Interviews with Educators | Chantelle Sekerak

Interviews with Educators | Chantelle Sekerak

This week’s Interview with Educators features Chantelle Sekerak and her grade 2 class. Chantelle is a teacher in Ontario, Canada and first started using Voki to increase commenting activity on her classroom blog. From the looks of it, she and her class loved Voki so much that they made  it a regular part of their lessons!

As you see in her SlideRocket presentation, Voki  evolved from being a blog buddy to a lesson supplement. Now, she and her students use Voki to showcase their class activities such as math riddles and book talks!

Check out the presentationto see how Voki has been used in Chantelle’s class plus get some great tips and tricks! Be sure and click through to the end to hear her students share what they like about Voki!

Click here to view Chantelle Sekerak’s Voki SlideRocket Presentation

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Financial Education Starts in the Classroom!

Financial Education Starts in the Classroom!

Economics and Personal Finance are important topics for students of all ages and should be incorporated into the   standard k-12 curriculum. Educating kids about how to responsibly manage their finances not only improves their mathematical reasoning, but also provides them with meaningful life skills.

This week, we would like to share 3 new lesson plans based on Personal Finance. By introducing lessons that draw on the importance of saving and responsible spending, students will practice basic math, learn economic principles, and gain experience managing their finances.

Remember: The grade level we assign to each lesson plan to is not a requisite – feel free to use lesson plans from different grade levels than the one you teach, if you think they fit! Also, remember that you can adapt Voki lesson plans to fit your style, goals, or your students’ abilities.

Tooth Fairy Economics (Economics, Elementary) – Students learn about the value of currency and the cost of goods and services on a small scale. In this role play activity, the teacher will act as the “Tooth Fairy” and leave different amounts of change under each student’s pillow. Students will compare the amount of money they receive from the tooth fairy to the cost of the items that are available to purchase in the classroom. Next they will have to opportunity to exchange their money for an item within their Tooth Fairy budget. Students will create a Voki that explains how much money they received and what they could and could not purchase.

A Penny Saved (Economics, Middle School and High School) – In this lesson, students will learn about saving money by reading and discussing the comic book, “A Penny Saved,” published by the New York Federal Reserve Bank.  Students will learn how the choices they make with money can determine their quality of life. At the conclusion of this lesson, students will create a Voki that explains how saving money affects the economy and the importance of personal savings..

Let’s Buy a Car! (Economics, High School) – Students will look up cars online and calculate  which one is the best investment over an extended period of time.They will pick a car, consider different interest rates, and explain the costs over a 5 or 10 year period.

As always, we would love to hear how you are using Voki in class. If you have a lesson plan that uses Voki (or that can be adapted to incorporate Voki), please email us at lessonplans@voki.com.

Sincerely,

The Voki Team

Voki Tip of the Week: Use Voki to Make an Announcement

Voki Tip of the Week: Use Voki to Make an Announcement

You know those days. You’ve spent the whole night grading and preparing for class, then wake up late only to find you’ve run out of coffee.Now a classroom full of  bright eyed children are waiting for your performance…

This is the perfect morning to have a Voki introduce the day’s lesson and assignment.

Check out these examples and create your own savior Voki today!

Until Next Time,

The Voki Team

Voki Tip of the Week: How to Embed Voki Using Presets

Voki Tip of the Week: How to Embed Voki Using Presets

Embedding Voki with the publishing presets is easy! Showcase your Voki on Facebook, Friendster, Twitter and more with just a few clicks.

Step One: After you have created your Voki, added text or voice, and have it ready to go, click Publish Your Voki.

Step Two: Select the size in which you would like to display your Voki. We recommend choosing large for the full Voki effect!

Step Three: Choose the platform where you would like to post your Voki. If you do not see a quick option for a particular site or blog, grab the embed code below. Once you click the code, it is automatically copied and ready to paste on your website.

Some sites, such as WordPress, require a bit of massaging to embed your Voki on the page. For WordPress instructions, please check out our past Voki Tip of the Week, How to Embed Voki on WordPress.

We hope you have fun creating your Vokis and sharing them with your students, teachers, and friends! If you have any questions or issues with embedding, please let us know in the comments section or by sending us an e-mail to feedback@voki.com.

Sincerely,

The Voki Team

Interviews with Educators | Vivienne Roberts

Interviews with Educators | Vivienne Roberts

Every month, we like to get a teacher’s perspective of Voki and learn more about how he or she uses Voki in the classroom. Usually, the teachers we interview have been Voki fans for quite a while. This month, we got the chance to talk to Vivienne Roberts, a Curriculum Leader and Assistant Vice Principal at All Saints Academy Dunstable in England and a Voki newbie!

Check out Vivienne’s interview below which offers a fresh perspective on Voki, especially when it comes to her ideas for Modern Language classes.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am Curriculum Leader for Communications and Assistant Vice Principal at All Saints Academy Dunstable in England, which caters for students aged 13 to 19.  While I am responsible for English and Literacy, my subject specialism is Modern Langauges.  I discovered Voki only very recently and noticed immediately how useful a tool it could be for my students.

How do you use Voki?

I’ve begun by using Voki with my 14-16 year old students as part of the preparation for speaking assessments.  I’ve set up a classroom for them and have created a number of lessons, using the types of questions I plan to ask in the test.  In the instructions for each lesson, I include some hints as to the language structures I would like them to use.  The students then create a Voki for each one and type in their responses to the questions.  By changing the language and the voice, they can hear accurate pronunciation and intonation.  By listening to their Vokis, they can learn their material for the test more thoroughly and they really enjoy creating the characters and playing around with the different voices, accents and special effects.

What are your 3 favorite things about Voki?

I love the fact that Vokis give my students greater independence in their learning.  There is only one of me to go round a whole class but the foreign language voices in Voki allow them to listen and learn at their own pace.  They forget that they’re learning because they have so much fun making weird creatures and trying out the different voices.  Without being aware of it, they listen to their work several times over, thus consolidating the language content.

We can also create Vokis using sound files of the students speaking. Many students are reluctant to speak in another language in front of their peers but attaching the sound file to a Voki allows them to ‘hide’ behind the avatar and feel less self-conscious.

I can create my very own bespoke Vokis for my students as listening comprehension activities.  The Voki will allow me to include exactly what I want, rather than relying on resources create by another person based upon what they think my students should learn.  Vokis are very liberating!

What is one of your favorite lessons you have taught using Voki? 

I’m still a Voki novice but using the Vokis for preparation for speaking tests has inspired my students.  They want to add more to their Vokis – the Vokis are funny and the more they say, the funnier they become.  Having a different Voki for each question really helps them.  They can visualise the creature and this helps them to recall what it says i.e. their own answer to a question.

Do you have any Voki tricks up your sleeve?

As for tips, I’m sure I’ll acquire a few as I become a more competent user!  At the moment, I’ve only really got the basics, but I know I’ll find a few tips and quick fixes as I get better at it.  In the meantime, we’re having a lot of fun in Spanish and French lessons and that is priceless.

Want to be interviewed for this section? Send us a note and a link to your blog/ twitter: submit@voki.com!

Sincerely,

The Voki Team

Voki Tip of the Week: Recognize Student Achievement with Voki

Voki Tip of the Week: Recognize Student Achievement with Voki

Voki is a useful tool that makes lessons interactive, educational, and fun.We love seeing how teachers around the world incorporate Voki into their classroom activities.  Voki isn’t only a great supplement to lessons, it can also serve as a cute message bearer that recognizes student achievements, good work, or birthdays! Just imagine a student’s delight upon receiving a Voki in their e-mail on their birthday that delivers a special and personalized message.

Below are a few examples of how Voki can help you give your students a virtual pat on the back.

Have a great week!

The Voki Team

Voki Tip of the Week: Edit Student Usernames on Voki Classroom

Voki Tip of the Week: Edit Student Usernames on Voki Classroom

If you are a Voki Classroom user, you have probably already noticed the changes we implemented  to make student logins much easier. Along with a simpler default username, Voki Classroom now allows you to edit your students’ login information as you or your school district deem most appropriate.

The new student logins are comprised of the student’s first name initial, last name, and 3 randomly generated numbers. If you do not want your students’ last names to appear or you would like to change any aspect of the username, go to your student roster and click the name in blue to edit.

Once you click the blue username, the ‘Change Student Login’ box  will appear.

The rest is up to you! Once you enter the new login, click ‘Change’ and you are  finished!

We hope you are  pleased with this update. We are  always  eager to hear your your suggestions for Voki as we continue to improve your experience.

Should you have any questions, please leave a comment below and we will be happy to answer you, or email us at feedback@voki.com.

Until Next Time,

The Voki Team