Welcoming Students Back with Bitmoji Classrooms

Welcoming Students Back with Bitmoji Classrooms
Posted on 08/11/2020
Emoji

This fall, the first day of school experience will look different for students who will be accessing distance learning from home. Teachers are working to make it personalized, fun, and welcoming, with the help of Bitmoji classrooms.

“The Bitmoji classrooms enable you to bring your personality virtually, aside from just the way you speak and the way you act,” said Robin Larrabee, who teaches literature, media studies, and yearbook at Park Vista Community High School. “The students get that visual that they would’ve gotten if they had walked into the classroom.”

Bitmoji enables teachers to create lookalike avatars that they can then edit into digital, customized classroom scenes, while linking assignments and resources for students to navigate and click on.

“If you set up a Bitmoji classroom correctly, the students can go into that classroom and work at their own pace and their own rate,” Larrabee said. “They get to pick what they want to do first. If you’re a teacher who includes a social-emotional learning break, it’s already built in.”

These digital classrooms are then uploaded into Google Classroom for students to easily access, making them functional for daily instruction.

“It just puts everything in a more structured space,” said Danielle Clark, a world history and information technology teacher at Verde K-8. “It gives you the power as the teacher to know that you have it all under control. My kids will know the expectations and they can navigate around the classroom the same way they would in person.”

Sheryl Pang from Seminole Trails Elementary has made several Bitmoji classrooms for various subjects, including a reading room, word wall, math room, virtual technology lab, and a brain break/recess area. She has also been helping her peers set up their Bitmoji classrooms.

“Students can find books, supplies, and educational videos that some might not have access to in a home setting,” Pang said. “I am hopeful for others in my school to use them as well because it is a fun and engaging way for our students to love their learning, even in a non-traditional setting.”

Clark and Larrabee will be hosting a Bitmoji Classroom Design Class for educators on Thursday, August 13, at 5 p.m. through Google Educator Group South Florida, an independently-run community of educators from around the area with the goal of empowering teachers “to meet the needs of students through technology both in the classroom and beyond.”

“We’re going to talk about what a Bitmoji classroom is, different types of ways to use it, backgrounds, keywords, creating transparent images, how to use different websites for furniture and design aspects, using preview mode so that students can’t manipulate the background and can only click on links, and the importance of consistency for student navigation,” Clark said.

Tune in for the session on August 13 at 5 p.m. here.

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