Giveaways and Resource Goodies!

Giveaways and Resource Goodies!

GIVEAWAYS AND RESOURCE GOODIES

Our very own ambassador, Vipula Sharma, has created an extensive spread of all things Voki! She will also be giving teachers a chance to win a FREE SUBSCRIPTION of Voki Classroom and Voki Presenter! Stay tuned to learn how!

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Ever wonder how other teachers are using Voki? No need to just wonder anymore. Check out the variety of ways Voki is being utilized in Vipula’s Tackk (a fun way to create an informational collage and share about a topic.)

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This presentation (Click on any of the screenshots to get directed to it) shares how teachers can use Voki and Voki Presenter. In fact, the presentation is made with Voki Presenter! It gives tips and pointers to teachers who may not realize the different interesting ways Voki can be used in the classroom.

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Like, if you want to make your Voki speak in a different language (one that Voki doesn’t provide) you must type phonetically!

The use of different languages in the classroom provides language diversity!  Giving students the chance to interact with different languages and accents is a proactive way of having a discussion around different cultures and languages and how to react when you hear a different accent or language. And if you are an ESL teacher, those students who may be nervous about speaking a new language, may feel more comfortable hearing their native language in the classroom and seeing their classmates interact with that language in a positive way.

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It’s great speaking practice. Students can record their voices and listen to how they sound. They can compare their own voices to Voki voices. For those students that are less prone to participate if they have to speak in front of the entire class, their Voki can speak for them.

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Mr. President kindly points out how to join and explore the Voki communities. Check out lesson plans on our Voki.com  website by clicking on the lesson plans tab at the top of the page, follow us on twitter, search for #VokiRocks to join the conversation, and read, comment, and share our blog posts at The Official Voki Blog. You CAN”T say no to Mr. President!

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Here come your RESOURCE GOODIES! Vipula has created a list of online destinations for you to see what educators are saying about Voki and how they are using it!

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For any beginners out there who are interested in creating a Voki,( C’mon you know you want to!) Vipula has added one of our tutorials to show you how quick, easy, and fun it is to create a talking character all your own.

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And now for the Giveaway!! What do you have to do?

  • Share an idea of how you would use Voki in a certain subject area
  • Share an example
  • Share a short write-up
  • Tweet it at @officialvoki and @vipulasharma1

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Check out Vipula’s Tackk to see the whole Voki presentation and all of the resources she has compiled for her fellow teachers and Voki Lovers!

Thanks, Vipula!

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Vipula Sharma

Bio: Teacher of EAL, Extended Project & KS3-4 Careers Advisor | Tech Coach | a lifelong learner | keen to use technology to support and extend learning for all.

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Voki in the Languages Classroom

Voki in the Languages Classroom

José Picardo

The ability to speak the foreign language in question can safely be described as the principal objective of learning foreign languages. However, it can often prove difficult to assess your pupils’ ability to speak the foreign language in the classroom, as time and numbers often conspire against us.

If you do find them time, for many pupils, speaking in the classroom involves being put in a very tricky spot. Not only do they have to say something of consequence in front of their teacher and fellow pupils, they also have to pronounce all those strange sounds correctly, while ensuring that they get the grammar right. Rather them than me!

As a foreign languages educator, Voki has provided me with a fantastic way to assess my pupils’ speaking ability, whilst providing them with a means to speak the language in a way they find both engaging and motivating, and that builds their confidence. Speaking in the foreign language is no longer stressful or fear-inducing, but rather an activity they look forward to.

Lesson planning with Voki

My pupils don’t use Voki in every lesson. Approximately once every half term, I plan a series of lessons that culminates in my pupils using Voki as a means of assessment. I generally follow this pattern:

  • Our first lesson in the sequence focuses on revising the appropriate vocabulary and/or grammatical structures. At the end of the lesson, I set a relevant writing task for homework, with the aim of basing our Vokis upon this task.
  • In subsequent lessons we develop the topic further and I return their exercise books with highlighted errors and corrections to their homework. You may prefer to do this digitally using blogs or wikis.
  • Eventually, I will take the class to an ICT room and set the speaking task, explaining very clearly what the expected outcome should be. As Voki is available online, the task can also be finished for homework.
  • Finally, I collect all the Vokis by email, import them into my own account and assess them. If you have your own classroom blog, you may want to publish your pupils’ Vokis in your blog for further peer-assessment, which your pupils could do by leaving comments for one another, as my pupils have done here in our blog.

Voki’s Advantages

As mentioned above, Voki can be accessed both at home and at school, facilitating the transition from teacher-centered, classroom-based learning to personalized learning in which the pupil begins to acquire individual responsibility.

Voki is a Web application, and the Web is where our pupils are spending more and more of their time. Voki is also inherently fun and engaging. All this serves a powerful motivator to our pupils and should not be disparaged.

Still, for me, one of the most striking and unexpected advantages of using Voki in the languages classroom is that it has made it possible for the quieter pupils to make their presence felt and be heard. In my experience, it has often been the case that it is indeed these pupils who have produced the most remarkable Vokis, often outshining their more lively and vociferous counterparts.

In addition to providing me with both a fantastic way to assess the speaking skill and with evidence of learning, all my pupils have gained confidence in their speaking ability as a result of using Voki in this way. Voki has catalyzed pupils’ interest in all things Web and has helped to increase my pupils’ self-assurance when it comes to speaking in a foreign language by allowing them to role-play and become someone else: a more confident self.

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José Picardo is Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Nottingham High School.

He also runs two popular blogs: Box of Tricks and JosePicardo.com.

Find José on Twitter: @josepicardo