Friday, February 17, 2012

Our project is on GO!

This week has been fantastic. I finally launched my project with my students. My project consists of voki avatars, which are speaking avatars done on (like the one I have on my blog). Students have to create their own voki avatars and type the text for the voki avatar to speak them out. The text is a short real personal description of themselves, but they are not allowed to say their real names.  My students are college students, aged 18-35 years old. When they finish their voki avatars, they send the embedded code of their vokis to my e-mail account. When I get their vokis I post them on a blog I made specially for the project. . Students try to guess who the real person is begin the avatar by commenting on the blog posts.
On Wednesday I set up the class with a projector and a laptop to show my students a tutorial video on how to create a voki avatar as Janine suggested on a post on Nicenet . My students did not know about the project,  so I explained them that we were going to do a project which involved creating voki avatars. I had to do the explanation in Spanish, which I normally don't use in the class, but since explaining the project in English would have been very difficult for them to understand because is a beginners' class. The fact that I spoke Spanish I think it made them feel more comfortable, because I hardly use Spanish in my lessons. While I was explaining the  project I could feel that some of them were getting enthusiastic already. Some of them were a little puzzled but they were making questions and trying to understand how to create their voki avatars. I did not feel any resistance or reticence during my entire explanation. I showed them the tutorial video about how to create their voki avatars, and then I could feel a great vibe. They were all eager to explore and create their vokis. They have to create their them as homework because they all have internet access at home or cyber cafes.
On Wednesday evening I already got some vokis, that means that they went home and created their vokis right away because my class finished at 6 pm. Some of them sent me the link to their vokis, but those links are not good enough to post on the blog. I answered their mails and told them to send me the embedded code to be able to post them on the blog. On Thursday, two students brought their laptops with 3G internet access to explore and create their vokis. I had to stop my lesson  because students made questions on how to create, publish and things about the project. I used my students device to show them stuff.  Right then I fell I hit the right button. They were motivated about the project. .
Today, Friday,  one of my students asked me to post my own voki too. I agreed because I feel that they also want me to participate.  I expect them to send the rest of their vokis on the weekend. So hopefully by Monday I´ll have all their vokis posted on the blog.


Rade Petricevic said...

Hello Nando,

Wow! Every word is redundant about your project. I really, really like it. I also like your enthusiasm of the encouragement of your students to create their voki avatars. It is very rewarding and motivating for your students. In this way, they can improve their skills of pronunciation as the class is consisted of the beginners. On the other hand, they can also improve their skills of writing especially when they try to guess who is who and when they e-mail you.
I wish you everything the best with your project in the future.

Kind regards


Fernando Beconi PLN said...

Hello Rade,
Thanks for your encouraging comment. I AM enthusiastic as my students are. So far our project is simple but very engaging and as you said they get to practice basic writing, pronunciation, and listening skills.
Thanks again.

kat said...

Hi Nando

I am sure that the project is going to work wonders in your class. Honestly speaking, I had no idea what a voki avatar was. I have read a bit more, but still I am not that sure. Anyway, your project sounds great.