Monday, August 3, 2009

Voki Voices (Avatars)

Get a Voki now!

This is an avatar of me... well, it's supposed to be at least.

These are really cool!
I can just imagine how much children would love to use these. The kids in my prac class last year had a ball using just a simple voice recording tool - they could record their voice then change the pitch and the speed (Audacity). I can only imagine how much they would enjoy this.
Learning managers could use them to accompany text for learners who have difficulty reading, it could be used as something different than the teacher standing up the front talking. But better still, it's simple enough for learners to create their own. They could put them on their own blogs, use them as assessment items (imagine giving an oral without having to speak!), they could use them to 'read' out stories the children have written. There are so many fun and interactive ways these could be used in the classroom.

Also, when using text-to-type, it really gets you thinking about the sounds letters make. Its not so much the spelling but the phonetics and all the different letters and letter combinations that make the same sounds. It actually took me 4 goes to get the avatar to say my name right. Not only is this tool fun, but it wouold be very useful in Literacy programs.

What better way to make children want to read than to record it and attach it to an avatar?

The use of Avatars in the classroom fits in with the Learning Pyramid. If students are asked to create an avatar whose purpose is to explain/teach a concept to peers their own age then the average retention rate for that concept/skill/knowledge is increased to 90% - if they were to just watch a pre-created avatar give a summary etc. the retention rate would only be around 5% (similar to a lecture). Voki makes it possible and simple for children to do this.

By the way, have I mentioned how fun it is??

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