Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tech the Halls #7: Vocalize with Voki

Tech the Halls: Vocalize with Voki

Tech the Halls by using Voki, fa la la la la, la la la la. 
It's as easy as karaoke, fa la la la la, la la la la.

No login needed to get started, fa la la, la la la, la la la. 
But your knowledge will be imparted, fa la la, la la la, la la la.

Choose a character and customize it, fa la la la la, la la la la.
Type in a message, don't memorize it, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Click on publish to get a link, fa la la la la, la la la la.
Copy the link to share and tweet, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Voki is one of my long-time favorite web tools and it is FREE! I used it as a librarian to share book reviews, as well as had students create Vokis for their own book reviews and other projects. I've used it to make announcements on my webpage, as well as shared students' Vokis on the webpage. It's one of those tools that can be used for just about anything by anyone!

Here are a few tips for using Voki that I have learned over the years:

  1. You don't have to create an account to create a Voki, which makes it a great web tool for students under the age of 13. 
    • If you and/or your students choose to create an account, you can go back and make changes on published Vokis. (No account login = no edits after you leave the Voki site)
  2. If you have students create Vokis without creating or logging into an account, have them email you their published link. (After clicking on publish, it gives you the option to email directly from the site; thus, students do not have to have their own email.)  
  3. Make sure you and/or your students don't choose a character with the graduation cap icon in the upper right corner. (Graduation cap icon = Voki Classroom or Voki Presenter which requires paid subscription)
  4. Beware that students can click on the character/avatar and move the character around in the Voki player. This can also be a beneficial feature, but I can't write this post and leave out this warning. :) 
    • This is only a problem for those students who are set on being inappropriate. I had a 5th grade boy who thought it was funny to move the avatar so that all you saw on the screen was the character's voluptuous chest. 
    • Note that this was one student out of hundreds, over several years of using this tool. Don't let this deter you from using Voki!  
  5. By using the text feature (click on text to speech "T" button under Give it a Voice), students learn the importance of spacing after each word, as well as punctuation. Without those critical text features, the Voki runs all of the words together and is practically impossible to understand. 
Here is a document I created with basic directions for teachers or students to create a Voki and here is a simple rubric. Feel free to use it, share it, and/or repair it! 

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