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:
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: