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 Blabberize or 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?
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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.