Thursday, February 25, 2010

Voki - Create Your Own Speaking Avatar

You may have noticed the somewhat strange looking animated character on the right side of my page. This is an avatar I created using Voki and embedded it into this blog.

What is Voki? It's a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, and in email messages.
If you are wondering how this might be useful in education, just consider Voki can create new ways for teachers who want to get their students 'talking' in a fun and engaging way.

Here are some ways you might use Voki in the classroom.
1. Students can create avatars that are similar in looks or personalities and record a message that tells about themselves.
2. Students can exchange these avatars with e-pals either within their own setting or anywhere in the world.
3. Students can generate questions to ask their avatar e-pals.
4. ESL (English as a Second Language) students can use the speaking avatars to practice and listen to their speech. They may use the computerised voice first then record their own voice when they feel more comfortable. Writing, reading and pronunciation are all practised.
5. Students can create an avatar that resembles a character from a story, add a setting and give it speech. The speech could be from the story or a creative point of view (POV) from the character on an event.

Follow this link to see how easy it is to create your own Voki.
How to Create Your Own Voki

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Random Word/Name Picker

This site randomly picks student names or site/spelling words for you.

Simply type or paste in a list of student names or site words. Then choose either the typewriter or the fruit machine style to choose the words. The fruit machine version allows you to remove the word that has been chosen.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Movie Poster Maker

When I first came across this website, Big Huge Labs, my initial reaction was this is a very cool site for our Art teachers, but after working through the various options, I found one section in particular could be used in any classroom.

The movie poster (and to the some degree the magazine cover) section allows you to create your own movie-style poster with any image.

This is an example of a 5th grade science class using earth science terminology to create a fun and dynamic looking poster on what may have been an otherwise not-so exciting term.
Everything is practically self explanatory on the site once you pick what you what to do with your digital picture.

Friday, February 19, 2010


One of the most fun and simple to use free resources is found at:

It allows you to speak through a still picture by recording your voice (up to 30 seconds) and moving the mouth of the face on a picture that you have chosen. I've used it with students from grades 2-5 after they have completed their research on various historical figures.

You don't need to register to use Blabberize, but you if you want to save and share the students' work then you will need to.

The steps to make and create your own "blabber" are very simple and can be taught in minutes.

And education version is coming soon, and I will post more information on that when it is available.

Welcome to Troy's Tech Tips

So often I come across great technology resources for use in the classroom, specifically the elementary classes, that I wanted to find a way to share these Web 2.0 and 21st century skills with not only the teachers I work with in my school district, but the network of educators and technology specialists like myself that I continue to come in contact with. This blog will become one more way for these resources to be passed on and hopefully utilized in classrooms.