A Voki is a talking avatar students can design and easily post on a blog or website. Sue Waters has written excellent step-by-step instructions on how to post a Voki.
Voki is on The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English list.
Today, they just officially launched Voki For Education. In addition to being free to use, and being ad-free, here are some of the features of Voki For Education (these are quoted from their announcement):
Sharing. We’ve added many sharing/ publishing options, as well as a “Voki link” which will enable users to share a simple URL to a Voki page, where we will host the scene for them. This means that users no longer need access to a website or blog to share their Voki. We will also include custom links for educational partners, such as SymbalooEdu.
Lesson Plan Database. This is a searchable database of lesson plans that utilize Voki. Currently, all users will have access to this section. We will also encourage users to share their own lesson plans. They will be able to send us lesson plans, which we will format and add to the database. We’d love to get lesson plans that you may have created using Voki. We will be sure to give each author full credit.
Teacher’s Corner. Here, teachers and experienced users will be able to discuss anything related to Voki. This forum is one area in which we will definitely count on our more experienced users. For example, the Newbie’s Corner will be a series of discussions in Q&A format. We hope that our experienced users will be able to guide and assist our Newbies.
I love Voki for the classroom. Check out my blog post on the tool here: http://teachbytes.com/2012/05/09/voki-create-speaking-avatars/