In this post I would like to share with you my thoughts about a great e-learning tool that is fun, engaging, time consuming to make as it can be addictive but very easy to incorporate in any classroom from prep to year twelve.
It is a Voki Avatar!
How do you create one?
Creating a voki avatar was a simple and free process, I joined the site and spent quite a while playing with a variety of characters from, aliens, dogs, politicians and many others. Finally settling with my character as you can see featured below, I found this website engaging and easy to navigate to produce my avatar.
Click here to have a go!
How can this tool be used in the classroom?
This tool can be useful in helping a variety of learners for a number of different reasons. I think that this tool would be an effective and engaging hook at the beginning of a new unit or an assessment task as students of today can be considered ‘digital natives’, therefore they require different methods of engagement compared to students from the past (Prensky, 2001).
As Prensky (2001) states students have been exposed to technology such as mobile phones and computers which have contributed to shorten their attention spans. Therefore as learning managers, our role must ensure that we incorporate a futures orientated pedagogy when educating our students, rather than following traditional teaching methods (Prensky, 2001).
Embedding avatars into the curriculum would align with students fast paced and technology rich society (Prensky, 2005). The use of an avatar would be an effective tool for ESL students. Especially from working with prep students, I feel avatars can be helpful to develop students’ language, reading and writing skills. Students can record their own voices and the learning manager could model when needed, enhancing students speech and pronunciation of difficult words.
Incorporating the use of voki avatars for individuals or for a class activity is an effective strategic plan to ensure student success and to enhance their learning in a futures orientated way as suggested in Oliver’s learning design framework (AusInfo, 2003).
I feel that this tool is a wonderful and engaging source that can be used within the classroom as a pedagogical tool for specific individuals or a way of engaging the whole class to ensure learning outcomes are met.
Until next time,
AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved August 14 , 2009, from Learning Design: http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm
Oddcast, Inc. (2007-2008). Voki Avatars. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from http://www.voki.com/mywebsite.php
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Native, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon , 9 (5), 1-6.
Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me. Educause Review , 61-64.