Crazy Talk is a software program that must be downloaded to your computer in order to use it. It is not free (I purchased the "bare bones" basic package at the educator rate of $39.95, and it has been more than enough to dazzle my students. Essentially, Crazy Talk allows you to use any picture and, after lining up a few dots and dropping in an audio file, animate it! For my first project, I used a picture of Langston Hughes and an audio files of him reading "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." I loved the reaction from my students! Now, this can become a time-consuming project, if you are a perfectionist who insists on everything looking completely perfect, but I have to admit that it is a lot of fun. Also, the company offers a free trial version (the final product will appear with a watermark) so you can try before you buy. If this seems too complex and it's just not for you, I recommend trying Blabberize for a similar effect. The drawback to Blabberize is that the end product is not nearly as professional-looking; however, the time and money saved might be enough to keep you happy.
Jessica Pilgreen is a high school English teacher, a Doctoral student at University of Missouri St. Louis, and a technology enthusiast. The main purpose of this blog is to help her keep track of all of the fabulous tools out there that she has encountered, but if she can help a few others along the way, that's good, too.