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Digital Citizenship Digital Learning Environments Teaching and Learning

Creating Avatars using Bitmoji and a Surface Pro

Is the lighting right? Do I have the right angle? Do I always look like I’m looking down?

It took me ages to make my first video with my real face in it, and I only did it out of necessity. This was before I discovered how to make my own avatar. I’ve seen countless people doing this on iPads. I wanted in.

The most powerful tool you have at your disposal to engage your students is… you! However. It is one thing to turn up in front of your class of 30 for an hour lesson. It is another thing entirely to start recording yourself in online videos.

Is the lighting right? Do I have the right angle? Do I always look like I’m looking down?

It took me ages to make my first video with my real face in it, and I only did it out of necessity. This was before I discovered how to make my own avatar. I’ve seen countless people doing this on iPads. I wanted in.

Creating your own cartoon version of yourself, your avatar, means that you can easily insert customised stickers to add the extra human touch to your teaching resources, without having to resort to taking hundreds of retakes for a 3min explanation video. This also models good digital behaviour to your students, as your avatar will be a realistic interpretation of yourself. Digital stickers can be used to:

  • Feedback on OneNote and Flipgrid
  • Adding emphasis when creating worksheets
  • Display expression and infliction in PowerPoints that you are voicing over to set tasks
  • Create personalised praise certificates
  • Save hours of your time!

Follow these simple steps to create your own teacher avatar and digital stickers on a Surface Pro that can be used for anything you want.

Create your bitmoji account and Avatar.

Bitmoji is the app that you can use to create your avatar. It is easiest to do this on your phone. Download bitmoji from the Apple or Android Store and use your email to create an account. Once you have created the account, follow the instructions to create your mini-me.

If you are a first time user with a brand new account, bitmoji even lets you take a selfie and the app will help you create your avatar! More information here: https://support.bitmoji.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001493806-Create-Bitmoji-with-a-Selfie

On your Surface (or laptop): Download the bitmoji extension

Download onto Chrome by going to the bitmoji website and clicking on the “get it on google Play button. Follow the prompts to download bitmoji as an extension. You will need to log into your Bitmoji account

Search for a suitable starting image.

Click on the green button by your search bar to explore the avatar options. When you find one you like, right click on the image and copy it. You can also use the Search option to make avatars with your searched word.

Copy and paste into Powerpoint to edit using your stylus.

Open PowerPoint and paste the image onto a slide. Use the Freeform snip function to clip the image so it only displays what you want it to.

Use shapes to add phrases you want around your avatar.

Select the shape or image you want to use in powerpoint and edit it to customise your sticker.

Group all objects and save as a picture.

Group all object together, right click on the collection of objects and “save as image”. Once you save it as a picture, you can upload the image to as many places as you need. Creating a Bitmoji folder on your Onedrive to store your avatars is highly recommended so you can access the images from any platform or device.

Downloadable resources

I’ve made some general phrases and speech bubble examples on PowerPoint to get you started that are downloadable in the file below.

For extra fancy avatars with transparent backgrounds, I use this website, which converts images into images with transparent backgrounds for free:

https://onlinepngtools.com/create-transparent-png

By Linda Parsons

Author of Digilin Learning.
Follower of Educational Technology enthusiasts, of all subjects. I am an MIE Fellow, Apple teacher and Google Educator. If it can be used as a learning tool, I will be keen for it. Currently a science teacher in the UAE.

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