Monday, 7 July 2008

Karaoke with a Social Network

Well it had to happen! As every other kind of site these days has a social network attached to it, why not karaoke too?The site I've been looking at is called RedKaraoke and it has quite a few useful features. There isn't a huge range of songs there yet, but users can upload their own, it also has a web cam feature so for potential singers who want to be seen as well as heard you can have your web cam hooked up while you sing.

As with most karaoke, there are background tracks and you see the words of the lyrics highlighted as you are supposed to sing them. You can rate other singers too and have your own profile as well as take part in forums (mainly used for technical support by the looks of things) and there's also synchronous chat too.

Click image to enlarge

The high ranking singers get pushed to the top, and if you like someone you can leave encouraging messages of support.

So why use this with EFL students?
Anyone who has ever taught a EFL / ELT will know how powerful and motivating music and song can be to help students acquire language, so sites like this can be really useful.

  • If your students are interested in music and singing, you can get them along to the site to record a few of their favourite songs (Onlye the more confident students though)
  • You can get students to listen and rate other singers too and leave messages for them if they like them (though don't encourage messages to singers they don't like)
  • The site has the words and music to quite few songs, so even if your students don't feel confident enough to record themsleves, they could still get some practice in the privacy of their own homes.
  • If students do record themselves you can get them to rate each other and see if any of your students can get into the top ranking list.
What I like about it
  • Well as ever for me the first attraction is that it's free.
  • There are a range of songs and it's not all in English, so if you are teaching or learning other languages then there is potential material here.
  • I like that you can have the web cam recording too.
  • The interface is quite easy to get around simple to use.
What I wasn't so sure about
  • I think this is going to be pretty bandwidth hungry, especially if you are using a web cam too, so only one for broadband users working alone from home.
  • The quality of some of the sound files wasn't so great, but that's always going to be the case with Web 2.0 type content.
  • Looks from the forum like a few people have had problems with getting their recording synchronised, though I'm guessing that switching off the wqebcam would help with this.
  • As with any site where students are asked to register and add a profile, be sure your students know how to protect their pivacy and personal information.
In theory, if you have students who like karaoke, this could be a potentially very useful site. To be honest I'm not a great fan of the art and have to admit that I didn't make recording myslef, but thought I would share the site anyway, as I know some teachers and students really enjoy it.

Hers the ful URL of the site: http://www.redkaraoke.com/

Hope you find this useful

Best

Nik Peachey

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