Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Give Students a Voice (and Face) with Voki

Voki is a terrific way to enable your students to share a message using an animated avatar that talks created using their own voice recorded right from their phone. Students design their avatar’s appearance, add their voice, and can pop it into any web2.0 compatible site (Wikis, Blogs, Facebook, Websites). The avatar moves and speaks based on what you say.

Ideas for Using Voki with Students

1) The review/proofing stage of the writing process can be a drag and is quite often skipped over. The Voki avatar can increase interest in this phase, give students another lens through which they can review their writing, sharpen their speaking and listening skills, and add another creative outlet for displaying their work in their digital portfolios. ~Jim McDermott, New York City Educational Administrator

2) We noticed during our publishing and celebrating parties, that many students, including special ed., ELL, and regular ed. were uncomfortable reading their work aloud to the class. Thanks to Lisa's heads-up about voki.com, we are allowing them to present their work through the use of an online customizable avatar. The avatar speaks in the student's recorded voice, which is uploaded to voki's site. The finished video can then be embedded in edublogs or blogger, or even their own myspace. ~ John Natuzzi, New York City Educator.

3) We had a whole discussion with my grant participants and computer liaisons about using a voki to improve writing especially for ELL students who need to hear the patterns of the spoken word to help with fluency and to improve comprehension. I know a few of them used it already. I will have them post their experiences. I know that the students loved it! ~ Allison Sciandra, New York City Education Administrator.

Here's how to get started

  • Register with your email and password.
  • Select create.
  • Select a character.
  • Select the look, clothing and accessories.
  • Add your own 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.

Safety note: Voki's are a naturally great way to enable students to publish their work safely as the avatars are nameless. You will want to remind your students that in their Voki message they shouldn't share their name or other personal information.
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