I was asked to find a Web 2.0 tool that could be used in education/classroom, one that I had not looked at before, therefore making it an uncommon resource tool. Having researched a number of different tools, the one that stood out to me was something called Voki!
So what is Voki? In simple words, it is a fun, free and interactive way to learn! It is an educational tool that allows users to create their very own talking character, which can then be incorporated into a variety of topics and activities (also assessments) in the classroom. What is great about Voki is that it is truely and clearly focused on education, and have created a special “Voki for Education” web site section.
The site offers downloadable user guides for teachers and students, whilst also providing excellent tutorials, a teachers forum for those who may be confused or have any questions, a Voki blog for tips and hints. What is GREAT about Voki is that the TEACHER can create a class and an individual username and password for their pupils to gain access to the virtual class. The pupils DO NOT need to have their own email address to gain access to their class!
You can customize Voki characters to look like historical figures, cartoons, animals, and even yourself. Teachers and students alike can create avatars and use them in a number of ways to make learning fun and more accessible. You can design the avatar’s appearance, add voice, and can get an embed code to pop it into any website. The avatar moves and speaks based on what the caller says. This is great as it truly gets the pupils involved in their learning and makes it fun and alternative as they are able to design their own characters!
Voki Classroom is designed to enhance the way you manage your students’ Voki assignments. There are many more ways you can use Voki speaking avatars in your classroom to help promote learning and greater interaction. You are only limited by your creativity. Some ideas I came across on the net were the following:
- Asking them to create virtual presentations that are created with a Voki speaking avatar and a powerpoint or other presentation. The avatar can guide the presentation, which students will have fun creating (with a little more creative latitude) and their peers will have fun listening to, helping both to learn more.
- Help bring historical and literary figures to life by asking students to create a speaking avatar for them. Not only will students have to create an avatar in that person’s likeness — and may have to imagine it based on cues for literary figures.
- School can record a personalized welcome message and embed onto the school website.
- Create Vokis to let students know what they need to do in class.
- Simply create a Voki (with recorded instructions) for assignment section of your subject, letting students know what they’re expected to do.
- Students can create avatars to share their views on any topic in the school, a current issue in the news, or any other opinions on works or events and have a Voki debate.
There are LOADS of tutorials available for Voki on Youtube and on the official Voki site. However, one tutorial so to speak that I came across and found very useful was the following presentation on slideshare:
This is one Web 2.0 tool I would recommend looking at as it truly is fun and interactive and brings learning to life…literally!