I absolutely love Bitmoji! It allows users to create a personal avatar of themselves that appears in hundreds of picture messages. It never gets boring because new images are added regularly. Students have strong connections with their teachers and relate to them. For this reason, it’s worth adding a personal touch to digital correspondence. Bitmoji is a fun, easy way to personalise communication and feedback. It can be used by teachers in many ways.
The app is available for free on iOS and Android from the App Store and Google Play. Once installed, you can create your avatar and then add the Bitmoji keyboard through your phone settings (the app will show you how to do this). Once installed as a keyboard, Bitmoji images can be accessed and used in the same way as standard emojis, compatible with most apps including Gmail, Snapchat and Whatsapp.
If you plan to link Bitmoji and Snapchat, click here to read about some new updates (scroll down to the Snapchat part). These include 3D Bitmojis, AR and Friendmoji. I’m not on Snapchat but these new features sound cool!
Bitmoji Chrome extension
Click here to download the Bitmoji Chrome extension. It will then appear in your extensions bar (at the top of your Chrome browser). The first time you click this icon, you will be prompted to sign in. After that, you’ll see all of your Bitmoji stickers in a small window. Right-click to copy the images or simply drag them to compatible websites and documents.
Also, after you have signed in, the Bitmoji icon (your cartoon face) will appear in Gmail’s ‘compose’ window. Click the icon to add Bitmoji stickers to your emails.
I like to add a Bitmoji sticker to student work when I provide feedback. In most cases, the Bitmoji alone is insufficient, but I think it works well when combined with more informative feedback. Again, it adds an important personal touch. Bitmoji stickers can be dragged from the Chrome extension onto G Suite documents. Fun and encouraging stickers can be added to students’ digital assignments effortlessly.
Personalise presentations and assignments
As well as personalising feedback, Bitmoji stickers can be added to presentations, assignments and worksheets. Again, this is easy to do from the Chrome extension window. Simply drag, drop and resize. You can search for relevant images using Bitmoji’s search bar. It’s easy to find a Bitmoji to meet your needs and match your purpose. For example, the Bitmoji below works well for encouraging a deeper response. There are also great stickers to match questions or extension challenges.
Bitmoji and Gmail are nicely compatible, especially from a Chrome browser. Clicking the Bitmoji icon when composing a new email gives me quick access to my stickers. Likewise, from the Gmail app, I can access the Bitmoji stickers from my additional keyboard. Email has become much quicker and more fun. On a daily basis, I reply to students and colleagues with personal Bitmojis (when appropriate, obviously).
Bitmoji for students?
Although I recommend Bitmoji for teachers, I wouldn’t necessarily encourage students to create their own. Although most of the images are child-friendly, there are some that are mildly inappropriate for children. It depends on the age and maturity of the students and how much they can be trusted to ignore inappropriate text such as ‘sexy’ and ‘LMFAO’.
Create your own Bitmoji
By this point, you’re probably trying to imagine what your own cartoon self would look like. Find out by creating your own Bitmoji! This can be done through the Bitmoji app. Your personal emoji only has to be created once. After that, it can be accessed on any device by logging into Bitmoji. The app will guide you through the step-by-step process but click here if you need additional guidance. When you have finished, share one of your stickers with me on Twitter (@AhillAdam). I can’t wait to see you as a cartoon!
I’m not saying that Bitmoji will change the world. It may not be the most transformative technology tool for teachers. However, the importance of strong teacher-student relationships should not be underestimated. Bitmoji helps to build those relationships and enhances communication by making it more personal and relatable. Plus, it’s relevant and great fun! I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.
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