Community Review for Voki
Voki takes creating avatars to the next level. Not only can students customize how their avatar looks, but they can also make it talk! Using the text-to-speech feature also helps students see the importance of spelling and grammar when communicating online. It's well worth spending the $40 for a subscription, since it's good for two years. Managing lessons and activities is a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's relatively easy. And the paid version allows teachers to review every project students create before allowing it to be published online.
How I Use It
I love this resource! It's a great way to make student writing come to life. I've used it at the beginning of the year as a final product to have students introduce themselves online. I've also used VOKI to support animal research projects with primary grades. For beginning of the year, students created Thinking Maps to describe themselves, added hobbies and interests, and also included an introduction and conclusion. They then typed a paragraph based on their descriptions, which they copy/pasted into their Voki avatar. Students quickly learned that when words are misspelled, and punctuation is not included, their avatar doesn't speak the way they intended. A great reinforcement for grammar/writing objectives. I paid the $40 for a 2-year subscription, which allows students access to a wider variety of avatars and longer speaking sections. Here's a link to an example of a 5th grade class project:http://www.protopage.com/village_east#VOKI_Talking_Avatars/Mr._Crabb
And here's a 3rd grade sample of animal research projects featuring talking avatars: