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ESL_Language- Voki

Page history last edited by Catherine Krantz 8 years, 7 months ago

All about Voki! 

 

What is Voki?

     Voki is a site which provides the tools to create an avatar- a digital representation of yourself which can then be shared through e-mail, on social networking sites, blogs, instant messaging, and most cell phones. The creation of avatars on Voki allows users to embrace their creativity as they customize their avatars to look like themselves, animals, anime, and more! These avatars come to life when YOUR voice is added.

 

Voki in the Classroom:

 

    Voki is a free online communication tool for teachers and students alike! Technology can be found in every aspect of life and it is rapidly evolving; therefore it is important for educators to incorporate technology into the curriculum to ensure students are motivated, engaged, and participating in authentic learning activities. Voki provides countless benefits when utilized in classrooms with English language learners. These benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • A safe environment- students' identities won't land in the wrong hands.
  • A low risk activity for all students to improve their English and complete assignments while developing technology skills. 
  • Students become invested in their learning. By creating their own Voki, students play an active role in their learning. When students feel they are responsible for their learning they are more apt to make meaningful connections. 
  • Development of auditory English skills as they listen to instructions from teachers and comments from peers. Many English language learners may have an easier time understanding spoken English as opposed to written English. Teachers could also supplement Vokis with a written transcript to further develop reading and listening skills. Students can also replay Vokis to better understand the point being made by the speaker. This provides repeated exposure to the language.
  • Development of oral English skills as they create their own Vokis. Voki allows students to practice their English in a risk-free environment. When using their avatars to speak there is no pressure to speak with 100% accuracy. Voki also gives every student an opportunity to speak and on their own time.
  • A structured way for students to experiment with the language easily and frequently.

 

Classroom Activity Ideas:

 

The following are possibilities of activities I brainstormed which incorporate Voki into your classroom curriculum. 

  • Speak Your Mind!-Post a simple question or a prompt as the teacher. Ask students to respond using their Voki. These prompts and questions can relate to the lives of students or to the topics covered in class. Using Voki in this way could be a oral student journal. This activity would be a daily assignment which ensures all students are practicing their English on a daily basis. 
  • All about you!- This activity would have students create brief overviews about themselves, their culture, and their original countries. This project would take several weeks to complete. Each week, students would be assigned a different aspect of their lives to speak about for one minute. They would have one week to prepare and practice what they will say. Their Voki would be due each Friday. This assignment would remind students that they are valuable individuals, would allow students to find similarities and differences among their peers, teach them about other countries and cultures, and teach them to appreciate other people--all the while they are practicing their English!
  • Vocal Vocabulary- This activity would also be a weekly activity. Each week students will be given a list of English words relating to curriculum for that week. To supplement the instruction and group work surrounding the vocabulary, students would be asked to choose at least one vocabulary word to recite, spell, define, and put in a sentence then post by Friday. 

 

Voki for Teachers:

     It only takes a few simple steps to create a Voki. Teachers also have the option to create their class online. When teachers choose to utilize "Voki Classroom" they register their students and can easily manage their students and the assignments. Voki also allows for collaboration among teachers by providing them with access to lessons other teachers have used and created. 

          In order to encourage your students to utilize Voki, it is up to you as the teacher to enthusiastically embrace the technology. Use Voki to communicate with your students- make announcements, provide updates on classroom happenings, and deliver instruction. Your use of Voki will provide students with exposure to the English language, more specifically language used day-in and day-out in your classroom. 

 

     Depending on your classroom demographics, not all students may have access to the internet or even a computer outside of school. Schedule time and in-class activities for students to use Voki to ensure all students have access to the program and can successfully complete assignments.

 

Create your Own Voki:

The following is a brief video tutorial providing steps to create your own Voki. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyGTcH0ZefM

 

Supplemental Links and Resources for Voki:

Voki Home Page: http://www.voki.com/

Additional information about Voki: http://www.slideshare.net/guest8fe1fe/s-garey-p1-mashup-presentation2

Additional information on creating your Voki plus examples: http://encouraginglearnerautonomy.blogspot.com/2007/09/creating-voki-characters.html

Blog by Voki providing tips and more specific information to expand your use of the tool: http://blog.voki.com/2012/06/14/voki-tip-of-the-week-find-the-embed-code-on-voki-classroom/

Links to Voki support, information, materials, examples, and ideas: http://www.freeeslmaterials.com/voki.html

Examples of student Vokis and dialogue using Voki: http://technology4kids.pbworks.com/w/page/24535850/Voki%20Talking%20Avatars

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