Remote learning has shaken things up in a number of unexpected ways since 2020, and most educators have been searching for new ways to keep learners engaged, especially in a virtual environment. One surprising way teachers have been able to engage students is through virtual Bitmoji classrooms. What is a Bitmoji classroom, you may ask? We’ll give you a run down in this article!
- What is a Bitmoji Virtual Classroom?
- The Benefits of a Bitmoji Virtual Classroom
- Creating a Virtual Bitmoji Classroom With a Few Easy Steps
- Bitmoji Virtual Classroom Examples, Tips & Best Practices
- 5 Key Apps for Building Your Bitmoji Classroom
- Introducing Kaltura Virtual Classroom
- Final Thoughts and the Future of Bitmoji Classrooms
What is a Bitmoji Virtual Classroom?
Bitmoji is a widely used social app that’s an image-based interaction tool. It’s been popular with kids and encourages expression–they create a cartoon character based on themselves which can express a variety of emotions. The Bitmoji animations can be placed into social media, messaging, emails, and more.
As follows, Bitmoji classrooms are virtual classrooms that use the Bitmoji app to create an avatar of the instructor and other visuals. Bitmoji classroom images are easy to make, fun, and help students feel more connected to a learning environment even when they’re logging in from home. They incorporate interactive elements for students to click through and access assignments, documents, and websites. Additionally, a Bitmoji classroom allows a teacher or instructor to showcase their personality, incorporate more interactivity, and lend a friendly quality to a virtual space.
Teachers started using Bitmoji to personalize their lessons when they were required to switch to virtual learning in 2020, however many teachers have also seen value in continuing to use the format through 2022 and onward!
The Benefits of a Bitmoji Virtual Classroom
The primary benefit of using a bitmoji classroom is as an engagement strategy for students. Bitmoji classrooms add personalization, as well as real-world connection and an element of fun with learning. It can improve communication with students and get them back into a mental space of “going to school” rather than simply logging into a video call. When students (particularly younger students) feel like they’re actually going to school, that mindset and engagement are a benefit to their attention and learning.
Creating a Virtual Bitmoji Classroom With a Few Easy Steps
- Start with first things first: You’re going to need to download the Bitmoji app to your smartphone for iOS or Android! Using the Google Chrome browser with a Bitmoji extension can also open up your options (more about that below). You can create your Bitmoji avatar with a selfie and then get comfortable with it using customization and autogenerated scenarios and poses in the app.
- You’ll build your classroom in a slide deck program (we’ll give some suggestions below) using images found online or even uploading your own photos. There are also free online apps as well as professional design software (Photoshop, etc.) that can help you layout a classroom image. Keep it simple and work with a user-friendly app if graphics and design are not in your skillset!
- An easy way to get started is finding an appropriate background image on the internet. Fire up your favorite search engine and try some options like “brick wall” or “classroom” or “floor to ceiling background” and find a nice-looking space to set yourself up in. Make sure to check for a Creative Commons license in your search and find free-to-use images so you avoid any issues with permissions or copyright laws. If you’re up to it you could also take your own photos of a classroom space and upload them!
- Pick a pose and bring your Bitmoji over into your virtual classroom! Personalize it further with messages on the blackboard/whiteboard, textbooks or favorite books, and possibly familiar objects from your classroom.
- Adding links to objects in the room creates interactivity and educational functionality so your Bitmoji classroom is not just a pretty picture. You can link to course material, websites, read-aloud books available online, and any number of other ideas.
- Share it with students and families! A good quality virtual educational platform will make your Bitmoji classroom easy to share with just a link.
For nitty-gritty details and further inspiration, you can check out this post, which gives step-by-step instructions for creating a Bitmoji classroom in Google Slides–but the advice translates fairly well to other apps and platforms.
Virtual Bitmoji Classroom Examples, Tips, and Best Practices
If you’re looking for some inspiration to get a Bitmoji virtual classroom up and running, there are some fantastic examples from real teachers here.
Generally speaking, if you are creating a Bitmoji classroom remember that you are there to educate. Crucial educational information and instructional features should be front and center; personalization, additional features, and trimmings are important to the virtual classroom environment, but a secondary concern.
Courtesy of a “deeper dive” article posted by the United Federation of Teachers (you can read the whole thing here) these are a few useful points for putting together a Bitmoji classroom:
Have an instructional objective. Don’t get hung up on bells and whistles.
Consider the function of your Bitmoji classroom first (Whiteboard? Link repository? etc.) and put that at the center of the design.
Don’t overwhelm with too much visual stimulation.
Streamline! Your students don’t need to navigate or be distracted by clutter, they need to get to key information and functions.
Create your classroom to reach all learners.
Keep language simple (especially for bilingual students and English learners). Make sure fonts are easy to read, use images, and highlight important info and details!
Be welcoming and culturally mindful.
Part of the appeal of a Bitmoji classroom is comfort and familiarity. You may try to replicate your IRL classroom. If not, definitely include familiar items as well as items that acknowledge your students’ different cultures and backgrounds.
5 Key Apps for Building Your Bitmoji Classroom
Bitmoji: Set up an account and download the app to your mobile device to get started.
Google Chrome with Bitmoji extension: This Chrome extension gives you a lot more options for using Bitmoji on your browser and across the web.
Google Slides … or other slide-based apps! (PowerPoint, etc.): If your school already uses Google Classroom, Slides is a great way to go. Microsoft users might prefer PowerPoint. Any slide deck program that you’re comfortable with: this is where you’re going to build your classroom.
Canva: A drag-and-drop design app that can help you create backgrounds and templates, or find an existing one that fits your needs.
An Online Instructional Platform: Such as Kaltura, to connect your students and post your content. A top-flight educational platform like ours will also help you along in the process by making it easy to upload your content and providing additional customization and editing tools! See below…
Introducing Kaltura Virtual Classroom
On the subject, we’d like to introduce our platform for education and training: Kaltura Virtual Classroom. Whether you want a virtual Bitmoji classroom-style customization, hybrid video course, or a different custom theme, our Virtual Classroom is both a versatile best-in-class platform for schools and universities and a high-quality virtual training format (especially at the enterprise level) for businesses and organizations.
Kaltura Virtual Classroom is an easily-branded continuous learning space that’s easy for students to reach with just a click! It can offer you all the tools for effective learning in one place, in a portable format. No downloads or installations are required!
Within the virtual space, we enable a digital whiteboard, breakout rooms, and moderated Q&A options to keep students focused and interacting. A continuous classroom space means that you can set up branding, playlists, quizzes, and whiteboard activities once, leave and come back, and pick right up where things left off. Meanwhile, students have access not only to live-streamed instruction but to “out-of-class” activities, reviews, and catch-up. Live classes can also be recorded for everyone’s convenience, including automatic transcription features. Built-in pro editing tools also give you the option to reuse and repurpose your content.
Additionally, moderation controls ensure your group is eminently easy to manage. Finally, advanced analytics show you how engaged your students were, when, and wherein the session–then you can figure out what works best and adjust your lessons to be more effective going forward!
Best of all, it’s browser-based (including a dial-in option) so it requires no special gear, software, or technical skills to get up and running. If you’d like to judge for yourself, we also make it easy to take a free trial.
Final Thoughts, and The Future of Bitmoji Classrooms
Many teachers see value in a Bitmoji classroom by incorporating more technology into a normal curriculum. While students may not be indefinitely required to attend school remotely, Bitmoji classrooms can remain a useful and accessible component of hybrid learning or a digital addon to in-person teaching.
Engaging students and holding their attention will always remain a challenge for teachers–young students particularly need to be engaged and to learn to focus. By personalizing a virtual learning space, you can help your students feel comfortable and able to focus even in situations when it’s impossible to hold class in person.
With all that said it seems likely that virtual Bitmoji classrooms will be not just a fad, but an enhancement to virtual and hybrid learning strategies for the immediate future. We hope this post has helped you see the advantages and inspired you to test out a Bitmoji classroom of your own!