Tag Archives: Voki

7 Ways Technology Can Enhance Your World Read Aloud Day Celebration

2 Mar

With World Read Aloud Day just around the corner, it’s not too late to use your technological resources to enhance your celebration and bring reading to life for your students. Here are seven ways to do just that!

1. Guest Readers & Audiences – Using Skype, iChat, Facetime or other applications, classes can bring in virtual guest readers. Guest readers come in all shapes and sizes. LitWorld and Kate Messner both provided a list of published authors who are willing to Skype with students on WRAD, which you can find at
Yet, guest readers can also be students’ parents or grandparents, volunteers from local businesses or organizations, or even students and teachers at other schools. If you would like to connect with other educators who are interested in Skyping for WRAD, visit this wiki created by John Schu and Shannon Miller – ChangeTheWorldStoryByStory.wikispaces.com/Skype+Schedules+and+Projects.
By the way, don’t miss out on the opportunity to allow your own students to serve as the Guest Readers for other classes or schools as well!

2. Podcasting – Get your students excited about reading by using voice-recording applications to record themselves reading aloud. Vocaroo.com or the Voice Memos app on various iDevices are simple ways to implement this… or use a more robust program like Audacity, Aviary or Garageband, which would even allow students to add mood music or sound effects to their productions. Play these finished masterpieces for the class or publish them online to share with others!

3. Talking Avatars – Using the voice recording function at Voki.com, students can use their voices to create an avatar that can read aloud to the class. Whether Abraham Lincoln is reading the Gettysburg Address or a cat is reading Carl Sandburg’s famous Fog poem, this activity will delight students of all ages.
Bonus: Students can read their own poems and compositions aloud as well! Check out this elementary Voki project by Samantha Lewis that promotes literacy and writing through Dr. Seuss inspired rhyming poems.

4. VoicethreadVoicethread is a dynamic digital media tool that will allow your students to write or record comments. For World Read Aloud Day, create a Voicethread with slides for various figures of speech or genres and allow your students to read aloud to audio or video record examples that they discover in literary works. (Learn more about this tool’s potential at Voicethread.com.)

5. Digital Storytelling – To celebrate both reading and writing, consider allowing the students to create Digital Storybooks using the Web 2.0 application, Little Bird Tales. This application allows students to compose a written piece, draw original illustrations and record themselves reading the book aloud. Best of all, they are easy to share with the class, e-mail to parents or paste on your class website.

6. Puppet Shows or Reader’s Theater – Lights! Camera! Action! Bring reading to life with a little drama! Use your document camera to create live or recorded Read Alouds of Reader’s Theater or other works with engaging images of student-created popsicle stick avatars, finger puppets or other manipulatives. For example, read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar with a large popsicle stick avatar of the caterpillar and real versions of the red apple, two green pears, a cupcake, a single leaf and more.

7. Video Book Reviews – Students can use a webcam, Flipcam or Doc Cam to record a review of a favorite book, including sharing illustrations and reading their favorites passages aloud.
Bonus: Upload these video book reviews online and connect their URLs to QR codes (qrcode.kaywa.com) that can be printed and affixed to the cover of the book for other students to watch throughout the school year!

Using Technology, you can easily use your World Read Aloud Day event to ignite a passion for reading in your students and allow it to spread far beyond your classroom walls.

World Read Aloud Day takes place on Wednesday, March 7th. For more ideas, activities resources, visit LitWorld.org/WorldReadAloudDayActivities. You can even download their original picture book, New Day, New Friends, to share with your class!

Vokis for Dr. Seuss!

2 Mar

Note: This is the first entry by guest blogger, Samantha Lewis, first grade teacher and creative educational technology user. Lewis will be featured at ISTE 2011, sharing about Announcements to the Big Screen on Small Budgets.

Today each first grader in my classroom made a Voki and it was so much fun! On www.voki.com you can create a character and personalize it to fit whatever it is you are trying to present. Then, you can type or record your own voice for 60 seconds and the Voki character’s mouth will move with your voice. This is a great way to share information in an interesting way.

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, we decided to write rhyming poems and record them for our Voki character to present to the class. My students worked so hard on their poems in order to record them on the computer. Once everyone completed their Voki, we all sat down to hear everyone’s poems from their funny characters. They were so proud of their work! It was GREAT!

Here are a couple examples of their work:

Voki – Critical Problem Solving

21 Jan

(Created by Jillian, 2nd Grade)

Yesterday, my 2nd grade classes were buzzing with excitement.  Voki.com had entered their world for the first time.  Whether shy or bold, every student was ready to have a voice… and even more eager to share it with the class.

I’ve been a fan of Voki.com for a while and we’ve used it in several different ways at our school over the last year.  When integrating it into the classroom this year, I sought a way to move it from simply being a tool of demonstrating understanding or application and instead use higher order thinking skills to create a product.  I found this by using evaluation questions in the development of the Voki avatar and in the context of a problem solving prompt.  Here’s what we did:

This project is an extension of their Science Unit on innovation and inventions.  Along with a group of 3rd-5th grade gifted students, each of our 2nd grade students has been developing an invention of their own that will be shared in a school-wide Invention Convention this Friday and will be entered in the USF Young Innovators Invention Contest.  Yesterday, Voki avatars became spokespersons for commercials promoting these new inventions.

  1. First, students evaluated their options to chose an avatar and background that matched the context of their invention – Dalmatians promoting inventions that help firefighters, rats telling you NOT to buy a new and improved rat trap, and supermodels telling you why they LOVE their no-slip purses. (NETS-S 4a, 6b)
  2. Next, students wrote their script.  We chose to type in our scripts, which really forced them to focus on their spelling, grammar, and sentence structure… and they did great!  The commercial script needed to give the name of their invention, as well as identify a problem and how their invention solves it. (NETS-S 1a, 1b)
  3. When all done, students saved their Vokis to one class teacher-created account in order to share them with their class, others at school, and on their class website. (NETS-S 2b)

The students had a great time and their products came out great. They left class even more excited about finishing their inventions and sharing their commercials as part of the Convention on Friday.

(Created by Trinidi, 2nd Grade)

Other Student-Created Voki Problem Solving Possibilities?

  • avatars of story characters sharing about the problem/resolution of the plot
  • avatars created partway through a story showing feelings/state of mind of a character at a given point in the story or how the student would solve the problem if they were that character

Have any student samples or ideas  of how students can use Voki.com for critical thinking and creative problem solving? Please, share.  🙂