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English- Voki (PB)

Page history last edited by Elizabeth Macfarlane 9 years, 9 months ago

Voki in the English Classroom

 

 

General Information

  

What is Voki?

  

Voki is a free service which allows the user to create personalized, speaking avatars.  These avatars can be incorporated into a variety of online applications including email, blogs, and personal profiles. Parent company of Voki is Oddcast – which has been designing forward-thinking, user-friendly marriages of media and technology since 1999.

 

http://www.voki.com

 

The name ‘Voki’ comes from the Latin word vox (voice) and Loki – a noted prankster in Norse mythology.

 

http://www.squidoo.com/voki

 

Classroom Applications

Voki is a tool which is not content- nor age- specific, which is advantageous for both teachers and students. At the same time, certain disadvantages also exist when utilizing this media technology in the classroom.

 

Advantages:

 

  • Cost-effective for schools and students alike (free!)
  • Fun & interesting, students will spend time on it
  • User- and viewer- friendly
  • Ability to share voki-projects with others (students, teachers, parents, other classes)
  • Easy to embed; variety of applications – including email
  • Students can remain anonymous – using avatar rather than real picture
  • Provides a new method of student presentation
  • Voki site is populated w/some historical figures
  • Preparing a Voki creation allows students to carefully organize thoughts and to choose words carefully (only 60 seconds of speech available)
  • Voki recordings can be called in by phone, created with text-to-speech, using a microphone, or by uploading an MP3 file 

 

 

Disadvantages:

 

  • TOO fun— so fun that students might lose their focus and spend time making funny   avatars
  • Users can experience frustration by not being able to keep the same avatar for future use
  • Max recording time is 60 seconds
  • If too many students are working at once on their recordings using their cellphones, the website can experience slow running time
  • Requires computer time – w/access to Voki site
  • Pre-populated site is limiting – some available avatars might not suit needs
  • May be difficult to share in classroom w/out access to projection

 

http://teachweb2.wikispaces.com/Voki

 

 

The advantages to using the Voki tool in the classroom seem to outweigh the disadvantages – and a skillful teacher will be able to work around the drawbacks through the development of personal expertise in navigating the Voki site, careful time-management, modeling, disallowing cell-phone use, and by ensuring that students are working with a clear, rubric-driven purpose in mind.

 

 

In the Secondary English Classroom

 

Ideas for Learning Opportunities: 

 

  • Creating a visual representation of a literary character – using the speech component to justify physical attributes
  • In Creative Writing classes – writing a piece of flash fiction – using an avatar as narrator
  • Students might incorporate an avatar as a visual aid as part of a larger presentation
  • Teacher may choose to model the use of an avatar to introduce a concept, unit, or novel
  • In Poetry class – students might use a Voki creation to share an original poem
  • Explaining a literary concept/idea – noting where concept is present in specific piece of literature
  • Summarazation - of a book, short story, poem, personal experience, etc.
  • Extension of vocabulary-building - asking an avatar to use vocabulary words correctly as he/she explains an event, experience, moment from a story, etc. 
  • Creating a commercial - advertising a book, explaining a concept, using vocabulary, etc. 

  

  

Using Voki in the English classroom at the secondary level provides students with a multitude of opportunities. A carefully-crafted lesson incorporating the use of the Voki tool will be fun for students, but will also offer an opportunity to hone essential skills – such as close reading and summarization. The sixty-second time limit for speech capabilities will compel students to carefully evaluate the information they are asking their avatars to convey. If the lesson is designed with collaborative efforts in mind, students will have the opportunity to hone inter-personal skills as they work with one another to meet the goals of the lesson. Once students become familiar with navigating the site and effectively utilizing the avatar tool as an assessment rather than just fun, offering the choice of utilizing the Voki tool might become a part of a differentiated assignment.

 

 

 

Sources / Resources:

http://www.voki.com 

http://www.squidoo.com/voki

http://teachweb2.wikispaces.com/Voki

http://www.freeeslmaterials.com/voki.html

http://www.learnitin5.com/How-to-Create-Classroom-Podcasts-with-Voki

http://www.boxoftricks.net

http://www.freetech4teachersc.om/2010/02/engaging-students-with-voki.html

http://www.plugintotechnology.com/2010/08/avatars-21st-century-teaching-assistant.html

http://www.creativeenglishlab.blogspot.com/2009/07/my-voki-speaking-avatar-activity.html

http://www.creatinglearnerautonomy.blogspot.com/2007/09/creating-voki-characters.html

 

 

 

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