Well, well, well, I have been a lucky one and my eleven-year-old technologically creative son has avatared me with the brand new free app FaceQ, available for both iOs and Android.
While having an iced drink at a cosy sun umbrella-protected café in the middle of one of those historical trendy colourful suburbs that only a few can enjoy in the summer if they work in a city closed for vacation in August, such as it is warm Madrid, my son would not stop fiddling around with his mobile, taking snapshots, uploading them to his Instagram and talking about avatars and funny faces.
So, my obvious question as a mother, was: 'What are you doing with your gadget'?
Fast and happy, he answered with another question: 'Would you like to have a new avatar?'
And there he came up with this snap design, while I had not really been able to find a sec to say yes, in a couple of minutes, created with his iPhone, using the free FaceQ app, while enjoying the shade without losing imagination.
And this is how I found out two things: what I looked like for my son and how he felt about my working away from home from Monday to Friday.
Besides, I was inspired for a few back to school icebreakers (Thank you, son!) with the aim of fostering ICT use in the ESL classroon once again. I think this app can be a nice free tool to carry out some quick quests over the first days back in our lessons.
Ten ideas coming to my mind right now:
- Pair the kids up and get them to avatar each other. Then, ask them to describe their designs to the rest of their peers and have a 'Guess Who' game.
- Have the kids avatar themselves using the app and compare their faces with the same avatars other peers have designed of them; compare the differences, make them aware of the fact that the image one might have of oneself can be different to the image others have.
- Share the avatars as pictures in their virtual classroom profiles.
- Turn them into posters and decorate the classroom with a big group picture of the class avatars.
- Make badges out of the students' avatars, so they can wear them, both virtually and as real pins.
- Hold a vote for the best avatar and give out prizes or awards.
- Keep them until the end of the school year, then have another round of FaceQ design and get them to explain the changes in their design. How has the image changed, to yourself and to others?
- And of course, take advantage of the designed faces and get them to practise parts of the face, colours, revise shapes, types of hair, eyes, clothes, accessories, and so forth.
- Get them to design the faces of their whole family tree, and then have a nice round of 'introducing my family' presentations among peers.
- Or get to know them better by asking them to avatar their favourite cartoons, characters, sportspeople, heroes, singers, idols ... Here you go another couple of my son's outcomes, which show two of his most-loved heroes in the world right now.
It is a simple easy to use app; outcomes are quite attractive and ready in minutes, as you see. On top of it all, there is no need to register the under-age users and you can go social with your designs too, as they are shareable through social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, but you may also mail your creations, so why not give it a try?
Many of our students might come back to school having already heard of FaceQ or even having used it, so it is a nice chance to go fashionably mobile in class from the very first day.