An iPad in the Instructional Designer’s Hands

There is a lot of noise in the training world about mobile devices, how we deliver training to them, and the impact they have on how colleagues learn and support themselves. But what about the impact they have on how an instructional designer works? What apps do they use, and why? A colleague and I have recently been using our iPads in the design and development of training deliverables. I thought it would be fun and informative to share some of the tools we’ve been using.

My colleague recently created a series of videos using Tellagami, an iPad app used for creating a brief animated video called a Gami.  A Gami can be up to 30 seconds in length and includes a single animated character that recites a brief piece of audio, set against a static background. The Gami can be modified in a few basic ways:

  • Gender
  • Skin Tone
  • Eye Color
  • Hair Style and Color
  • Wardrobe
  • Emotion

You can customize the background as well. Tellagami includes a selection of free images to choose from, the ability to purchase additional packs of images, or you can choose an image from your photo album.

For audio, you can record live audio or you can type the script and allow one of the provided voices to read the script. Your Gami will do their best to keep up with the script, throwing in a few random common movements of their arms. Recorded audio is limited to 30 seconds, while you are limited to 450 characters if you let one of the many Tellagami voices read your script.

While you can customize the character, background, and voice, they remain constant throughout the brief video. One work around for this could be publishing several shorter videos and using a tool like iMovie to merge them into one longer video. One thing to be aware of with this, the Gami character does sway back and forth a bit as they speak, so you may have trouble getting everything to align perfectly.

Gami videos are saved to your camera roll on your device, as .MOV videos.  .MOV is the QuickTime movie format, which can be edited in most Mac OS X video tools. Tellagami is also available on Android devices, but I’m not sure what format they are saved in.

So how have we used Tellagami? My colleague created a series of Tellagami videos to use in simulating a sales conversation with a customer as part of an online course. He published each video, made some minor edits, and integrated them into an online course. While there are limitations to what you can create with Tellagami, the videos were a lot cheaper and quicker to create than live action videos.

Have you used any interesting apps in designing and developing training solutions? Join in and share them in the comments.


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