Monday, August 17, 2009

Avatars - So much fun!!

An avatar is a computer generated tool that allows the user to express their thoughts or opinions through a talking character. When creating an avatar the designer has control over their character’s identity and also the way they sound. The avatar I created was through a site called Voki, there are however a range of different sites in which these avatars can be made but some of them do incur a charge.

When experimenting with my avatar I could see many practical uses for in the classroom. Something as simple as posing the key question at the beginning of the lesson could be an effective way to engage the students. Another idea could be having the students read a fairytale or take on the role as the actual character. For example - a student taking on the role of the ‘wolf’ in Little Red Riding Hood. The student could create a wolf avatar identity and offer the wolf’s perspective of the story. Although this could be a useful tool, I wonder about how much effect these avatars will have on students. Dale’s cone (2000) suggests that both visual and verbal symbols – two of the key attributes of an avatar - have little impact on students learning. Despite this I can still see many uses for this type of technology and for something so simple, it is definitely something I see as worthwhile at trialling in the classroom.

‘Hang in there while I try to figure out how to put this avatar on my blog’.

Dale, E. (1960). In Abelene Christian University (2000). Active learning Online. Citing computer references. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from


  1. Hi Ben,

    What a cute looking avatar. They are definitely a great resource for the classroom, though are probably a bit overused now in university presentations!

    I believe that it would be a great tool for shy students as they would be able to present their information, without have the fear of peer assessment. I like the Red Riding Hood idea!!

    I wonder what other subject areas you could use this technology in?


  2. Hey Melissa,

    Glad you liked the avatar! I think one of the great things about this piece of technology is that you could use it for almost any subject. Something as simple as having the avatar introduce the key focus for the lesson and then summarise the key points at the end is something that I think could work quite well in the classroom.Rather than use them as a lesson in itself, there primary purpose could be to engage the students in the tasks.