Using digital avatars in programs like Voki http://www.voki.com enable students to call into with a code on their phones and use their voice for the avatar. Students of all ages enjoy creating their character and watching it speak with their voice. Voki allows students to re-record by calling in as many times as needed to get their report just right. Students can also comment on one another’s avatar with their own original Voki, which is a great way to give peer feedback.
- Ideas for the Classroom
- When students are experiencing writer’s block, have them call in and say it through their voki. This gets them started and a great oral (and/or written) report results.
- Use Voki for public speaking practice. By saying their speech in the privacy of their own home into their phone, they gain valuable practice and get to listen to themselves for feedback. Speeches are rehearsed and memorized through Voki.
- Storytelling benefits both the listener and the teller. Use voki to pair middle school students with elementary students for storytelling, without ever leaving the classroom (or home). As middle school students tell stories they are creating, acting, and engaging with language. As younger students hear the story and comment they are tuning their listening and thinking skills.
- Text Talk: Classroom Stories Brandy Sparks, Health TeacherMy students could not write their experiences with trying to quit smoking. They just didn't know what to say. However, when I had them call in and talk on their phones, they could tell all about how hard it was, how they did it, and how much better they feel. They never would have read each other’s work, but they loved listening to each other’s vokis. The Vokis were used by the American Lung Association as testimonials from students who quit.
This Voki was created by a teen mom, speaking from her child to remind herself and others of the dangers of second hand smoke. Very effective!
For more information on using Voki check out Teaching Generation Text. For more on Willy's experiences with the the NOT on Tobacco program contact Willyn Webb firstname.lastname@example.org or to get your own group going contact Diane Draper at email@example.com.