When schools turned remote/virtual in the spring semester of 2020, many teachers looked for a way to foster community in their now-distanced classroom environments. They also needed an easy way to share the needed digital and virtual resources with students. The cute and “all-together” nature of the Bitmoji Classroom did the trick to help teachers display all their digital resources for students in a way that was personalized using their own Bitmoji.
The AFS-USA Bitmoji Classroom was created for a very similar purpose. During COVID-19, there were many new resources created and we needed a fun way to share these educator resources with teachers and volunteers all at once without just sharing a list of links and descriptions. We encourage you to explore our classroom here. Clicking on the image below will also take you to the classroom.
What can you do with the AFS-USA Bitmoji Classroom?
AFS Resource Repository
To use this classroom to its fullest potential, go to the top left-hand corner of the screen that opens when you click on the classroom. You should see the option “View.” Click on “View” and then select “Present.” You can use this AFS-USA Bitmoji Classroom to keep track of all the great resources that AFS-USA has available for educators. Here’s a list of what each of the items will take you to:
- AFS logo – The AFS-USA website homepage
- World Map – AFS-USA’s collection of Anti-Racism resources
- Globe – AFS-USA’s Country Archives where you’ll find out about life in each partner country.
- Toolbox – The AFS-USA Teacher’s Toolbox filled with lesson plans, activities and more to help teachers embed intercultural learning in their classrooms.
- Window – An external website called “window swap” where you can literally look through someone’s window somewhere else in the world.
- Clock – An external website that will help you convert time zones
- Ambulance – The AFS-USA Mission and Vision statements
- First Aid Kit – This will take you to all the AFS-USA educator resources made available during COVID-19.
- Tree – A link to the previously awarded Project: Change scholarship that is on hold for 2020-2021, but the educator resources provide some great project ideas for educators.
- Logos on the Bookshelf – Each logo represents a website that teachers could use to deliver our intercultural lesson plans virtually or during remote learning. Each one has been modeled for educators in the webinars available with our virtual lesson plans.
- Clipboard on Whiteboard – A direct link to the virtual lesson plans in the Teacher’s Toolbox that model educational technology and intercultural learning.
- Sustainable Development Goals – The AFS-USA collection of resources to learn more about the United Nation’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
- Bitmoji saying “Hola Amigo!” – A YouTube video in Spanish describing the difference between individualistic and collectivistic cultures.
- Suitcase – The AFS-USA study abroad scholarships webpage
- Global You Frame – A direct link to learn more about and/or sign up for the Global You Adventurer program for teens aged 15-18 who would like to become active global citizens through a virtual learning experience and exchange.
- Eiffel Tower – A direct link to learn about Life in France and French culture.
- Country Posters on Bookshelf – Each of these posters represents a video in English done by the respective AFS partner country describing various elements of their local culture. Each video is ~20-35 minutes in duration.
- Books Labeled with a Language on Bookshelf – Each of these books represents one of the recordings described above but recorded in the local language by the AFS partner.
- Red-haired Bitmoji – This AFS Volunteer will take you to the AFS World Café with intercultural learning information and research.
- Dark-haired Bitmoji – This AFS Volunteer will take you to the AFS-USA study abroad webpage.
- Blonde Bitmoji – This Bitmoji will allow you to send a direct email to the AFS-USA Director of Educational Outreach, Jill Woerner.
- Gray Cat – For fun… this one has nothing to do with AFS. The cat will take you to cute cat videos on YouTube.
Conversation Starter with Schools
Because of its bright and friendly look, this Bitmoji classroom can be a great way to get a teacher’s attention when sending an email. Feel free to post the link on social media where the image will show up for all to see or consider taking a screenshot of the classroom and including the link to the classroom for any educators in your network to see in an email. In sharing this with educators, you can encourage them to use our classroom as a base to start their own and encourage them to keep some of our handy links to great resources so their students can link to our study abroad and virtual exchange opportunities!
Local Area Team Tool
The possibilities are endless with a local team usage of this type of technology. Because the base of a Bitmoji Classroom is a Google Slides presentation, it is free to use for anyone with a valid Google account. Here is a helpful tutorial video so you can create one of your own or at least have a good idea how to edit the AFS-USA version. Below are a couple of ideas how you might use this with your local area team.
- Team Information Station – This can be one place that your team can put all the needed information to help team members stay “in the loop” in a fun and visual way. You can put a calendar on the wall of your Bitmoji space for upcoming orientations, events, arrivals and more! You can have a photo wall of hosted kids and their host families (after everyone has been screened/vetted, of course) while they are on program so everyone can put names with faces. You could create a flag display with information on some highlighted countries where you’d like to promote study abroad. You can make a bookshelf or desk and link up the tools that an AFS volunteer would need to do their volunteer work like a link to MyAFS Help & Learning, Training modules, Registration and more!
- Hosted Student Welcome Gallery – Consider using this to have students design their “home” from their country that they can share with volunteers before their arrival. They can include an introductory video, a photo with their family and they can decorate the “home” with elements and hyperlinks that represent their native culture. Each student could create their own room (slide) and you can put them all together in a presentation. This can be used after the students have arrived to share with schools or families to help them see what possibilities exist for exchange in future years! It’s very enticing!