Educators connect with students & parents using Voki animated avatar
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April 14, 2013 By: Lisa Nielsen
With Voki (www.Voki.com) you can share a message using an animated avatar that talks. It is created using a student’s own voice recorded right from any phone. You can design the avatar’s appearance, add voice, and can get an embed code to pop it into any web2.0 compatible site (Wikis, Blogs, Facebook, Websites) or even powerpoint. The avatar moves and speaks based on what the caller says.
Not only does Voki provide a fun way to share information with parents but you can also capture anyone’s message with a cell phone. This means once you set up the Voki up on any computer you can hand phone to a student, teacher, principal or yourself to capture a powerful words and ideas to share.
Who's doing this?
- Greg Miller - Primary school principal
Since Vokis are easily embeddable school staff often use Voki to record introduction messages for their school websites. For example, special education teacher Kim Gill embedded a Voki to welcome students and parents to their home page (http://teachers.wrdsb.ca/gillk). Primary school Principal Greg Miller recorded a personalized welcome message and embedded onto the school website.
- Lynda Leimbach - High school technology integrator
When Lydia Leimbach can’t be at her school in Farmingdale, Maine, Voki is in. She creates Vokis to let students know what they need to do in class. In the assignments section of her class web page, she simply creates a Voki for each subject area that day letting students know what they’re expected to do with further directions embedded right on the page.
- Chase Young -Second grade teacher
Dr. Young’s Students use Voki to listen to their writing aloud. They use this 21st century method for proofreading when students do not read over their writing or are unaware of mistakes in their story. Students use this self-discovery strategy of revision and editing in order to privately critique their own work before conferring with the teacher. See what it looks like here http://youtu.be/Y9gHpIH9RTA
- Jennifer Matthews - Primary school enrichment teacher
Jennifer Matthews has students create Vokis to show what they know. She places their Vokis onto the class page of her website and shares them with parents to give provide insight into what their children are learning in class.
More ideas for learning
- Practicing Language
Whether a student is learning English as a second language or taking a Spanish, French, or other foreign language class, practice speaking the language is vital. Many students are often embarrassed or feel very uncomfortable pronouncing the foreign words. Voki allows them to speak into their phones and the avatar do the presenting for them.
Have students create avatars stating their view on a hot issue in your school, a current issue in the news, or opinions on works of literature, historical figures, or events and have a Voki debate.
Voki can provide a new form of book review or oral report. The Voki testimonial allows students to present in a way that can be shared with more than just their class period. With practice, the phone call can be delivered with feeling, emotion, and passion so when the Voki speaks it is very effective. Students are often less shy when speaking into their phones and the quality of reports is high. This can be a useful step in helping students gain experience and confidence before actual presentations or speeches.
- Register at www.Voki.com with your email and password.
- Select create.
- Select a character.
- Select the look, clothing and accessories.
- Add your voice by calling the number Voki provides, or have Voki call your number by entering it.
- Choose a background from the Voki library or upload your own.
- Click Publish to email to a friend or get code to take your Voki avatar anywhere
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.