How I Use It
I teach preschool students with developmental delays, so I haven't used this product directly with my students because they could not operate it independently. However, I have used this app extensively myself. It creates a very personalized finished product with animated gestures that match the recorded message. I think this is the kind of app that could be useful if students are presenting a summary from a research project, biography, explanation of their thinking, or new understandings. Though the free version limits the recording to 30 seconds, I found that I can record multiple sessions and string them together easily using YouTube's free video editor. This might be a challenge for students, but could be useful to adults who are using this app for other purposes. Additionally, a teacher might have multiple students/groups create 30 second projects and then the teacher could edit them together on YouTube to create a final class sharable project. I have never had trouble with the app itself freezing, closing, or failing to record. However, it can be frustrating to get everything crammed into the 30 second limit for the free version.
Overall, this app does cool things. However, it would be hard to use this app as a tool for thinking. Instead, it's really just another fancy way for students to present something that they already know (i.e. cooler than powerpoint, but still a presentation). One major downside to this app is that the free version can only be up to 30 seconds recordings. Unless students are very succinct, it could be challenging to finish their message in that timeframe. Additionally, the gami could either motivate or distract. If you have students that obsess over playing with the details, they might spend more time dressing their gami than focusing on learning. I think this app might work well as an assignment extension if students finish their work early. For example, students might choose to extend their thinking by recording a Tellagami presentation if they finish editing their writing/report with extra time to spare. I really don't think that this would be a good use of instructional time--just for the sake of using technology--to make all students use this app as some type of assigned project. I think it could take away learning time to create the gamis and deal with multiple retakes to get the message recorded accurately within the short, 30-second window.