Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Voki in the K-12 Classroom

As part of my research into Web 2.0 resources for possible use in our school district, today I looked into Voki, a website which allows users to create talking avatars. There are many options for creating the avatars, ranging from realistic looking people to fanciful animals. The speech of the avatars can be typed speech that is then spoken by a computerized voice, or it can be the recorded speech of a live person. Voki also has a portal aimed specifically at using the tools in education.

The tools for creating the avatar are quite intuitive. In about half an hour today, I was able to create the Voki you see below. (It would have taken far less time if I had not cared so much about my wardrobe and hair color!) I played with the computer generated voices, but in the end decided to record the Voki's message in my own voice. Take a listen, then read on for more on Voki, because I have some questions and resources for you!

I had fun making my Voki! :-)

How Are You Using Voki?

If you are experienced in using Voki with students, I would appreciate your responses to any or all of the questions below in the comments section of this blog:
  • Do you just have the students create Vokis without creating an account on the site, and then immediately copy the link or embed code to access the Voki later?
  • Do you allow students to create their own Voki accounts and save their own avatars? Or do you create a master account for yourself or the class and let the students save all of the avatars under that account?
  • Voki's Terms of Service allow users under 13 to use the site with parental consent. Do you get signed permission from parents for students under 13 to use Voki or do you simply act "in loco parentis" and oversee the students' accounts? Do you have different policies for students who are 13 and older?
  • Do you have examples of ways you have used Voki for teaching and learning? If so, please share! If any of your Vokis or Vokis your students have created are posted somewhere on the web, please provide a link!

More Ideas for Using Voki in Teaching and Learning

If you would like to explore using Voki with your students or would like more ideas for how to use Voki, here are some resources I have found:
And last but not least, K-6 technology teacher and integration specialist Mary Beth Hertz shares how she used Voki with her 6th grade students:

Please don't forget to share how you approach Voki account management and use Voki with your students! Thanks in advance for contributing to the learning!!