Every once in a while, a new tech tool comes along that really makes an impact with me and my students. www.voki.com has been that website for me since last school year.
I discovered Voki when I was doing the novel study for “No Talking”, by Andrew Clements. I was online searching for activities to enrich and engage my students and saw that someone has made Vokis for the 2 main characters. I checked them out and was hooked! I used these to introduce the characters to my students, and then using Voki took off in my classroom.
We did another novel study on “Julie of the Wolves” later in the year. To work on summarizing text, I made a Julie voki (the main character) and had her summarize the chapter for the class. This was the “I do it” stage. Next, we developed a Julie voki together and posted it – the “We Do It” stage. Finally, it was my students’ turn.
Student One chose to use his own voice for recording, student two used one of the many, many choices available on Voki as his characters’ voice. The abundance of choices is one of the reasons we love Voki. Students not only choose voice, they choose characters physical traits, backgrounds and more. There are even animal avatars to pick from!
Besides using Voki as a tool for reading instruction, I use it frequently to review or introduce History ideas. If we are learning about roles played in a war, I create Vokis to reinforce concepts to the students. Something as simple as hearing it from a Voki avatar makes it more interesting than just hearing it from me. I also review vocabulary terms using Voki.
My students this school year are just getting into Voki and I can’t wait to see what develops. The site is user friendly, the students love creating these and I love the engaged learning that takes place when I use Voki in my classroom!