Digital Technology and Social Media in the Classroom
As younger kids become more immersed in social & digital media, even very young learners can begin to learn using Voki. Two influencial educators, Ozge Karaoglu and Esra Girgin Akiskali sat down to share how they use Voki in the classroom:
Voki for Young Learners
If you want to use technology with young learners, Voki is a great tool to enhance and facilitate learning and improve different skills that you want to build on. There is no doubt that the children love creating their own Voki avatars and using Voki for different activities in lessons. It's fun, user friendly, colorful, animated and engaging for them. Here are some examples and ways to use Voki with your young learners.
Class Mascot: You can create a Voki avatar to use as a class mascot or a puppet. You can decide on the character with the kids or you can create a suitable avatar for the children. You can change the background and it can be your classroom picture. You can decide on the name of your puppet with the kids or the puppet/mascot can introduce himself/herself to the class. Before the day starts, you can make the puppet/mascot talk about the weather, day, month, seasons or it can talk about the activities that they will be doing during the day. When the children are familiar with Voki, you can assign one student everyday to make the puppet talk using text-to speech feature or recording his/her voice.
Treasure Hunt: You can play treasure hunt with your students. Your Voki avatar can give the directions to the kids to find the treasure that you have hidden in the classroom. You can write the directions at the same time by using text-to speech activities or you can record your voice beforehand.
Interact: Use Voki avatars to ask questions to the kids or make the kids ask questions to Voki avatar. It's a great way to practice the learnt language and improve speaking skills. Children love interacting with a Voki avatar other than answering the questions you ask them.
Journal: Children can create their own avatars and keep a journal by recording their own voices or again using text-to-speech application. You can place (embed) all the avatars on one page and you can ask the kids to change the recording of the avatar every day and talk about what they did on previous day. Each child can listen to each other. It's a good speaking activity and a good way for kids to hear their pronunciation.
Teamwork: Children can do pair work and they can exchange their Voki avatars or they can be like online pen friends for each other and they leave messages to each other every day/week by recording their voices. You can also collaborate with other teachers to find e-pals for your kids.
Story Telling: Create a Voki and start telling a story and ask the children to write the end of the story. They can also create Voki at home and record their voices by telling the end of the story or retell a story you did in class.
Holiday Wishes: Children can leave messages for special days such as birthdays, Christmas or they can record their wishes for Mother's Days or Father's Day.
Class Blog: If you have a class blog or a website, you can create a Voki and welcome children or the parents to the blog. You can talk about yourself and what you aim at using the blog or you can remind their homework by a Voki avatar.
Songs: You can ask the children to sing songs and you can have a song contest. They can record their voices while they are singing their songs and the children can vote for the ones they like most.
Discussion: You can ask the children to talk about their likes, their favorites or simply about anything you teach in the classroom.
Projects: Instead of asking children to create a project on paper, you can ask them to tell their projects using a Voki avatar and it's certainly more eco-friendly.
News Reports: You can ask the children to report news as if they are the newsreader. Each child can take turns in being the newsreader.
Voki Quiz: Create an avatar and record your voice beforehand. Show the Voki avatar to the kids and write some questions about the avatar such as "How old is she?" "What is her favorite color?" etc. and ask the children to write down their guesses to those questions. When they finish writing, they can read aloud their guesses. When they all finish speaking, let the Voki avatar speak and check who has got the true answers to the questions.
Announcements: You can use Vokis for announcements about class or praising the kids instead of giving them certificates, stars or stickers.