Every Friday, I’ll send you a wonderful website (or more) that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.
3rd and up
Avatars are always exciting for students. What’s not to like about the visual sharing of information? Avatars can represent a student’s safe face on the internet, an image of who they think they are (or want to be), the identifier for their blogs/wikis, the character they animate with Go Animate or so many other options.
Better yet is a talking avatar like Voki. This online communication tool requires no log-in or password for students, but you may choose to set up a class account to collect student projects. With Voki, students create a person, animal, fantasy character or any number of selections from the gallery, add audio via mic, text or call-in, a background from Voki’s selections or one uploaded by the student (say, one that corresponds to a story being read in class), and whatever bling makes this Voki unique to the student. Once the Voki avatar is completed, it can be added to blogs, wikis, websites via a static image or an embed to keep it’s interactive characteristics.
The website also offers lesson plans to spark your imagination. Here are some I’ve used:
- have a Voki be a character in a book to discuss the story. Each student can create a Voki until all characters are covered. Then, add them to an online class page on that book.
- have a Voki introduce the student’s web page or blog.
- have the Voki reinforce a unit on online privacy
What are your favorite ways to use Vokis in your classroom?
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.