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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tool #2-Voki

The tool that I am presenting this week is called Voki. What is Voki, you ask? Well, when I first looked it up I was completely at a loss too. It is an avatar-type tool that allows students to make a character and type, record (by phone or microphone), or upload voice to go with their character. The website is www.voki.com and it is full of resources on how to use Voki as an educator.  There are lesson plans and tutorials available. One drawback to this tool is that students either have to have an e-mail account or the school needs to get the upgraded version that costs. The cost is not much for the “Voki Classroom” version, 29.95 a year.  Another drawback is that there is a time limit on the amount that can be recorded to the Voki.

The way that I have used this tool is to help my fifth grade students with their spelling list for the week. They were each required to create their spelling words as a Voki. The only requirement that I gave them was to include the whole word and then the spelling of the word. I wanted to record their voices reading the words and spelling them, but the microphone component was blocked on the Santa Fe Public School District’s computers. We compromised and they used the typing tool. The spelling list, with links, is as follows:

serious

furious

direction

eruption

destruction

position

sickness

activity

scientific

allergic

aquatic

mathematics

carefully

eventually

usually

finally

completely

apparently

substance

ambulance

distance

comfortable

forgetful

The students had a great time creating these Vokis while practicing all of their spelling words. It is great for studying because they have to type their spelling words at least three times each. They also had to listen to their creation at least twice. This gave them exposure to the words at least five times each. They got to type, hear and read their words all in this one activity. I gave the links to their teachers as well to use as a studying tool. I suggested to them that they have the students listen to the Voki and write the spelling words on paper as they heard them.

Other uses for Voki are endless. This would be a great way to have students introduce themselves at the beginning of the year. This is a great tool for a quick assessment on what students have learned from a lesson. This tool can be used for many activities and subjects and is a fun technology tool.

The following video shows how to create a Voki:

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tool #1-Voicethread

The first tool that I am posting for the semester is a technology tool that I am familiar with, Voicethread. Voicethread is a tool where a slide presentation can be uploaded and created in a whole new and exciting way. The presenter can talk over their slides or photos. I have used this in one of my own distance learning classes and it is very simple to use and produces great results. You also have the ability to add comments to your presentations and go back and re-record over the slides where necessary. The way that I have used it in the past is to put my voice over a PowerPoint presentation for a class project. There was only one negative about this tool, for me, and that was when I uploaded my presentation some of the slides that I designed in PowerPoint did not look exactly the same as they did in PowerPoint. I am sure this is something that I could fix if I used the tool more and became more familiar with it.

This could be use in an elementary education setting in a similar way to the way I used it to present my material in my online course. I would ask the students to create a presentation and to make it more relevant and interesting I would have them put their comments over their slides. This is beneficial in a distance setting because the teachers can learn how to use Voicethread from the website that I linked to above. Voicethread just makes PowerPoint a better tool than it is on its own.Teachers could also use this technology tool to have the students present photos about any topic with explanations of what the photos are about; this is better than having stand alone photos on a topic because the photos can be explained.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized