Friday 17 October 2008

Exploiting Image Sequences

I have to admit that when I first saw Bubblr, I thought it was just a simple tool for adding speech and thought bubbles to images, but when I started to try it out I discovered that it can do far more than that.

You can use Bubblr to search through Flickr images, then drag them onto an image line and create a long sequences of images with text /speech bubbles / thought bubbles etc. These can then be printed, saved online or embedded into a blog.

This quick tutorial shows you how it's done.

Right click to download an .mov version Bubblr tutorial

So how can we use this with our EFL ESL Students?

  • Possibly one of the easiest ways to use this tool is like a picture dictionary. If you have a data projector in your classroom you can use it live to cross-check vocabulary and ask your students which they think is the best image to depict a word. By the end of the class you could have a sequence of images that represent all the new words students have learned in that lesson and then simply upload them to a class blog.
  • This could even prompt some discussion of more complex words. For example, which of these would be the best image to represent the word 'Medication'?

  • Your students could create and save their own vocabulary records and even upload them to their own or a class blog to share.
  • You could use a collection of images based around a theme as a prompt for essay writing or discussion. These are images all based around the key word Poverty.

  • You could create images of poems or haiku by finding images based around key words in the poem. You could use these without the words as prompts to help students memorise poems. Here's an example Haiku

  • You could use it for its intended purpose and create comic strips for your students, get them to create their own comic strips, or create your own strips and ask them to add the text. What do you think these people are saying? Conversations

  • If you are feeling really experimental you could try using a collection of images in place of your power point presentation. You can use images to make a strong visual connection to what you are saying and people are much more likely to listen to you if they aren't trying to read text or bullet points.
  • You could use images to revise different verb forms. Here's an example Haircut

What I like about it
  • The site is free and easy to use and gives you access to a huge volume of images that can easily be searched.
  • You can produce materials and activities really quickly.
  • I really like that you can embed the image sequences into blogs or link to them.
  • You don't have to register or part with any personal information or even an email address.
  • You an create online materials or print up on paper.
What I'm not so sure about
  • You should be careful about letting younger learners use the site as some of the images can be more adult orientated.
  • The search depends on the tags that users have labeled their images with and these can sometimes seem a bit odd. This can be used to your advantage though as you can get students to talk think about the association between the image and the search word.
Well I hope you find this a useful tool and if you think of other uses for it by all means leave a comment.

Related links:


Nik Peachey


Unknown said...

This "Bubblr tutorial" is so cool, connecting words with images is interesting enough for students to motivate to study by using it. They would love to create their own! Especially, the conversation section will be a lot helpful for ESL students as you said. Besides, animated conversation tool was also so much of fun to do. EFL students usually focus on grammar or reading parts; that's why they cannot speak English very well even though they already have studied about English. So, I do believe that these programs would break the trauma for ESL or EFL students to open their mouth.

Nik Peachey said...

Thanks Seohee,

I think you're right. This is a really good tool and has almost limitless potential. I really hope your students enjoy using it.



My eBooks and Lesson Plans