Guest Blogger: Carmen Brettel – How to Use Voki in the Classroom

Guest Blogger: Carmen Brettel – How to Use Voki in the Classroom

Voki speaking avatars are great tools for the classroom. Teachers and students alike can create avatars and use them in a number of ways to make learning fun and more accessible. Not sure how Voki can help you or your students? Here are a few fun ideas for how you can incorporate Voki speaking avatars in your classroom and lesson plans:

Use Your Avatar as a “Substitute”

Students can start to zone out in the middle of lectures, and the teacher’s voice can start to sound like the “mwah mwah mwah” in a Charlie Brown cartoon. Introducing an avatar for some lessons can get students’ attention and make it a little more fun.

Choose a quirky and interesting avatar — not just one that looks like you. Use it for particularly dry discussions and incorporate it into an interactive presentation. Students will feel like they’re watching a show — and they’ll be learning at the same time.

Get Students to Create Interactive Avatars

Every teacher knows that encouraging student participation can be a bit like pulling teeth at times. Encouraging students to create their own interactive avatars may help them to participate more, both by offering them a fun outlet for it, and by offering shy students a way to participate that doesn’t require being so “exposed.”

You can create a virtual interactive classroom if you have access to a computer lab, or you can use the avatars in online discussions through a classroom blog or website. Explore which options work best for you based on your resources.

Assign a Virtual Presentation

Old-fashioned book reports and project presentations can be dull for both the presenter and the audience. Students standing next to a tri-fold project board and reading off note cards are not likely to have a good time, and neither are their peers who have to listen to it.

You can make it a little more fun for all students by asking them to create virtual presentations that are created with a Voki speaking avatar and a powerpoint or other presentation. The avatar can guide the presentation, which students will have fun creating (with a little more creative latitude) and their peers will have fun listening to, helping both to learn more.

Create Avatars Based on Lessons

Help bring historical and literary figures to life by asking students to create a speaking avatar for them. Not only will students have to create an avatar in that person’s likeness — and may have to imagine it based on cues for literary figures — but they can also create dialogue for the characters for a presentation or report.

Such an assignment will help students better understand the figures they are studying in class, and it will help them to have more fun while they’re doing it.

There are many more ways you can use Voki speaking avatars in your classroom to help promote learning and greater interaction. You are only limited by your creativity.

How have you used Voki speaking avatars in your classroom? Share your tips in the comments!

Carmen Brettel is a writer and manager for In her spare time, Carmen enjoys gardening and volunteering at animal shelters.

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