emerging technologies avatars by hanna kramer and shari bowden n.
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Emerging Technologies: Avatars By: Hanna Kramer and Shari Bowden. Avatars: What are They?. Avatars are animated characters which serve as a teacher or instructor Also called animated pedagogical agent (APA)

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avatars what are they
Avatars: What are They?
  • Avatars are animated characters which serve as a teacher or instructor
  • Also called animated pedagogical agent (APA)
  • The degree of animation varies: some have few facial expressions; some are complete 3D full body animations.
simple mywebface
  • The simplest version of an avatar can be created at mywebface.com. This is intended to be as close to a representation of you as possible. No real animation but can create different versions with expressions based on anger, confusion, etc. It is free.

This is Shari’s lifelike avatar. ONE ADVANTAGE: avatars always have good hair days!

This is sad Shari.

easy to add voice
Easy To Add Voice
  • Create avatar then add a voice by converting text, recording, or adding audio files
  • It is easy to add voice. An demo of how simple it is can be found here:


  • Creates a file for sharing via social media, e-mail, etc.
  • It’s FREE – good for student projects and presentations.
voki com
  • http://voki.com/
  • Voki is an easy to use website which specializes in creating avatars specifically to use in an educational setting
  • Here is an example of an avatar of Hanna with voice: http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=8292282&height=267&width=200
  • Avatars can be created in under 5 minutes
  • Voki.com offers sample lesson plans for various grades and topics which provide formats of how to use avatars in the classroom
full animation
Full Animation
  • Full animation is more complex and generally, more costly.
  • Associated with computer-based learning platform
  • Studies show increased student motivation when empathy is shown by avatar.
  • Avatar-narrated videos are possible to create at: http://www.livingactor.com/Presenter/demo
uses in training and education
Uses in training and education
  • Industrial setting: getting a consistent message to a large number of people. (new technology increased interest in the materials)
  • Student projects – students don’t have to stand in front of class and present
  • Embed in blogs and websites
  • Computer-based learning is enhanced by avatars teaching the classes
benefits of avatars in education
Benefits of avatars in education
  • Avatars can replace the need for a teacher to be present at a lesson, yet still offer a similar visual stimulation.
  • Avatars offer the opportunity of having a variety of cartoon-like figures (Voki.com has the option of animal or celebrity avatars) teaching lessons which could enhance attentiveness amongst students.
  • Computer-based learning can be more visually stimulating with the use of an avatar in place of the instructor.
avatars and biases
Avatars and biases
  • Studies show that the gender and ethnicity of avatars affect student’s assessments of the ability of the virtual teacher (Beck, 2012).
  • Students can have the same expectations of a teacher who is physically present or of the animated representation of the teacher.
  • This knowledge can be used to educate students about inaccurate biases they unknowingly possess.
assure model
  • A- Analyze Learners
  • S- State Objectives
  • S- Select Methods, Media, and Materials
  • U- Utilize Media, Materials, and Methods
  • R- Require Learner Participation
  • E- Evaluate & Revise
  • Chin, G., Lee, J., Wang, C., Chao, P., Li, L., and Lee, T.Y. (2011). An empathic avatar in a computer-aided learning program to encourage and persuade learners. Educational Technology and Society, 15(2), 62-72.
  • Beck, D. (2012). The influence of gender and ethnicity of student avatars on teacher’s expectations and perceptions. International Journal of Gaming and Computer Mediated Simulations, 4(1), 1-24.