in"Voki"ng Learning

How can we promote fluency and creative writing with first graders? What do you suppose would happen if a group of first graders got to choose a "talking puppet" on the computer to read a story that they created?

If you guessed they'd be ready to start right away, then you were right! That's just what happened when Ms. James showed her class Voki.

They looked at the pictures of the animated animals, dogs, and cats, then chose from there the animal "puppet" they wanted to star in their story. Ms. James had a graphic organizer to help the students gather thoughts. They worked on word choice, fluency, and animating their voices.

Ms. James
They recorded their stories right into Ms. James Voki account. She showcased their stories on her school website. The students wanted to hear them over and over again.

What happened next was not expected. Our Director of Technology, Jon Castelhano, sent an email to the district about exciting things happening in classrooms such as Ms. James' students integrating technology in learning. Then emails started flying around, reply all, about how they heard about this from their grandchild or others.

Teachers, staff, parents, and obviously students were talking about the amazing learning going on. For some of them, this was the first time they had considered the power of technology for learning.

Why did this happen? Because a teacher was willing to try something new. She was in"Voki"ng learning.

This blog was inspired by Ms. James allowing me back in her class for another adventure; a recent post from Nick Sauers; and a conversation I had with Presidential Award winner, Colette Bos. I want to thank the three of you for making a difference!


  1. Hi Tracy
    I really enjoyed listening to the student via the bear Voki. I hadn't thought about using the character as a writing prompt - what a great idea!

    I haven't noticed how long the recording / how large the file can be for an individual Voki. i am looking forward to encouraging some of our teaching staff to experiment!

    Thanks for your blog - I am really enjoying looking at so many different blogs through the blog challenge!

  2. Thanks, it is such an easy idea to use the character as the prompt. Here is another great example of using the characters to discuss point of view/perspective from Mrs. Tucker's second grade class For Middle School, I like Ms. Gummow's use of Vokis to narrate poetry

    So glad you found this blog through the Edublog Teacher Challenge.

  3. Hi Tracy -
    I think it is wonderful that you are inspiring and helping teachers integrate technology with success. It speaks volumes when the kids go home and share things with their parents who in turn share with their relatives. Technology has so much to offer to so many. One of the best things is to be able to 'share' what kids are doing in school! What better media than Voki. You have inspired me to try it with my own class!

    Keep up the good work!

  4. @Nancy,
    Thanks for sharing the passion of learning! It's always wonderful when the teacher is willing to try something new and welcomes collaboration with others. Students benefit so much from educators having the door open for collaboration.


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