Thursday, January 27, 2011

Avatars (not exactly Oscar material -- or is it?)

It's a constant battle to stay on top of online safety for our students. There are some hard and fast rules that we teach them like not giving out personal information or posting photos. But, we also want them to have fun while being safe.  One of the things that establishes our online identity is our avatar.  Similar to the James Cameron movie idea, avatars are images that we set up to represent our online identities. But it turns our that it's not just for kids!

As part of the Teacher's Challenge , we were asked to establish an avatar for our blogs, and other online presences. Years ago when I started my movie blog, I used a filmstrip avatar; for my online PLC, a gold surfer on a mouseboard.   These images seemed to be an accurate representation of my interests, of what I wanted to show people who read my blogs. (I was never really fond of having my photograph taken or shared for that matter. 

In doing some research through the challenge, I came upon a great blog by Brit Gow that listed some really cool avatar sites. Her blog, "How Many Different Ways to Create an Avatar,"  about different sites that allow artsy, fun, even cartoonish images, was an invitation for me to play.  To the left is my "Picasso" self - who knew I was so artisitc?

I also tried out several other avatar creators, like ReasonablyClever, which is a LEGO avatar creator, or the creatur-istic Build a Wild Me

Another fun tool is the VOKI website -- a VOKI is a personalized speaking avatar.  I've added mine to the sidebar on my blog -- probably as close a rep of myself as it gets.

I can't wait to try these cool tools with my students -- another engaging way to reach out to the Digital Natives, while offering safe ways to play online.
Reasonably Clever
Build a Wild Me


  1. *UPDATE: as of June 2012, I have not been able to access Brit Gow's blog list.

  2. As of July 2014 - Brit Gow's blog listing is unavailable. She does have several other blogs through her school. Sorry.

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