Samples of avatars on this page:


What Child Is This?

Can you really tell whose child this is? Of course not! That's the whole idea! (Actually, these are first graders at Union Valley. Aren't they cute? They're just as cute in real life!)

Do you ever worry about putting your students' photos online even though the parents have signed a release form?

Most parents are fine with posting their child's photo online as long as their name is not attached to it. To be on the safe side, have your students create their own avatar (a visual representation of oneself). These avatars can be used all year long and every time your students post something online: in a blog, in a wiki, or in Moodle. Each student could even have their avatar in their documents folder. When you ask them to print their work they can add their avatar to it. You'll soon recognize each of your students by their avatar!

The term 'avatar' might be a new term to you, but it isn't to most of our students. They are making avatars on their video games.

Students should try to make their avatar as much like themselves as possible.

Most avatar sites allow you to pick hairstyle, hair color, shape of eyes, eye color, mouth, skin tones, and clothes. Allow the students enough time to explore

the site before they actually create their avatar. You want them to be satisfied with their avatar and keep it for the entire year.
Here are my favorite sites for creating avatars.

  • Build Your Wild Self - the avatars at the top of this page were made on this site.
  • Wee World - my avatar in the navigation bar on the left was made here. Students must be 13 to register !
For a more complete list of avatars check out the Avatar category on my portaportal.

Classroom Connections:

  • Main Character. Have students create an avatar at the Build Your Wild Self site. Let them get wild with it: add wings, horns, fur. This will become the main character of a science fiction story.

  • Bulletin Board Border. Print the avatars for each of your students all the exact same size. Print the real photos of your students the same size as the avatars. Make a border for the bulletin board out of the avatars and photos. (In iPhoto, select the photos you want to print. Go to File/Print and choose the print size. Choose 2x2 or 2x3 for the border idea. This will print all of the selected photos in the size you choose.)

  • Story Character. Have students make avatars to represent the ch aracters in a story or book that they are reading. Then write a bio-poem for the characters.

  • Trading Card. Have your students make trading cards using their avatars on the front and a bio-poem on the back. Here's an example of a trading card made using a table in Pages with ideas of what to put on the back of the card: Buhler Pages Wiki

  • VoiceThread. Use student avatars in VoiceThread instead of student photos. These can be used for their identity and/or in their VoiceThread itself.

  • Keynote/PowerPoint. Students can add their avatar on the title slide of their presentation.
  • Interactive Whiteboard clip art. Use the students' avatars and their first names in word problems in flipcharts. They'll love seeing their avatars on the board! Add all of your students' avatars to My Images in the Resource Library so they're always easy to access.


VOKIVokis are much like avatars in that you can choose your character and add features, including a background. Vokis are a hit because they

are animated vodcasts, which means you can add your own voice to them or you might choose to use a computer generated voice. There's a limit to how long the recording can be - 60 seconds. Click on the pl ay button on my voki to see how it works. Notice the eyes follow the movements of your mouse! Even the shyest students enjoy recording a voki.

There are many sites where you can make audio recordings of computer-generated voices and/or your own voice. I've listed several on my portaportal under the category titled Audio Recording Sites.

Classroom Connections:

  • Welcome. Make a voki with your own voice recording to welcome yo ur students and visitors to your website, blog, Moodle course and/or wiki. They love hearing their teacher's voice!
  • Blog. Whether you have a clas sroom blog or each of your students have their own blog, have them create their own voki. Each day a different student could post to the blog and include their own voki. Student vokis could make announcements for the day on the blog.
  • Poems. Students can record poems using their Voki. Reminder: 60 seconds total.
  • Vocabulary. Can't you see a voki introducing vocabulary words on your science blog?
  • Voki - Avatars in Education. This site is full of ideas for using Vokis and many samples of Vokis being used in the classroom. Be sure and scroll way down- it's a very looooong page.