Voki is a Web 2.0 created by Oddcast Incorporated. It is a design site where users create their own "Voki” or avatar character. (Oddcast, 2010.) There are plenty of choices when deciding how to create your "Voki." They range from animals to political figures, and have options for hair, skin, clothes, and glasses, even bling! It only took me a few minutes to create my "Voki". But having the character is only the beginning. Once you are finished designing the look of your character, you can then choose how it will sound. The several options included selecting built-in voices to using a microphone and recording your own voice. You can even call in your voice over the phone!
I selected the built in voice and typed in a greeting. The "Voki" can be played and previewed and then sent via email or to your favorite website to share with your friends. The only drawback I noticed about the sharing feature was it did not share with Facebook, although Blogger and My Space were available destinations.
I can see this application working with my AR project. I am part of the Positive Behavior Support Team at my school and would like to use a tool like this to help students in conflict begin communicating. The time spent creating a "Voki" would be time the student could use to cool down. Not only will the activity be engaging, it is usually much easier to say how you really feel if you do it through someone else! Voki could be very useful in allowing students to communicate honestly with each other without anxiety or fear of rejection. Once those barriers are removed, students in conflict will eventually be able to move to face to face communication.
Whatever it is used for, this is fun, so give it a try!