Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Day 10 - Goodbye to the Voki Girl

She is gone. The elegant girl with a perfect hairstyle, the unassuming creature that never spoke until you clicked the Play button, whereupon she wished you "Welcome" in a perfect accent. It is with tears in my eyes that I removed her. Why did I remove her? Because I couldn't answer my husband's "And what is this for?" (Day 2 - A first time reader audit).
I would have removed her earlier, but I strategically waited for Day 10, which is the Declutter your Sidebar Day.
I also removed Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat. I removed the Feevy, because of the way I was using it. I only had my class blog in it - visible from my profile.
I removed the Links widget because there was only one link in it. I intend to put it back in and to add links to other people's blogs (I believe it is one of the tasks). I also removed the Internet Slang widget - it is more suitable for my class blog than here. I replaced the Delicious button with my Diigo bookmarks. Then I remembered to add the 'Bookmark This with Diigo' button.
Then I started adding things (I know, I was supposed to remove them, but it's in my nature, I am a hoarder).
I added the Ning badges for the sites related to blogging (Blogging for Educators was already there and I added Building a Better Blog, EduBlogger World and Classroom 2.0). If anyone would like to see the full list of the Ning groups I belong to, please take a look at my Netvibes page.
I added the Search this Blog widget which I am very proud of.
I believe that my page loads faster now and at the moment I have a reason for everything that is in my sidebar.
However, I am always eager to hear your comments.

Related posts:


Sue Waters said...

Natasa - you made me laugh. Loved how you described your husband's question about the Voki and then having to remove it. Please note it is a sign of a well written post if someone manages to make me laugh - means you are connecting with the reader. Well done.

What can I say? Letting go of Sidebar clutter is hard. I'm not the best at it myself. But good point about it making loading slower.

Natasa said...


Thank you for visiting my blog. I am glad you liked my post. I often write in a light-hearted way and sometimes I worry that people will not take me seriously.

I am enjoying the challenge. I realise that I am lagging behind, but I cannot go any faster. I am attending three EVO sessions at the same time. I'll get there eventually, probably a long time after most of you have moved on to other challenges.

Gregory Louie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gregory Louie said...


I wish you all the best with your declutter. Your blog looks good.

In response to your husband's question:

Giving a voice to a webpage adds a dimension that is simply not possible with the written word.

That is especially true for a foreign language teacher. Students need to hear the target language being spoken as they read the text.

Quite a bit of research on language comprehension reveals that sub-vocalization improves comprehension in individual's struggling to read.

Beyond the research, I would also argue that subtle intonations and pauses in the text lead to natural speech, which is critical for students who seek to use their language abroad and be comprehended by others.

Finally, cognitive scientists are busy uncovering natural differences among learners, a fully differentiated blog will take into consideration that aural dominant learners learn best with sound.

I say bring her back!

Natasa said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and for this very useful comment. For me, the Voki girl was simply something nice to have in my sidebar and I never thought about all the useful things I could do with this application. Thanks to you, I think I'll bring her back. Only this time I'll have her say something more than just "Welcome" and I'll use my own voice.
I am highly visual and I have to confess that I haven't thought much about the learners (and visitors to my blog) who might be aural dominant. This would mean that my blog needs more sound, not just an occasional picture.
You have really made me think. And it is a good excuse to bring the Voki back.

Gregory Louie said...


I'm glad to be of service. I wish you and your language learners the very best. Have fun with your Voki!


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