Love it or hate it, the app of Bitmoji has worked it’s way into education and particularly into distance learning. From “digital” stickers for feedback to entire Google Slide Classrooms with doors to other rooms, Bitmoji is everywhere. Bitmojis are dancing, pointing and fainting all over educational platforms. Confession time? I’m on the love it team and I’ll tell you why.
Bitmoji allows for a personal and creative touch to things that we share with others. When I create short Google Slide presentations for students they are surprised to see my Bitmoji in the corners of my presentation. Some think it is truly “geeky” but many students appreciate the effort at making the presentation a little more fun. Not having to put my real profile photo on something and being able to add a Bitmoji instead provides a small layer of privacy. I began to make virtual, interactive classrooms on Google Slides and soon realized design and creating something so personal was a throw back to the many hours I spent playing with Barbies as a kid. It was like planning to remodel my kitchen but without any cost what so ever. It doesn’t feel like work. It feels like play. 115,000 members on the “Bitmoji Craze for Educators” Facebook page all agree that it is a type of escapism and the membership grows daily.
Colleague Deanna Palmer and I created a webinar workshop for our fellow teachers about how to use Bitmoji to add some Pop to distance learning. In the webinar we included a step-by-step slide show for educators to take away. Find it here: Using Bitmoji to Make Virtual Learning Pop
Like with any popular craze or fad there are those who don’t or won’t buy in. Some teachers are reluctant because they are conscious of their digital footprint-especially since in order to create the animated virtual reality Bitmojis you need to have a Snap Chat Account. Some teachers don’t think that their students will want to see their teacher’s cartoon face all over everything in their classroom. I can appreciate that it isn’t for everyone. I am well aware that making learning “fun” or “cute” doesn’t make it deep or engaging. However, if a picture can be worth a thousand words and Bitmoji can express precisely what we are feeling. Using a Bitmoji might resonate with a colleague or student and just might make them smile. If that is what my little Bitmoji avatar does, then it was worth it.