Earlier today, I was once again speaking with a colleague about students' digital abilities and the fact remains the same - despite students using their devices and gadgets intensively, how digitally literate are they?
There are numerous tools and platforms which may be introduced in educational settings, each one adding (hopefully) to building and developing digital literacies. For those who use a LMS (e.g. Edmodo or any other), having students create an avatar, is for me, a ritual on every new course I teach.
Creating an avatar is not only a "bit of fun" - it can be a visual aid that students can then use to describe themselves, for example, in a language lesson, hence mixing a digital visual creation with text.
In regard to EdTech, in a recent article, Siemens, refers to
"My framework for technologies in the edtech space now, those that I find empowering for learners and reflective of a human and creative-oriented future, includes five elements:
Does the technology foster creativity and personal expression?
Does the technology develop the learner and contribute to her formation as a person?
Is the technology fun and engaging?
Does the technology have the human teacher and/or peer learners at the centre?
Does the technology consider the whole learner?"
Asking a learner to create an avatar, does include the above - particularly an element of fun. And by reading the screen, following instructions, learners are also practising other skills related to digital literacies.
Simple and free to use, easy to create on a laptop or mobile device, Get Peanutized is yet another option for students to create their own personalised avatar.
Which character will you decide to be this autumn?
Is Education Technology Losing Its Humanity?
Who are You? Where is your Avatar?