Little Jimmy hate poetry? Not anymore! Use Autorap to engage musical and auditory learners by turning poems and more into beats!
AutoRap by Smule is an Android and iOS app that turns your speech into a rap. The app is free to download and includes free tracks as well as paid tracks. And don’t worry–you don’t need to be a rapper (or have any musical talent at all) in order to create some pretty cool beats.
This app would greatly benefit auditory learners, who learn best by “listening to what is being presented” and “hearing [their] own voice repeating something back” (mindtools.com). Of course, it would also benefit learners with musical intelligence, one of the seven distinct intelligences suggested by cognitive psychologist Howard Gardner. Carla Lane, author of The Distance Learning Technology Resource Guide, summarizes Gardner’s theory, stating that musical learners
“show sensitivity to rhythm and sound. They love music, but they are also sensitive to sounds in their environments. They may study better with music in the background. They can be taught by turning lessons into lyrics, speaking rhythmically, tapping out time. Tools include musical instruments, music, radio, stereo, CD-ROM, multimedia.”
You can read more about auditory learners here, or Gardner’s Theory of Multiple intelligences here.
Finally, here are a few ways you could incorporate AutoRap into your lessons:
- Have students write and record their own poetry, especially to learn and practice sound devices such as alliteration, assonance, consonance, rhyme scheme, or meter.
- Have students record vocabulary words, mathematical equations, scientific terms, or historical dates and figures to memorize.
- Host a rap battle with any topic by pitting teams against each other and having the class vote on the best rap. Use a basketball bracket like this one to keep track of the winning record.
Do you have other ideas for how to use AutoRap in the classroom? Feel free to leave comments!
Use VoiceThread and Adobe Spark Video in tandem with Google Slides to reach auditory and visual learners, as well as struggling readers.
Teacher: A simile is a comparison using the words like or as.
Student: What is a simile?
As teachers, we have all been here (a few thousand times). There is always at least one kid who isn’t paying attention, or genuinely needs to hear a piece of information more than once. Adding voice narration to your Google Slides presentations is a great way to reach auditory and visual learners, as well as students who may have difficulty with the material. Struggling readers will also appreciate being able to listen as they read along with the slideshow. You can even assign presentations for homework the night before to give students a chance to preview the material before class (great for flipped classrooms!).
Google Slides is Google’s free, online version of Microsoft PowerPoint. Unfortunately, it does not have a built-in tool for adding voiceovers. However, there are several ways to get around this. I will cover two methods here, one for its efficiency and ease of use, and the other for its $0 pricetag:
- VoiceThread: Voicethread.com allows you to upload pictures and add text, audio, or even webcam narration to them. This is an easy and efficient option for adding voiceover to a Google Slides presentation. In addition, students can comment on each slide using text or voice, so VoiceThread is a great tool for collaborating and evaluating information. Downside: with a free account, you can only make a limited number of presentations, so Voicethread is a good option for limited use. Watch the video here to learn how to create a Voicethread.
- Adobe Spark Video: Adobe Spark Video is totally free; it is available online as well as for iOS. Just like VoiceThread, Spark Video allows you to upload pictures and add audio to them with the press of a button. You can also choose your background and layout, and even add background music to your slideshow. Get started with Adobe Spark Video here!
With both of these options, you will need to save each individual slide in your Google Slides presentation as a picture so you can upload it to either of the websites. Here’s how to do it:
- Click on the slide you want to download as a picture.
- Click on “File,” then “Download as” at the top left:
- Choose “JPEG image (.jpg, current slide). This will save the individual slide as a picture rather than saving your entire slideshow as one document.
- Click on the next slide in your Google Slides presentation and repeat steps 1-3. You will need to save each slide in your presentation in order to create your voiceover in VoiceThread or Adobe Spark Video. Once you have saved each slide as a picture, you can upload them to Voicethread or Adobe Spark Video by searching “My computer” and looking under your most recent downloads.
You can view some of my slideshows at the links below:
- To Kill a Mockingbird: Understanding Identity (VoiceThread)
- Adverbs (VoiceThread)
- Elements of a Sentence (Adobe Spark Video)
- Clauses (Adobe Spark Video)
I hope you have enjoyed this how-to! Now you can create beautiful slideshows with voice narration using Google Slides and VoiceThread, or Adobe Spark Video.