Interviews with Educators | Erica Hartman

Interviews with Educators | Erica Hartman

Erica HartmanAnother week, another tech-savvy educator bringing you the goods on the most efficient and creative ways to use Voki. Erica Hartman, an Instructional Technology Consultant and Google Certified Trainer and Technology Integration Specialist for Rutgers University CMSCE,  teaches at  Sparta Middle School in Sparta, NJ. Erica has been a Voki User Since 2008 – here’s how she uses Voki for Education in her classroom.

What are your goals using Voki?

I use Voki to give students and teachers an engaging option to express themselves.

How do you use Voki?

I use Voki to create a virtual me when I am away from the classroom or to explain directions to a project. I put the Voki on my classroom blog so students can access it anytime. This especially helps students that are absent or who need to verify instructions. When I train teachers to use Voki in the classroom they come up with some amazing ideas.

Here are just a few:

  • Create speeches for student council election.
  • Create a virtual me of a teacher explaining classroom procedures or directions to a project and post the Voki on your school web site or blog.
  • Create a class Voki mascot.
  • Allow students to summarize current events of the week using a Voki.
  • Create a Voki that will read a poem a student has written.
  • Boost confidence of an ESL student by letting them use Voki to present their work, rather than get up in front of entire class.
  • Create a Voki that will read a primary source document to introduce a new unit to a class.

What are your 3 favorite things about Voki?

  1. Ease of use
  2. Colorful characters
  3. Ability to customize characters

What would you add to the Voki product?

  • Ability to search for character by keyword
  • More kid-friendly avatars (not so racy)
  • Ability to have more than one avatar per scene
  • Ability to cut and paste many characters into the text box

Do you have any Voki tricks up your sleeve?

Students will spend most of their time “blinging out” the characters. I always have them prepare there speech or text first and make sure it is perfect and proofread. Creating the Voki using their own content is the icing on the cupcake!

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Interviews with Educators | LaQuita Denson

Interviews with Educators | LaQuita Denson

In this interview, instructional technology specialist LaQuita Denson tells us about how she uses Voki to train teachers on effective methods of delivering information during lessons, regardless of a student’s learning abilities.

The three features she finds the most useful about Voki are:

  1. The Language Feature: “This is really great with those students who are struggling readers, as well as students from different countries…”
  2. Multiple Vokis: “This is great when you’re doing an assignment [with multiple students], depending on the outcome or objective of the assignment.”
  3. Audio: “…whether you want to do this by text, or have the students use the microphone, as well as recording by phone, depending on the ability of the student…”

Take a look at this short interview to get an idea of how an educational technology professional uses Voki to enhance learning!

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