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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shidonni

If you have, or work with, kids that are in the 6-10 year old range than you probably already know about WebKinz and the virtual world associated with these furry little critters. If your not familiar with this ingenious marketing ploy it basically consists of the kids buying a stuffed animal that comes with a code they can use to register it in the WebKinz virtual world where the owner (your child) can then earn WebKinz money by playing games and doing different jobs. This money can be spent on buying a house for the virtual pet (the online representation of the stuffed animal they bought) as well as other highly necessary items like a four-wheeler (what pink bunny can survive without one) clothes, jewelry and a wide range of furniture.

At this point you may be wondering why I'm spending so much time talking about WebKinz since it would be a stretch to call it an example of educational technology. Well, stick with me here. The reason is because Shidonni is a lot like WebKinz except you don't have to buy a stuffed animal and you get to create (draw) your animal yourself. Not only can you draw your animal but you can animate it and have it run or fly all over the place. You can also create a world for your animal to live in and then feed it and take care of it. In fact, you can create multiple worlds and multiple animals so students could use this tool to learn more about the different types of animals by creating relevant habitats and populating them with their animals. You can also share your animals with other users if you like. I am going to suggest using this in my daughters' classrooms (they are in first and third grade) as they learn about the classification of animals. It does require a log in so you would need to create accounts for kids but that's easy enough to do. They have a basic introductory video you can watch to learn more about the range of features within this tool.

1 comment:

Shidonni said...

Hi - we just updated Shidonni - would be happy to get your feedback. thanks !