Technology Review: Voki

by guest blogger Robert Foth, from Pima Community College

What is it?

A free animated avatar (the parent company is oddcast – maker of SitePal). Check mine out at my college homepage. Voki avatars can be hosted on any html page (blog, wiki, webpage, etc.). The website will give you the code necessary to embed this little avatar. You can choose the type of avatar and the background used (some backgrounds are animated and may appear faster or slower than expected). There is options to add effects to the audio, but I have not had much success with that feature.

Cost? Free!

Technical Requirements?

You need to set up an account on the Voki website and be able to copy and paste html code. You can use a microphone to record your voice (text to voice never sounds great, but you can use it). Audio can also be imported from a file or called in with a cell phone. The audio limitation is about 1 minute on the audio.

How could we use this technology in the hybrid, online, or traditional classroom?

I can put up a greeting for my students for when they access my website/online classroom. I currently have mine on the course homepage in WebCT. I can see using these to make an online assignment more interactive by having some instructions given by the voki (you can do a talking moose if you wish Maria). The MathPlayground uses vokis in problems: students listen to two different arguments in a problem and then are polled to see who is correct.

How could we use this technology in our professional lives?

Impress your colleagues by having an avatar give announcements on the departmental web page. Put one on your website to stand out among the crowd (for those of us interviewing this year).

Wish list for this technology?

The ability to use an audio file of greater size (one minute is not always enough time). There are some bugs in the system (occasional errors in background image / audio updates) – hey it’s free though. The ability to add a polling feature at the end of the animation would be nice too.

Feel free to comment-in a link to your avatar if you’ve got one!

For more on avatars and other avatar software, click on the label “Avatar” in the right-hand column under “Labels” or click here.

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Comments

  1. Sheila says:

    Do you know if it is possible to post this in the ANGEL learning management system in the announcement area? I tried inserting the code, but all that comes up is the code.

    • Make sure you’re in the HTML editor when you insert the code. If you’re in the WYSIWYG editor when you insert the code, all you’ll see is the code. I haven’t tried it with Angel, but I’m guessing that if it works in other systems (Bb and Moodle) it will work with Angel too!

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