Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Sixth grade students needed to create an avatar of a person they were researching in Language Arts. I know I could have introduced Voki and have the students copy and embed the HTML code into their presentation tool, but I decided to try something new. So, I gave it a shot, and introduced Clayyourself. Clayyourself is a web tool that will allow you to create an avatar or character. You can create a character without your students having an account.
I had the students go to Clayyourself and pick the attributes and characteristics for their avatar. They can select a hair style, eyes, eye brows, nose, mouth, include accessories, clothing, and color traits. When the students were done with their character, they used Windows snip it tool to crop their character and save it as a file to their home drive.
At this point, they were able to insert the image into their Voicethread or Powerpoint file. This is a sample of an avatar from Clayyourself.
Have your students try it! It is very simple, and believe me, your students will enjoy it. Most of all, they will be engaged!
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Before my school district purchased a site license, I used the free account for Voicethread. If you are not familiar with this web tool, I would highly recommend going to the Voicethread hompage, create an account, and watch an introduction video about Voicethread.
I primarily used it as a presentation tool for my students. However, I had middle school students create a Voicethread for their project to compare characters in their novel to modern day famous people. The novel the students were reading was The Outsiders.
I grouped the students in small groups and allowed them to collaborate, research and compare characters from the novel to famous people. They had to include a picture of the character and a picture of the person who they felt portrayed that character. In addition, they had to explain and support their reasons for choosing the person. However, here is the trick....they had to share the Voicethread with each other.
One person in the group had to initially create the Voicethread. Then, that person had to share it via email or by link to the other members of the group. Once the members click on the link or open the email, they instantly had access to the Voicethread and were ready to start work. I would recommend one student to share the Voicethread with other members via the Link option, then share the link in Edmodo. This allowed other members of the group and the teacher to have access to it. That's it! It's that easy! You can't do that in PowerPoint!
The students were ready and anxious to learn a new web tool. They had to collaborate and use their creativity to express their findings on the project. I am happy to say, the students were engaged and took ownership of this project. I would highly recommend using this tool in your classroom.