Working in the primary grades, I am always on the look-out for creative, no-account-required, Web 2.0 websites that are also kid-friendly. One that I have found to be very successful for all grades is My Avatar Editor. This website allows you to create a customized avatar based on the Mii characters of the Wii game system, and that in itself brings excitement for the students! It is very easy to use and after a quick demonstration, the students are ready to go. After customizing your avatar, it can be exported as a .jpeg file, or a .png which allows you to remove the background – very helpful when layering objects, and is then saved as a picture in your files for future use.
What have we used My Avatar Editor for? Younger students have created themselves and posted it in their blogs (since we don’t allow their picture and name to appear together on the internet). Older students have created a cast of characters to use in stories, projects and animations. My 1-8 students have used this independently and I am sure kindergarteners could also with some assistance saving it. In this day and age when it is so easy to copy a picture off the internet, I like to encourage students to create their own components to a project and this website makes it really easy to do so!
Lisa Morowski is a K-8 Technology Teacher and Integrationist currently working with students and teachers in grades K-3 in the Merton WI School District. You can follow Lisa on Twitter and on her blog Teaching in the 21st Century.