Tuesday, June 12, 2012

S'More Tech Summer Camp, Day 7

Hi campers!

Are you having fun yet? I hope that our summer camp is both fun AND useful for you!

Today is another fun and crafty day for us, as we return to the world of avatars. We've already created our wild selves...now it's time to Clay Yourself! Remember the hours that you've spent playing with clay or Play-dough? Have you watched your own children or students spend more time creating their avatar for a video game than actually playing the game?

Sponsored by hotels.com, this web 2.0 tool is another avatar creator that is free and does not require an account. And this one doesn't have big, splashy ads, just "hotels.com" scattered here and there.

By choosing the "create a character" tab from the top of the screen, you can create a claymation-type character, choosing different features from a menu.

One of the things that seems so cool about this is that students all over the world are clay-ing themselves, in places like New Zealand and  London.

The stage name generator prompts you to choose your favorite type of vacation (hint, hint from hotels.com) and it creates a stage name. For example, when I chose "tropical paradise" for my vacation, my stage name turned out to be "Tamara Pineapple." I think the character names and clay people could be great story starters.

The "script creator" option is a "mad libs" activity, allowing  you to choose parts of speech that get plugged into a story that's about a paragraph long.

Like Build Your Wild Self, this could be a good tool for students to create an avatar for themselves on sites where we don't want them to use their photos for safety and privacy reasons.

How could we use this site in library instruction?

-try to re-create a character from a book
-use this image in another program like Blabberize to make the character talk
-create a clay self of a person from a biography or autobiography
-discuss the way that an avatar lets you express your personality without compromising your online safety

Here's one more "avatar without an account" possibility, but I don't think my students would ever quit working on one of these...

Reasonably Clever will let you create a Lego avatar. No account is required, but you'll have to save it with a screen print. This is a blog, not affiliated with Lego. Maybe some digital citizenship issues here?

Have fun expressing yourself with an avatar and saving it to your camp scrapbook. And let us know what other ways you think of to use avatars in library instruction!


  1. You used to be able to use the Aviary Talon Firefox extension with the Reasonably Clever site. It's down ... I hope they fix it. Skitch still works but that's only on Macs. The various Chrome screen shots I've tried don't work ... I'm guessing it's the Flash on the site? I dislike having to take full page screenshots and then still having to go back and crop. Anything to do with Paint. Ugh.

    Many of the teachers at my tech camp class were confused by the Clay Me saving process. So FYI everyone ... help the ones who are trying to "follow our lead" but may not intuitively know how to click through and properly save to the desktop or network drives. ;]

    1. Thanks, Angie! That's a good point. I think that in exchange for the hassle of creating an account, we get a different hassle of trying to save our creation with screen print or screen shot. You're right that we need to remember to walk our teachers through all these steps so that they won't get frustrated!