In this posting, I aim to reflect on my creation of a Voki Avatar.
Click on this link for the site to create a Voki Avatar.
This site is free to join and I must admit I quite enjoyed customising my own avatar. The only problem is that the amount of text allocated for each avatar is smaller than fee-paying sites.
Featured below is the avatar I created.
I am planning to use an avatar in an upcoming university group presentation. The avatar will take on the role of a newsreader which will provide an introduction to our topic. This will allow for minimal group role changes throughout the presentation.
The students of today can be considered ‘digital natives’, therefore, require different methods of engagement compared to students twenty years ago (Prensky, 2001). Prensky (2001) continues by discussing that they have been exposed to technology such as mobile phones, computers and digital music players, which have contributed to their shorter attention span. Therefore, as Learning Managers, our role now incorporates educating students using a futures orientated pedagogy, rather than traditional rote learning (Prensky, 2001).
Prensky (2005) states the need to engage students in the curriculum through ways that are aligned with their fast-paced, technology-rich society. The use of a avatar could be effective within the classroom as an introductory hook into the lesson or unit of work. The avatar could take on a role within the lesson as an expert regarding the focus topic or as a segment in students’ oral presentations.
Allowing students to create their own avatar within the classroom can provide Learning Managers with explicit teachable moments in literacy training. Students would need to understand how to effectively create a piece of text that the avatar can articulate. This aligns with Oliver’s theory, whereby Learning Managers scaffold students’ learning in authentic contexts (AusInfo, 2003). After creating their piece of text, the students would then be able to produce their avatar, thus demonstrating their application of learning through this tool.
I believe that this piece of technology can be used within the classroom. The Learning Manager needs to value it as a pedagogical tool and create learning experiences that engage the students and ensure that learning outcomes are achieved.
Until next time,
AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from Learning Design: http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Native, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon , 9 (5), 1-6.
Prensky, M. (2005, September/October). Engage Me or Enrage Me. Educause Review , 61-64.