I can honestly say that I have taken Avatars and run with them! I think this an amazing tool to use in the classroom, it is fast, simple and effective. I wanted to use these to deliver a lesson on earthquakes and my mentor teachers were also trying to teach their students how to take notes. I decided to use the avatars to give them short bursts of information throughout my power point presentation. This broke the presentation up and gave the students something new to look at.
However, the Voki site avatars did not allow for more than about 40 seconds worth of information, so I signed up for the 15 day free trial with SitePal. I now have access to hundreds of avatars, options and voices using this free trial. I began creating my four characters, but could not figure out why they weren't saving. After literally an hour, and reading through the help sections, I found that you need to hit save twice, once in the voice option, and once at the end. Finally I had my avatars ready to go, but then I realised that you can't put them on a power point presentation, so, being the 'blog specialist' that I now am, I created another blog, especially for this lesson.
Avatars can be created to relate to any audience, and they are an effective engagement tool because "they provide the human element to online teaching" (Classrooms Without Walls, 2007). I am asking my year four students to take notes from my avatars, then, in groups, create their own avatar to report back to me about what they learnt. The students can then donate this to the world wide web my embedding them onto the blog I created specially for them. When students upload a project onto the world wide web, they realise that anyone is going to be able to see their work, not just the teacher, so they try their hardest to do their best work (Smith, 2008). Avatars provide an excellent way to engage students in their work and ICT's, an they can be used for just about any KLA there is.
- Classrooms Without Walls, (2007). Avatars and Education . Retrieved July 27, 2009, from
- Smith, B. (2008). Transparent Learning: Avatars. Retrieved July 27, 2009, from
Here is the link to my earthquake blog with the four avatars I created: