Top Tips For Morfo
PLAY TO LEARN
Whenever I introduce a new app to students I allow them 5 minutes of play time before doing anything else. This has two benefits. Firstly, they will self-teach themselves the core interface and peer-teach elements that they discover before their friends. Rather than answering a steady stream of questions, they will find their own answers and retain the information more readily. Secondly those that are prone to messing around with apps will have the chance to “get it out of their systems!” Morfo has several functions designed purely for fun (the dancing being the key one) and it’s better to let them try it now than find it later and have it ripple around the classroom causing distraction.
Ensure that the subject is faced straight on in the image as it will help prevent creating a skewed avatar. This is particularly important when it comes to animating the mouth!
KEEP THE BACKGROUND PLAIN
Morfo needs to be able to identify the edge of the face it is being presented so choose a sensibly plain background in order to make the process much easier and the results more accurate.
TAKE YOUR TIME
Once the initial image is selected, Morfo will create the basic avatar. Ensure users take the time to fine tune the image. Options here allow for more precise replicas of the subject to be created by carefully positioning noses, eyes and mouths. Rushing here will potentially ruin the whole effect.
PURCHASE THE PACKS
In order to get the most out of the app as an educator, you’ll need to invest in some of the costume packs. Of particular note are the Animal, Superhero and Fantasy Hero packs. Which leads to…
LOOK FOR LINKS
What topics are you covering? When we were working on Vikings, the Fantasy Heroes pack came in handy. Children were able to turn themselves into the heroes of their own Viking tales, creating well-invested learners! Perhaps you are working on superheroes or animals? Of course if you can’t make one of the packs work for you then there are other ways to use the app…
RAISE THE DEAD
Rather than take a photo of the student, have them search for relevant images online that suit a given topic. For example a WW2 topic could mean an image of Churchill or Hitler could be put to use here. Simply bring that image into Morfo and before you know it they will be animated and the students will be able to put words in their mouths. This trick can also be applied especially well to statues, busts and the like – suddenly Socrates is philosophising once more! How about bringing the Sphinx to life to share a riddle?
COMBO WITH OTHER APPS
Don’t forget that apps can be combined with Morfo to vary effects. An image could be run through an aging booth app for example before bringing it into Morfo to allow a young student to create an animated grandfather character.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE RESULTS
Morfos can be exported as a still image or in the form of a 30 second video clip. They can be saved out to the camera roll and thus are suitable for further insertion into other apps like Book Creator or iMovie. Images can also be given a name or heading and the face contorted to show an emotion in the picture.
Another nice idea is to combine Morfo with an augmented reality app like Aurasma. Take an image and a video of a Morfo. Print the image for a classroom display and then use Aurasma to tag the video to the image. Visitors can then use an iPad to watch the faces on the display come to life and explain who they are or what they do! Pretty impressive when seen in action.
Morfo is a brilliantly fun app that was not intended for the educational market but has a variety of uses in the classroom. Here is our guide to getting the best results from the app as well as some suggestions for how to harness it in school.