VokiI introduced my gang to Voki yesterday. I hadn’t really used it before and thought that it was high time we tried it out to see what curricular possibilities it could have. Voki is a website that allows the pupil to create a customised avatar. There are many options to personalise the avatar that will instantly engage the pupils – they can change all the physical attributes of the avatar as well as its appearance and background. You can also include an image from your computer as a background.

You can then give the Voki a voice in a number of ways – however the easiest is to type in what you want it to say or record using the computer microphone. The voice can then be altered either by adding effects or by changing its accent. The Voki can then be uploaded to a website or blog. Something to bear in mind is that you need to ensure that you are running the latest version of Flash Player in order to be able to play the Voki properly.

You can choose to set up a Voki account by giving an email address and a password, but this is not necessary. However, if you want to save your Vokis and return to them to edit them, you will have to set up a free account. There is also the option of setting up “Voki Classroom” which I haven’t yet explored. It costs $29.95 a year and allows the teacher to manage a classroom set of accounts.

We were talking about smoking in our SPHE lessons this week, so as a demonstration, we created this Voki as a class together to show the pupils how it works. We are now going to explore how the pupils can create their own Vokis this week, possibly using our class novel or our history work on World War 2 as a stimulus. I think that Voki has great possibilities to enhance classroom learning and I recommend that teachers give it a try. Visit the site at Voki.com