Ever since the movie Avatar came out I have loved weaving speaking characters into my classroom. Not only is it fun to watch for students (and parents) of all ages, but students get a kick out of seeing the characters on the screen. You can create your character and add a voice to it so it can speak. You can change the backgrounds as well. Here are four ways I use avatars in my classroom:
- Have students make historical avatars. They can type text to each other on the computer that would be appropriate for the historical period.
- Make an avatar of yourself (the teacher). Leave it up on the classroom smartboard. Hit a button that has pre-programmed sayings for when you see students are off task during groupwork.
- Use avatars during parent teacher conferences. Have it up on the smart board or in the waiting room for parents once they arrive.
- Use avatars during college conferences. I have created an avatar to emulate a student so I could walk through the college admissions process for a parents evening.