15 Free Safe AVATAR Creators

Every year as my class begin to create their online blogs they always want some type of unique avatar to represent themselves. After a long talk about he dangers of an online presence and why not to use their real name, birthday and image of themselves, I point them to the following safe list of avatar creators. These sites are all free avatar creators. This list also represents the most popular avatar creators among my students. If you have another that is popular with your students and is free please drop me a line and let me know.

  1. DoppelMe – Free Dynamic Avatars Create simple cartoon characters to represent ou as your avatar.
  2. Create Avatar – South Park Studios Create a South Park Avatar to represent you.
  3. Marvel Create Your Own Superhero | Make Avatars with Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, Thing, Wolverine, and more Marvel Characters | Marvel.com Simple and easy to create superhero avatar creator.
  4. Toy story toy creator Create your own Toy Story avatar.
  5. M&M’S® Become an M&M’S® Character: Home Create your own personalized M&M avatar.
  6. Raster Boy Avatar Creator Easy to create full body cartoon Avatar.
  7. FaceYourManga.com | Shake Yourself! Another simple cartoon creator.
  8. Lego Avatar Creator Easy Avatar creator that creates Lego Avatars.
  9. Makewee Wii Avatar Creator just like the the Wii console.
  10. Clay Yourself! | Hotels.com Create a claymation avatar.
  11. HeroMachine 2.5, Superhero Generator, Create Your Own Hero – UGO.com Super Hero Avatar creator.
  12. avatarizeyourself.com Create an Avatar movie Avatar. Upload your own picture and then turn yourself blue.
  13. Wimp Yourself Diary of a wimpy kid avatars.
  14. Portrait Illustration Maker : Free Illustration Generater! Simple to use avatar cartoon character creator. Has many different options and styles.
  15. Voki Home This site allows you to create animated and speaking avatars. You can post a link to these speaking avatars on to your website. They can not however be downloaded.

 

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Challenge Based Resource

Writing Tutorial #3

Image by topgold via Flickr

As I begin to develop my curriculum and materials for the upcoming school year I ran across a great website on challenge based learning. This site provides resources and examples that really demonstrate how to develop and implement this type of learning environment. It is an excellent resource to help teachers begin to develop their own lessons. Not only am I excited about giving this a try in the upcoming school year I believe it to be a great resource for other teachers to use.

Check it out at http://ali.apple.com/cbl/

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Help Students Find Their “True Swing”!

Wow! Time flys! With the school year coming to a close and state testing taking place I have been a bit overwhelmed. So I apologize for being off task and not posting as regular to this blog.

Over this past week as I have had time, I was reading my regular blogs and came across a post that, of course, I cannot find now which mentioned the movie, “The Legend of Bagger Vance“.  It got me to thinking about this movie and its many different messages. One that I feel is so important for students and teachers is to help students find their “True Swing”.  Their true passion in life.  Every student has a gift in a particular area, and it is so important for educators to help students find that area they are gifted in and have a passion for.  This is the key to success for many students.  Unfortunately, many time students do not find it until later in life and miss out on much of their education.  Watch the video clip below, and as I said to my colleagues at our school lets make this one of our new goals to help students find their “True Swing”!

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20 Student Favorite Cartoon Creators

As I watched Tom Wujec’s TED talk today I was struck by the simplicity of his message. All teachers know that a good visual is key to success in the classroom. But what really intrigued me was the concept of students creating visuals to cement their learning. Over the past two years I have noticed that students who create visual projects in my class often retain information better than those who wrote papers.

In my project based classroom one of the most popular mediums for students projects has become cartoon creators. Not only do students enjoy creating these projects but the the process of taking their knowledge and depicting it visually on paper seems to be very effective in their learning process. I have often talked to students about one of their projects that they created at the beginning of the year and not only can they tell me about the project but they still remember the underlying concept taught at that time. This has always intrigued me and led me to create a long list of cartoon creators for students to use.

For those of you interested in giving this a try here are 20 of the most popular cartoon creators my students like to use.

  1. GoAnimate.com
  2. Toonlet.com
  3. Toondoo.com
  4. Pixton.com
  5. Chogger
  6. Comic Creator
  7. Comic Lab
  8. Make Believe Comix
  9. Strip Creator
  10. Strip Generator
  11. Zimmer Twins
  12. Do Ink
  13. Comic Strip Generator
  14. Comic Master
  15. Captain Underpants
  16. Comicbrush
  17. Marvel Comic Creator
  18. Witty Comic Creator
  19. Cartoon to Customize
  20. Bitstrips

Poll for Student Response, Here Is a Great Tool!

Getting feed back from students is critical.  I am always looking for ways to elicit feedback from students on content and learning styles.  Often times the feedback needed by teachers is not comprehensive but simple in nature.  I have often used online survey makers and quizzes, but these can be difficult to make and often hard to link to your class or school websites.  However, today I cam across a website called Pollmo Polls.

Pollmo Polls is an easy to use poll creator that is easy to embed in your school or class website.  It is so quick and easy to use it can be created and posted ion less than 3-4 minutes.  I highly recommend this site to quick poll and  assess your students online. This is one that I definitely plan to use in the upcoming new year.  Check it out at the following address: http://pollmo.com/

I found out about this site through Mr. Byrne’s website “Free Technology For Teachers” if you have not read this blog I highly recommend it. To read it go to this address: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/.

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Need a Simple Visual try “SimpleDiagrams”

Need to express a relationship between concepts or give a quick visual to make your point? SimpleDiagrams might just be the tool that you have been looking for.  This is a free desktop tool that allows you to quickly create a visual that you can use to express your ideas to your students.  It has some very simple features such as the ability to drag and drop, export to png, and add images.  These quick learning images can then be stored on your computer or posted to the web.  This is a simple and small utility program that is free and worth a look.  Check it out at http://www.simplediagrams.com/.

Don’t just teach them, teach them how they learn

Dominant learning style of target audience
Image via Wikipedia

This week as I was teaching my class different reading strategies they could apply to their textbooks.  I  brought up how everyone has a different learning style.  To my surprise many of them did not understand what I was talking about.  This concerned me.  I realized that not only do I need to teach these kids my subject specific content but I also need to help them understand how they learn.  It is very important that students gain an understanding of how they learn.  This provides them insight on how they should study and approach their learning.  With out this knowledge they are at a real disadvantage in their education.  So like a good teacher, I scraped my next days lesson and began looking at how I could help my students understand how they learn.

So the next day we discussed what the different styles of learning were and I had the students take an assessment that helped them find out what learning style best fits them.  In this process I found 10 great sites that contain great learning style assessments.  So if you find your self in a similar position as me in your class use these sites to help your students learn how they learn.

  1. Multiple Intelligences (Find your Strengths)
  2. What is your learning style?
  3. The VARK Questionnaire
  4. Free learning styles inventory, including graphical results
  5. Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire
  6. What are my Learning Strengths?
  7. Learning Styles Explained
  8. Multiple Intelligences
  9. Multiple Intelligences Inventory
  10. Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theories model
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