Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Voki Avatars

When I commenced this course I was intrigued by the avatars that are embedded within the content. I did not know that this technology existed and now, what do you know, I have created my very own avatar! What a fantastic tool! This would be a great 'hook' to use to engage your students at the beginning of a learning experience, or provide instructions during an ICT based activity, just like they have been used throughout this course.

Like most of the tools we have been introduced to, in order to establish my avatar, I was required to set up an account.
This process was quite simple, the hardest part is remembering all the different log in and password details. I used Voki to create my avatar and found it very engaging playing around with all the different features that are available. No doubt my future students will too.

In the 21st century the use of multimedia and technology as a form of curriculum design certainly holds many opportunities. Through multimodal delivery techniques it is possible to cater for a variety of learner characteristics. Multimodal learning has shown to be more effective than traditional unimodal learning, as it caters to individual learners' needs and capabilities by using many different modes and strategies (Stansbury, 2008). A report conducted by Cisco (2008) concluded that 'adding visuals to verbal (textual and/or auditory) instruction can result in significant gains in basic and higher-order learning'.
The use of avatars within learning experiences supports this view and by combining both visual and verbal elements, it increases the learning opportunities available for all students.

The avatar I have created is aimed at a grade 1 class and relates to the unit of work they are currently studying, 'Creatures on the Move'. Part of their assessment involves having an understanding of the observable features of different animals and their habitats. Within the classroom the use of avatars has numerous possibilities, not only as an effective teaching tool but also as an engaging learning tool. Allowing students to create their own avatar would incorporate literacy skills and give them ownership of the task.

Cisco Systems Inc. (2008). Multimodal learning through media: What the research says. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/education/Multimodal-Learning-Through-Media.pdf

Stansbury, M. (2008). Analysis: How multimedia can improve learning. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/?i=53243

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