Saturday, July 25, 2009

Voki Avatars

I found this Voki Avatar program a lot of fun to use. It was simple to navigate through and it was creative. I could adjust so many different elements of my character and the setting multiple times. To some degree it amused me and kept me interested for a long period of time. If I, an adult could find this program a great deal of fun to play around with, I can definitely see how well this could work in the classroom settings.

The use of avatars in the classroom can aim to engage students on a totally different level than what they would normally experience on a day to day basis. Nowadays, children are surrounded by games and different characters, therefore the concept of an avatar wouldn’t seem ‘foreign’ to most students. Often I have seen children watch programs and then be able to restate what the characters have said or reinacted their actions. Their memory skills of something they were so interested in amazed me. Therefore, if teachers can create avatars of different characters, it can enable students to be given instructions or information through an avatar instead of straight from the teacher, which may help in students to remain engaged, entertained and in turn retain information and comprehend what the avatar has said/ explained to them what they need to do. Also, by having an avatar giving instructions and information to students, it can be used alongside the teaching of the class teacher. (The avatar can be seen by students as someone/a character who is ‘overlooking’ their work and is working in collaboration with the teacher, with the teacher ‘informing’ the avatar of the students progress, etc.) An online article described the benefits of virtual teachers/avatars in educational settings. It stated that, “we know that retention is improved, we know that "lean back" education can be effortlessly absorbed and we know that there is nothing more powerful when it comes to delivering complex ideas or facts than the spoken word.” (Jay, 2009)

Avatars not only can be designed for teachers to use, I can see how they can also be used by students themselves. Students would be able to create avatars for different projects and to communicate with each other in the classroom. It can make presenting to the class or collaborating with each other more interesting for them. The biggest concern that I believe teachers would face with letting students create their own avatars would be monitoring the use of them and ensuring that students use them appropriately in the school setting.

The Avatar I have created and embedded into this blog, has been designed to introduce a class to its topic of Australian Animals. WARNING, it is very brief and sounds a bit strange.


Jay, A.J. (2009). Talking Avatars in Education - The Virtual Teacher comes of age! Retrieved on July 19, 2009, from

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