Voki’s are a fun tool. They are quick and easy to make, and are also easy to use. They may also be used in many situations, such as the introductory or conclusion to a topic or even a voice welcoming somebody onto a website.
Educational uses for Voki’s are many and varied. They can be used with younger kids who can use computers, but cannot yet read. Similarly, they may also be used with older learners who have difficulties with reading. Additionally, some people are using Voki’s to teach learners another language. Another Voki possibility is using it to be the ‘hook’ of a lesson. An example of this is as follows.
As part of a KLA: Technology assignment, learners could be required to have some sort of mission, eg. create a new entertainment venue for youth on the Sunshine Coast. All learners would know Bob Abbot is the Sunshine Coast’s Mayor; therefore, the Voki in this is a character playing the role of Bob Abbot; he is telling them their mission. They are his employees at the council and he is their boss; he is being used as the initial form of engagement for the learners. Upon finishing this assignment, learners may then, if they like, send their idea to Bob Abbot.
This is obviously just an idea, however, the point being put across is that Voki’s can be used to create ‘authentic’ and ‘real’ learning experiences. The learning experience that I have specifically created here conforms to the engagement learning theory. In my opinion, the majority of educational experiences involving Voki’s will follow along the lines of the engagement theory as they are used to a humanly element to tasks (Dyer, n.d.). The element of ‘fun’ that Voki’s add to projects may help to intrinsically motivate learners to participate in learning experiences as a result of the authentic nature of the task and the learning environment (Kearsely & Shneiderman, n.d.).
Dyer, A, K. (n.d.) Voki- Avators in Education. Retrieved August 3, 2009 from http://www.squidoo.com/voki
Kearsely, G., & Shneiderman, B. (n.d.). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 3, 2009 from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm