Thursday, July 3, 2008

Abbyme...Mobile Messaging for Students AND Inclusive for Hearing/Visually Impaired.

I recently started using AbbyMe. AbbyMe is a mobile messaging service. AbbyMe will call anyone's cell phone (or multiple cell phones at once) with a personal message. There are multiple ways to create mobile messages in AbbyMe. First, you can type in a text message and set a specific date and time to send an audio form of the message to any cell phone (Text to Speech). Additionally, AbbyMe can call you (at any number, does not have to be a cell phone) and you can record a voice message to send to anyone's cell phone. I like this tool for hearing imparied students, because they can type in their messages on the Internet browser and it will send the audio form (No Text Messaging charges!!!! YIPPEE!). On the flip-side I like this tool for visually impaired students because they can use the cell-phone audio recording feature (where AbbyMe will call your phone so you can record a message) and VI students can listen to the text messages on their cell phones.

The Pros
No Cost!
No Text Messaging Charges, since the message is audio.
Messages can be sent to cell phones and landlines (very inclusive)
Messages can be sent at a specific time/date for reminders
Messages can be your own voice or you can use the recorded voice.
Once messages are recorded (you can also upload audio files), you can resend recorded messages as a group or "playlist" to other cell phones.
One message can be sent to multiple cell phones at once.
Private files and teacher controls in the account.
Multiple people can record messages into one account
Students do not need an account to use this service.

The Cons
When AbbyMe calls to record a message, I cannot figure out/if you can set a time for AbbyMe to call you (it seems to be random. For example I set up the record last night at 11:00pm, but AbbyMe did not call me until 9:00am). It is not an immediate call.

Classroom Applications
This is a fantastic resource for students to use to remind themselves of tests, group meetings, activities, and homework assignments. This is also a nice way for teachers to send out a message about school activities to parents and/or students without having to call 30 or 100 of them. Additionally teachers can send out reminders about assignments, or even give assignments (such as a scavenger hunt, where the teacher calls students phones at random times with facts/items...etc to find and the students can message back when they have found them).

AbbyMe will allow you (and anyone else you want) to record a message by cell phone, and once the messages are record (multiple students can record in the same private account) they can be put in a play list and then all the recordings can be resent at once to cellphones. This would be a great tool for creating CellCasts (cell phone podcasts or radio broadcasts). Students in one could create radio theater, and then send them to "subscribers" such as parents. Students could also use this feature to develop podcast "flash cards" for reviews or brainstorming sessions.

Using the play list feature, students could each record think-a-louds or read-a-louds. In a think-a-loud the teacher can ask for students to call in (using the record feature on the teacher's account) to answer an inquiry question such as "What do you think the main cause of civil war was and why?" from the homework assignment, and piece them together in the play list which can be resent to cell phones for reviews. For a read-a-loud students could record themselves each reading a different portion of a text. Once in the play list, the teacher could piece it together and send it out as an entire storybook.

This is a nice resource for teachers to give their students feedback on assignments. Since teachers can type in the feedback and have it sent at a specific date/time. They also get a record of their calls, so they will have a nice record of the feedback for all students.

1 comment:

irasocol said...

Great resource! Thanks. I'll need to play.

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