You, too, can pick your own nose

Efficient. Crisp. Cool under pressure. Lightly humorous. Groomed and gleaming, with salon-shiny hair carefully brushing her shoulders. Her filing cabinets are tidy and her clothes are dry clean only.

Yes, the supernice professional on the right looks exactly like me. Just like the photo of the teacher elsewhere on the page looks exactly like me. Such is the beauty (no pun intended) of selecting an avatar for one’s page.

Claire Amos of Auckland Girls Grammar put me on to this on the ICTs and English forum. She is trialling the use of Vokis in her class wiki and it seems such a neat way to find another, perhaps more personalised way to get one’s message across to learners who may not be confident readers, visually impaired learners or learners who are not confident using ICT tools and need verbal as well as visual direction.

Vokis might also have their application in schools in, for example, poetic writing, character creation, online class discussions [perhaps your class will look completely different in its avatar mode – no bad thing, perhaps?!]

There are certainly issues around appearance and gender with some avatars, as I also found on Second Life. Not sure I like the rather saucy kiss-blowing every time my voki application opens, or the limited variety of human figures available….but who knows, my smouldering ‘other’ might just be what someone is looking for as a pleasing accompaniment to their education reading.

Right, she said, flicking her hair off her perfectly made up features. Gotta run. Dry cleaners close in 5.

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