If you are using blogs with students, or other social media, it’s usually recommended that they don’t use real photographs of themselves. A fun alternative to a real photograph is to create a cartoon "avatar" to use instead. This lets the students have a visual representation of themselves, but without using their real image.
You could also use these images as characters in your lesson resources – add them to your interactive whiteboard presentations with speech bubbles to give lesson objectives or to ask questions/set challenges. Quite a few of these tools would also be good for creating characters to use as story starters.
Here are 10 websites that you can use to create fun avatars.
- Mini Mizer - Lego Avatar This great little site lets you produce Lego figures. Try and make something that looks like you, or you can go off the wall and turn yourself into a ninja wizard. It's totally up to you.
- BuiLD YouR WiLD SeLF This site allows you to create an avatar out of bits and pieces of humans and other animals – head, arms, legs, clothes, eyes, mouth, tail, wings, shells etc. Pick the parts you like and assemble them together. This site can also be used in Science lessons when looking at animal adaptation.
- Mr. Picassohead Create a surrealist piece of work in the style of Picasso. Put your eyes and ears wherever you want! Art teachers will love this one.
- Mii Avatar Generator If you have ever used a Nintendo Wii you'll be aware of the Mii avatars that they use. This website lets you create an avatar in the same style.
- Clay Yourself Clay Yourself lets you create a version of yourself in virtual modelling clay. Lots of options to choose from.
- ArtisanCam This site provides a quick way of producing a version of yourself that looks like its been hand drawn (see image at the top of this post for an example).
- South park studio This site lets you turn yourself cartoon character in the style of the South Park television show
- Lloyds TSB Me This lets you recreate yourself in the style of the animated characters from the Lloyds TSB banking adverts you might have seen on the TV (see below).
- HeroMachine 2.5 Ever wanted to be a superhero? Well this site gives you the chance. As well as using as an avatar this would also be great as a part of a digital storytelling resource or story starter. Create a super hero then write about their adventures.
- Ultimate Flash Face This tool looks very much like something the police would use to create a photofit.
Some of these sites allow you to save the finished creation as a jpg for free. If not, then use the print screen button to copy the screen, paste into a paint program, crop and save as a jpg file. You could also use the Windows snipping tool if you have Windows 7 or 8 (or the Mac equivalent).
If you have any other favourite sites, let us know in the comments below.