I have been playing with avatar creation in a few of my lessons this term, trying to use them to engage and motivate students when i have been doing fairly dry topic areas. I got the idea from the teach-ict website (www.teach-ict.com) where there is a scheme of work that uses avatarts in the creation of a data base. The students loved the fact they could create avatars about teachers i had specified, and this really engaged them. So i thought i might use it with a science group i take.

We were in the computer room, and i was covering diet. I got students to create an avatar as a starter using http://www.southparkstudios.co.uk/avatar/  then they just imported this as a screenshot into paint and cropped the part they wanted. They then researched the 7 elements of a balanced diet, and created a fact poster about what the elements were and where you would find them. The students really loved it and produced some really good poster.

Now this seems really basic to teachers who are using tech and websites in their everyday teaching, but there are definately teachers at my school who will never have heard of this, and if they used a simple technique like this, could really engage students and integrate simple technology into lessons, and avoid death by powerpoint!