Entertaining, educational avatars

Image created at http://www.meez.com

Though I enjoy face-to-face interaction, I also enjoy creating avatars.  Here are two of my favorite sites for doing so:

Meez

You’ve often seen me illustrate posts (including this one) with Meez characters.  Your avatar can be static or animated.  Sign-up is free, and many of the items to adorn your avatar are free.  Regular participation on the site earns you points toward premium items.

Voki

With this site you can create speaking avatars.  You can record the message yourself or type a message for conversion to speech.  The site includes lesson plans and a teachers’ forum.  Check out the samples on our Leadership & Organizational Studies guide and on our Social & Behavioral Sciences guide.

What do avatars have to do with information literacy?  First of all they can serve as an icebreaker.  Secondly you and your students can use them to convey information in an engaging way.  After all, isn’t part of information literacy communication to a given audience?*

*Association of College & Research Libraries.  (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education.  Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm.  Please note Standard 4, Performance indicator 3.