Guest Blogger: Phil Timmons from Byte Me

Guest Blogger: Phil Timmons from Byte Me

I’m always looking for new ways to share and communicate in ways that will be engaging enough to keep the attention of my lively bunch of 7 & 8 year olds. We use our Learning Platform extensively for communication and sharing news and information and as it has grown it is getting more likely that areas will get missed or forgotten. I have also had a problem with allowing access to the Learning Platform to younger children where reading levels make it difficult for them to find and navigate to the correct areas.

Voki has been the answer to all the problems for me in one place. I created a character for our Learning Platform (we use frog primary) called Frogbot. He is a little robot Voki to act as a guide and a way to share news. The character appears around the Platform offering advice and direction to pupils and staff. The areas that were getting lost and forgotten are now being used again and children who find reading difficult now enjoy using the Learning Platform where they were somewhat reluctant before. The Internet can be a very ‘wordy’ place!

After embedding the Voki into our Learning Platform I started wondering how else I could use Voki. I happened to be doing speech and dialogue at the time and thought Voki would lend itself nicely to the topic. I created a new character called Doug who had a lot to say for himself. He was originally going to be used online until I stumbled upon a YouTube video. I use Smart Notebook and found out that there is a widget that you can download and embed your Voki straight into a Smart file. I used the Voki on my Smart page for the children to write the sentences using the correct punctuation. We used the idea then to do some further work about using alternatives for the word said and added them to the sentences we had written. Massive thank you goes to Doug for helping teach my class how to use speech marks and keep the engaged and excited at the same time.

I’m now looking at using Voki to make characters with the children to make conversations we can embed into Smart for the class to write up the next day.


Phil runs the site Byte Me with his partners to provide helpful advice and suggestions for teachers.

Follow Phil on Twitter: @Bytemeict

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