Taken from a painting of Kapiti Island at Sunset.
by Sonia Savage.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Maybe? Maybe Not? I have made a different Avatar made in abi-station
I rather like it,  it has slightly messy hair, which mine can become in class, however I will be keeping the avatar that I use around the web.

So what are avatars you ask?  Well they are digital images that depict us, an image of ourselves that we use consistently around the internet when we are commenting on blogs etc.  While some people use their real photos, often people in education use an avatar.  I use such a one because for safety reasons we encourage students to use an avatar.  Besides that its rather fun!  I like them because they're wrinkle free!!  I recognise other peoples avatar if I see them often enough. One such avatar is Miss Wyatt's avatar.  What a funky avatar.  I envisioned her in her 30's.  It wasn't only her avatar but her energy in edublogs challenges that mislead me. I found out just a few weeks ago she has just this year to retirement.

On this blog, the one I use is both my blog avatar and comment avatar.  As far as I can remember I made this in Moeruavatar.  On my class blog it is my comment avatar; I have my actual photo for my blog avatar.  I have used this avatar consistently over the last two years and it feels me!  It shows up on all Edublog's blogs.  Also it links to my email, I registered it somewhere so that if would do so. I am sorry but what I did has sunk into the mists of time!

My students have their own avatars too.  Some of them changed them the second year around, but this year I think I will be encouraging them to keep with what they have, because after awhile I begin to recognise avatars as I do names. My avatar is dressed in yellow because its one of my favourite colours; I drive a yellow car! I wear glasses all the time, even though I sometimes take them off in photos!

My user name around the internet is Mistea, if it hasn't been used when I join up.  Although in commenting generally I use my own first name Kathryn or Miss T, when commenting on student blogs. I drink numerous cups of tea in a day, I have my own teapot at school, because I drink more than one cup in a sitting, hence my username.  Another username I occasionally use is Katenz. That one should be obvious.

RSS Feeds?  I use a Google reader.  I have set it up to feed in all my students posts, and they also show up in a widget from my google reader on our class blog.  I also have other envelopes for some favourite blogs.  I keep it reasonably simple, I don't overload myself.  I also have my iGoogle home page with feeds there.  I keep this for my top blogs, the ones I instantly want to know about when I log on.  So for example at present the Teacher Challenge is sitting there at the top of this page.  It shows the first three posts links on that blog.  Very handly.


  1. Thanks Kathryn for this very informative post.There is a lot to explore and think about from here. I like your statement that you don't want to overload yourself with too many RSS feeds. I have so many and sometimes I hit 'mark as read' as I know I will never catch up. Having the Challenge feed in your igoogle page is a good idea.
    Was abi-station a complicated tool to use? Did it take you long to create the avatar? Is that site likely to be blocked in schools?
    Oh.... and PLEASE do make the voki. They are fun and we love accents. In Australia, we are lucky that we don't have accents - just the rest of the world!

  2. G'day Miss T,
    I thought my grey hair would be a giveaway in my avatar. I'm glad there are so many teachers using their blogs to teach students about internet safety and one aspect of that is their avatar.

    I love watching in the weeks after that challenge in the student blogging - you start seeing avatars all over the place in their comments.

    PS A bit disappointed that my personal blog is not listed on your blogroll.

    PSS Some teachers don't have Google accounts etc to sign in with to leave a comment. Suggest you add the Name/URL option as well.

  3. Murcha
    Abi-station is easy to use and I don't think it would be blocked by schools. But who knows, some schools are stricter that others!
    Iread blonde not grey hair every time I look at it!! One of our 63 year old teachers has the most gorgeous white hair, and cut. It has that close to blonde look.
    Oops, remedying the blog roll now! About the sign in, I must have a look. The only other option is Anonymous. I'll try that and see how it goes. I am really off Blogger since I began this challenge. Thinking of uprooting and starting one in Edublogs. I have to log into my own blog each time to comment for goodness sakes!

  4. Hi Kathryn,
    Thanks for this great post - I hadn't heard of Abi-station, so I will have to go and have a look. I am really enjoying reading new posts and connecting with teachers around the world. I tried to comment before, but the comment got deleted as I tried to "Select profile".

  5. Britt
    Thanks for the feedback about the comments. I have now set it to the totally most open I can make comments. I think Blogger and some other platforms are hopeless for commenting. I always copy or mostly always copy comments before I post because of the number of times a comment has disappeared into the Never Never land!

  6. I could see collecting avatars becoming a new hobby. Just think my students could create a new trend of trading cards containing their avatars. Thanks, Kathryn for a very readable post.

  7. Thanks for sharing the voki. I just might be inspired to create one to add to my blog. I had fun creating my avatar with photofunia. You can read about it at http://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/2011/01/20/so-you-want-an-avatar/

  8. Kathryn-- Thanks for the fun post. I loved listening to your voice on your Voki! I've lived in a few different places in the US, and as a result, my original (nasal twang from western Pennsylvania) only comes out when I am really tired. Now I have the generic television news announcer voice of the midwest US. You can hear it at my post at Book Frontiers—Virtual Me.

  9. Great post. I love your Voki. I need to work on creating one. Hopefully I'll have some free time soon. I also enjoyed you explaining the names you use online. These days, I pretty much go by "janellewilson" for professional things and "mrsjwilson" with my students. Although I still have a special place in my heart for the screen name I used before I was brave enough to put my name out there (stargirl577).

  10. I just noticed your blogroll for the Teacher challenge - what a great idea!I'm not sure Edublogs has the same functionality of showing when a blog was last updated though. I know Blogger does as my hobby one is on that platform.

    I digress - great post on avatars!Maybe your avatar should have a cup (or pot)of team somewhere, too.

    Avatar - see me - my post on avatars.

  11. Malyn
    The blogroll took some time to do! And not everyone is there, its hard to keep track of everyone. Every so often I come across someone I don't have. I saw Marsha had started one, so I followed suit.
    Yes I would like to have been able to organise that pot of tea as part of my avatar!

  12. Hi Kathryn,

    I realised belatedly that I put the wrong link in my comment above.

    Here's the right one although your blogroll would serve better!

    Here's my lazy (or efficient approach) - I added you to my blogroll so your is my launch pad to the teacher challenge. Is this cheating?


  13. Hi Kathryn,
    I love your avatar. This has been a fun exercise.

  14. I just love your voki, what a cool accent. I grew up in Minnesota, USA and the ya you betcha's are just apart of the daily language use. Unfortunately, I do not own a microphone and my voice will remain silent. If you ever rent the movie Fargo you would get an indication of my accent. I have just a slight one since, I have lived out of my home state for the last 10 years. A book that also describes my family and friends, is: How to talk Minnesotan.

    -Mrs. Berry

  15. Well I must say I enjoyed reading your post and your comment on my blog. I really picked up on the importance of using a blog reader. Especially if you are having your students blog its a great way to monitor what they are posting.

  16. Mr I couldn't do the student blog thing unless there was such a thing as a reader. It allows me to check immediately. I have only ever once had to dive in and remove a post that was not suitable. I explained later to the student and it worked out okay. The other aspect of student blogs is that I am an administrator on each of their blogs.

  17. I wish Blogger had an edit on their comments! Sorry Mr D, for leaving out the D!

  18. Hi, like your Voki. I think I have to try it out as well. It feels a bit awkward since I am not a native English speaker, but it would be perfect to use for teaching Swedish!

    I also like your avatars - both of them looks really nice. I do understand that you would keep on using your old one though.

    Check my avatars out here.

  19. Thank you Anna, and I encourage you to make that Voki. After all you could speak it in both languages or maybe you know even more. Far more than me anyway who can only speak one.

  20. I love your avatar! I quite like the idea of styling myself as a Simpsons character!

  21. I'm going to try some of the programs you mention. Thanks for all your good work!


  22. I couldn't get my link to publish, so I will try again.

  23. O.K. that did it! Here we go!

  24. K, I just lost my comment. I see what you mean by losing them. I'm going to also copy this before I hit post! Anyway, thanks for all the info about your use of avatars and your students for net safety. I will try abi-station because I love that avatar of yours! Thanks again!


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