Voki – A Happy Medium

Those who know me, know that I do NOT like to be on video.  But I understand that the shift in the various technology tools used in the classroom includes the use of videos.  So, here’s my happy medium…Voki.  It allows me to create an avatar which looks mostly like me (they took away the option to change the size/shape of the eyes and reduced the various hair styles available), but I think that most people will agree that the avatar looks fairly like me.

So, this is what I’m thinking…for my class website this year, I am going to record various clips using voki and embed those in various pages.  I think that this will add a more “interactive” feature to my class website as well as help those students who are auditory learners.

The problem?  Voki is not as user-friendly as it SHOULD be.  I’m having to create a new Voki for every sound clip I want to use…and I have to use Firefox instead of Safari in order to get the sound clip to upload.  I also can’t record right into the Voki itself.  I have to record my audio in GarageBand and then upload the file to Voki.  Why the long run-around?  Not sure.  I wish that it were more easy.

Right now, I’m brainstorming ways that I could use Voki in my classes.  I’d like my students to be able to write, narrate, and record an audio clip and then upload it to the class wiki.  But it needs to be user-friendly.  I mean, I’m not a newbie to technology, and it took me quite a few tries just to get it to work.  Will my 7th graders have the patience for this?  Well, last year’s students had the patience of a saint.  I can’t count the number of times that technology did not work for us.  Too many, in my opinion.  We lost a lot of instructional time just sitting there…rebooting…breathing…reloading…you get the picture.

I guess what I need to do in the meantime is put together a basic How-To for Vokis so that I can give that to my students.  Perhaps it’ll make the process a bit less painful.  And, I’m hoping that my tech-stars will just take it and run with it.  =)

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