Hello all you dedicated, determined, and tech-savvy teachers! This Friday we’ve got another new and interesting perspective on how to use Voki in the classroom. Welcome Elizabeth Graham, our guest blogger and newest ambassador! Take it away, Elizabeth!
Hi everyone! Elizabeth Graham here. As a newly minted school library media specialist, I am always searching for engaging ways to integrate technology with curriculum content. During my school library internship, I learned about Voki and had the opportunity to try it out with a second grade biography project. Any time I have introduced Voki to students, they have immediately wanted to use it!
At my current school, Voki has been a tool of choice for several projects. The most recent example is our 5th graders’ Roaring 20s research. In collaboration with a fifth grade social studies teacher, this project allowed students to choose from a list of topics related to the 1920s in the United States. Students then spent several weeks utilizing research databases and other high quality resources to develop more understanding of their chosen topic. This is where Voki comes in. Students were given a choice of various web tools to use to develop a digital product that would reflect their learning about their topic. Once I demonstrated Voki to the class, the majority of students chose to make Vokis!
Students were instructed to either create an avatar of the famous figure they researched or to create a spokesperson avatar to explain the topic. The most important guideline was to work on the script or text first, then to customize the avatar’s look, background, and voice style. I have found that some students will get caught up in the design style and might forget to review their text.
Students worked on their Vokis for several weeks in a row during their library class. Each week they received feedback from me via the Voki review page. Notes included reviewing spelling, punctuation, capital letters and other writing fundamentals that make all the difference when creating a successful Voki.
My favorite part of this project was Presentation Day. Each student had the opportunity to share their project and the many Roaring 20s Vokis were big hits! Using Voki and other web tools, my students created digital products that reflected their learning. It was also a chance for students to bask in their accomplishments or, in a few cases, to realize they could have put in a little more effort. That is authentic learning and self evaluation!
Another plus of a web tool is how easy they are to share. Student Vokis were linked to our school library web page so that we could share them beyond our school community.
My 5th graders love Voki so much they have requested one more Voki project before the end of the year. Over the next few weeks, students will create Vokis of themselves leaving a message to the rising 5th graders, letting them know the ins and outs of life at our school. We are calling this our Legacy Vokis.
Elizabeth Graham is a School Library Media Specialist at Woodland Heights Elementary School in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Every week she provides library classes to over 500 students in grades K4-5th grade. Graham received her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. She enjoys collaborating with classroom teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum and is always looking for new apps and web tools to try with her students. Her favorite thing is helping students create digital products that reflect their learning and encouraging them to share their work widely with the school, community and the world.
Woodland Heights Library Readers Blog: http://woodlandheightslibraryreaders.blogspot.com/
Just another innovative take on integrating tech into the classroom! How are you blending your classroom?