Using Digital Avatars in the Classroom Presented by Jessica Fobert
What is an Avatar? A computer representation of oneself through in the form of a character. There are many different programs available through Web 2.0 that allow you to create a free avatar. Tonight we will explore three of these sites...
Gravatar Gravatar is a site that allows you to upload your Avatar, and create settings to that your avatar will follow you from place to place. If you plan to use avatars in your classroom make sure that your students register with this site. SAFETY FIRST - Any parent would agree, it is better to have a digital representation of the student on the sites they follow, than actual pictures of themselves
Be Funky BeFunky allows the user to cartoonize any picture. Students can create an avatar from their own picture Images can be manipulated in many different ways (the original source could be unrecognizable)
Be Funky contd...
Also a great tool for digital storytelling:
students can create their own stories
students can take digital pictures on field
trips and then write reflectively about what
Be Funky contd... After editing their photos students can visit the site Stupefix.com to create a slide show with a voice-over or... They can create animated posters at Glogster.com
Voki What does Voki mean?
What is Voki?
a Web 2.0 tool
allows users to create a talking character
enables users to express themselves on the web
can be customized to look like you or many other identities (celebrity, animal, monster, etc.)
can use your own voice or a digital representation
When to use Voki:
to introduce a new course or topic
great for audio/visual learners
great for getting shy students involved
great for practicing a language foreign to the student
to build students' speech, listening skills and pronunciation
Why we should use Voki in the classroom:
necessitates computer-pupil interaction ( a great motivating factor )
enables the pupil to create something truly unique
facilitates the transition from teacher-centered, class-based learning, to the pupil being the one responsible for individual responsibility
quieter pupils can make their presence be felt and heard
allows pupils to role play and hide behind the mask of their avatar ( appeals to more reluctant speakers ) --- children can gain self assurance!
students learning a second language can create a Voki with a script and then listen back to their grammar and pronunciation and make corrections where needed
How to use Voki with your students:
Students can create an avatar to resemble a character from a story, add a setting, and give speech. Their script could be based on the story, or from a creative point of view from a character in the story.
Students can exchange Voki's with epals in their setting or globally. They can discuss current event, trends, or lessons.
How to use Voki with your students contd:
Have the student write an 80-100 word description of them self (describing their town, family, friends, etc.) and create a Voki representing them self. The writing must include a variety of vocabulary, sentence structures, and conjunctions. When the Voki's are completed and graded add them to a class blog for classmates and parents to view - students can also perform peer reviews with 3 + and a wish! ( would also work for ESL, or teaching a foreign
Where to start?
start by teaching your students how to navigate the website in the classroom - then assign the actual creation of the Voki to be done at home (providing the student has internet access there).
students will come out of their shell at home, they won't hold back due to shyness or fear of peer feedback - they will create!
Let's go! The use of all of the discussed Web 2.0 tools will motivate your students! They want to learn in a current (digital!) way. By using these tools you will engage your students and appeal to their interest in the high-tech. Make your classroom a 21st Century learning environment!