This week, I did something I never thought I would do: I made an avatar. That’s right – this husband and father of three made an avatar. And honestly, I had a lot of fun doing it.
I’ve seen Bitmoji (formerly Bitstrips) used in social media and thought they were pretty neat, but never had any intention of actually doing it myself. But…education will do that to you (and by that, I mean do things that you never thought you would do).
Bitmoji is a pretty great creative tool. It was actually pretty simple to use. You just get in to the app and create an account (mine is linked to my Snapchat). Then you have to design your avatar. This was probably the most difficult part of using Bitmoji. There are so many different facial features, I found myself going back to the choices several times to make adjustments. I kept showing my phone to my wife, asking, “Does this look like me?” She helped me make some tweaks to make it look more life-like. I still don’t think it really looks like me, but I did give it a good effort.
After I was done designing the facial features of my avatar, I selected the build, and then finally the clothing. There were only five different builds to pick from. This really surprised me. There are so many different body shapes, I think they could have easily done a dozen. But there were a ton of different outfits to choose from. Looking through all the different choices, it was clear that this app was probably made more from teens and young adults than for someone in their 30’s. But I found one that would do the job. Honestly, I think I spent a good hour designing my avatar.
I think this tool would be a fun way for getting students of all ages to remember something important. It would also be fun to have students create their own avatar and find a Bitmoji appropriate to that week’s lesson to share with the class. Granted, it probably shouldn’t be used every week for every assignment, but it would be fun to use on special projects or as a reward.
I think there is value in using these types of tools in the classroom. For example, every time the lesson that you used Bitmoji on gets brought up, it creates conversation among the students. Things like, “Oh yeah, I remember doing that assignment!” and “Remember so-and-so’s Bitmoji was?” I really think using tools like this for projects helps the students create an association, which makes the lesson memorable.
I looked at doing a couple other create tools, like Piktochart, Canva, and ComicBook! I didn’t think that Piktochart would be the best tool for my ILP. I could have used Canva, but I thought I could get better results with another tool. Honestly, my first choice for this project was ComicBook! but I didn’t want to have to pay for the app (only $2.99, but still…). So I ended up with Bitmoji, and I’m really glad I did. I had a great time doing it, and I think it could definitely be a useful tool in the classroom.