training. (I like to take advantage of any opportunities to share apps that might be useful to teachers!) I told her she might be able to use it with her classes to have them say something in Spanish and record a video. She was very interested in the concept. She had been looking for a way to utilize our new iPad carts that were available for checkout to classrooms. 

She decided to have her students create a Morfo. They had to tell their name in Spanish in addition to telling how they felt (happy, sad, etc) and make the Morfo reflect that feeling using the available facial expressions. I visited the classes at the beginning of each period to show them the basics of using Morfo. We showed the students how to save the Morfo movie on each iPad, and we had them upload it to a laptop computer in the classroom into a folder for each class period. The next day the students enjoyed their Morfo presentations in class. It was a great success. We did the same project again during the next school year. (It was a favorite of the Spanish teacher and students!)

French Classes Use Morfo

The next school year (2013-2014), we had a new French teacher join our high school faculty. She expressed interest in using technology in the classroom with her French students. I shared this app with her (and the success we enjoyed with the Spanish classes the year before). She agreed to check out an iPad cart. I showed the students the basics of using Morfo prior to starting the project. 

She had these requirements of the students for this French Morfo project: 

They had to include the following items (They had to speak in sentences.):
Descriptions, with adjectives (Ex: I am blonde, funny, and smart)
Descriptions, with nouns (Ex: I am an athlete and a sister)
Description with reason (Ex: I am lazy because I like to sleep)

Here are two videos that were among the best from the French classes last year (We secured permission from these two students.):

The following is a reflection from the French teacher:

"It was one of their favorite things, and I counted it as a speaking assessment grade.  Most students preferred this to any old-school version of reading or memorizing things from a book. This gives them great practice on telling truthful things about themselves.  We all loved it.  And We all loved watching the videos in class together."

There are many potential uses for Morfo in the classroom setting. You could have students pick a President and have that President give a speech (While students are limited to only 30 seconds for each video, it would be easy to record a chain of several 30 second clips, then connect them together using simple video editing software such as iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker). The possibilities are endless! Civics and Social Studies classes are already planning video projects that will utilize Morfo later this school year (2014-2015).

Keep Reading Below! 

We Are Now On 

Please take a look at the following link for a crash course on creating a Morfo from the beginning! This is our new YouTube channel called "The Library Guyz". We plan to use the channel as an extension of this blog and as an extension of the library media center! Please, subscribe to our channel if you would like notifications of new videos that we post in the future. Click HERE to visit our YouTube video about Morfo basics!

Please, let us know if this helps you! We plan to create more tech help videos soon!

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