Character Development Using Voki Speaking Avatars

Recently, I participated in the I Heart EdTech Blog Swap from This post about using Voki speaking avatars was originally posted in Kelli Erwin’s blog, which is full of great educational technology reviews!

Voki is an application that lets you create personalized avatars to use on your wikis, blogs or websites. You can also e-mail these wonderful characters. This free web 2.0 tool is a great way to motivate learners of any age, because they are very interactive and provide various options for students to customize them.

One of the best ways I like to use Voki avatars is to have students develop characters for digital storytelling projects. Have students create a Voki character as the main character in their digital stories! This is especially helpful with young learners who love reading and telling stories. If you take your students to a computer lab, let your students begin creating the avatars and walk around and ask the following questions about their characters. Feel free to develop your own questions. These questions are just to get you started and get you familiar with the various Voki options.

Character Development Chart

Here is what one of my students did with his Voki character. My student is from Germany and only 5 years-old. English is not his first language. The Voki next to his is a six year-old student from Turkey! My friend Ozge Karaoglu and I did a collaborative project sharing characters!

You can also use Voki’s with older students. I teach English to adults and they love the conversations my Voki characters have like the one below to teach idioms.

To see more Voki characters by children and to find out more ways to successfully integrate web 2.0 tools with young learners, visit the wiki created by Ozge and me, You will find great ways to do international collaborative projects as well!

**Note: Please remember to get written permission from parents before using any web 2.0 tools and to set-up the account under your name.


Use Voki with your students to help them develop their characters in an upcoming story!

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How can you use Voki’s with your students?

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.


  1. Shell, these are really cool! It’s a great way of students to learn language but also to have an avatar instead of having a photo online.

  2. This is such a cool idea. I will have to make a note of this and find a way to use it next year with my Freshmen. Great work!

  3. I love this idea to engage students visually and auditorially as well as with the written word. I have used voki and blabberize in my classroom as a presentation tool for students who are reluctant to share with the class in person. Thanks for an additional authentic way to utilize the site!

  4. This looks great for second language learning. I have only briefly looked at voki before, but your post has inspired me to give it a go with my Hebrew students. Any engaging way to practise using language is worthwhile! Thanks.

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