As many schools are either on the cusp of beginning their new years or have just begun, many of us have probably seen a lot about “Bitmoji classrooms” from colleagues and social media groups. Especially for teachers like me who will begin the year virtually, these can be a great resource to show your personality and have a space for helpful links, classwork, and more. Let’s take a look at how you can maximize these “classrooms” to make the most of your virtual space.
What is Bitmoji?
Bitmoji is basically an emoji that looks like you. It’s completely free to sign up for, and only take a few minutes. After signing up, you take a selfie and customize your bitmoji, and then the app will give you poses, emotions, and more premade, or you can always customize your own!
After you have made your Bitmoji, make sure you add it to Google Chrome as a “Chrome Extension” so you can easily access it when designing your classroom. If you are unsure how to do this, follow this video to help you!
Creating Your “Classroom”
For the classroom itself, I tend to prefer either Google Slides or PowerPoint, whichever you are more comfortable with. This article will assume you are using Google Slides, but 90% of this information will be applicable to PowerPoint.
Step 1. Set your image search licensing filters
Especially as copyright and fair use becomes a more hot button issue for teachers and school districts, it is important that you filter your images so that you know you are able to use them.
First, go to Settings, and click on Advanced Search
Then, change “usage rights” to whatever is best fit for your needs. Most of the time, “Free to Use or Share” will keep you within the boundaries of Fair Use, but check with your school if you are unsure.
Step 2. Decorate!
After finding a suitable background, add some personalization! Add some “posters” of your favorite band, add your school’s logo, or anything else that you would normally put up in your normal classroom setting.
Step 3. Consider resources
Consider what resources your students will need. In my example here, I have included a link to our “song of the week” (one of my favorite in-class activities I am hoping to keep digitally this year), resources from the county, including resources about coronavirus, and a link to WordReference, which I recommend as their dictionary. Think about what your students will need, and personalize it from there. To add a link to a picture, simply click the picture, press “Ctrl+K” and add that link to the image so students just have to click!
If you’ve noticed, my left wall is blank, as I am still awaiting guidance on expectations from our district, but definitely consider having a wall for daily materials, your LMS (learning management system), the objective, etc., that is separate from ongoingly useful materials.
Step 4. Add Yourself!
Finally, add your Bitmoji! It’s YOUR classroom so make sure you’re represented! To do this, simply click on the Bitmoji extension in Chrome (see above how to add this extension), choose your favorite emoji, and put it in the classroom!
Please follow this link to see my example, and remember, it’s YOUR classroom; this is just a basic how-to, and you have plenty of opportunities to customize to your needs!