How to Make Your Own Bitmoji Classroom
I Want a Bitmoji Classroom!
Wait! What is a Bitmoji Classroom?!
What is a Bitmoji?
Okay, let’s start with Bitmoji. A Bitmoji is simply a little cartoon-like character that you easily create on a popular free app to make a little mini-you (a virtual representation of yourself). You can then add your Bitmoji to worksheets, lessons, posters, anywhere on social media, Google Slides… pretty much anywhere you want. Bitmojis are pretty cool and kids love them. You create it to look like you, and the app does the rest. For example, in the Bitmoji app, you type “pointing” and the app gives you options to select with your Bitmoji pointing at something. You pick your favorite pose and that’s it. You can then copy and paste that Bitmoji by a whiteboard or to a poster or wherever you want. You can change how you look, your clothes, by seasons, expressions, sitting, standing, reading, thinking… so many choices!
Why are teachers using Bitmojis in their classrooms and lessons?
Cause they are cute! Okay, okay… They ARE cute, but that is not the only reason. Now more than ever, teachers have to find ways to make online learning more inviting, more interesting for the modern-aged child. I’ve been teaching for 20+ years. It’s not as easy as it was back then to grab and keep a child’s attention. So many distractions nowadays! Let US (the teachers) be the distraction!!! Yes, let’s make our students get distracted with our lessons and activities. What’s that famous saying? “If you can’t beat them, join them!” Teachers are discovering new ways to make instruction more interactive, fun and engaging. Using the Bitmoji app to create little virtual doppelgangers of you for use in your classroom is a clever way to engage your kiddos while teaching remotely, or in-person.
What is a Bitmoji Classroom?
A Bitmoji classroom is basically the background that students see on their device screen either in Google Classroom, Canvas platform, or any other school website or platform that allows for an image (jpeg. or png.) to be inserted. This is where you would include your little mini-you along with other images that link to outside resources that you want your students to click on. (For example, the background can have a Bitmoji pointing to a bookshelf. The bookshelf can have images of different book covers (depending on your lesson). You add links to these covers so that when your students click on them they go directly where you want them to go (maybe a read aloud on YouTube or a pre-recorded lesson that you create). There are tons of ideas out there for the popular Bitmoji classrooms. You can create them for each subject that you teach. For instance, you can make a Math Bitmoji page where you include all the digital manipulatives that you want your students to have at the click of their mouse along with links to all the external links of programs used or allowed in your district. You can have a super cool Science Bitmoji page with links to super cool experiments, books, links to virtual field trips, homework links, etc.… To sum it all up, a Bitmoji Classroom is just the background that shows on the screen with your cute little Bitmoji image and other clickable items along with it.
How do I make a Bitmoji Classroom?
First, you will need to go into your iOS or Android smartphone’s Playstore, or App Store and get the Bitmoji app. Once you download the app, sign up and start creating your mini-you. The app is fairly easy to use. There is an option to take a selfie and then start customizing your Bitmoji to make it look like you. I promise you will enjoy this part! Have your own children or students help and you will have some laughs. I noticed that by the end of this year, they added so many more teacher-friendly poses than they had when I first started my Bitmoji classroom. I believe that they will continue adding more updates especially for teachers seeing that many are taking advantage of the app for educational purposes.
Next, you will need to search for the Bitmoji Google Chrome extension and download the extension to your laptop or desktop. Doing this will let you share your Bitmoji mini-you pretty much anywhere you can add an image to. All this does pretty much is place the little Bitmoji icon on the top of your screen by the address bar where it makes it very easy to search for a specific pose or themed Bitmoji that you just drag to the file you are working on. When I first added the extension to my laptop, I did it to use for only my Bitmoji Classrooms but I realized later that it’s so convenient to have it there. I now use it with projects, worksheets, lessons, or anything that I want to add some personality to.
Okay, so now that you have those two things ready and installed… Now comes the fun part! For me, it was actually a stress reliever. But, I do enjoy manipulating images, and being creative, and just the whole online digital world amazes me and I love it!!! However, I do have some teacher friends that aren’t so interested in the creating part but still wanted to have a cute Bitmoji Classroom. So, I started creating backgrounds for them. It’s funny because I started with maybe 12 or so backgrounds but then got a little carried away and had tons! I ended up putting all of those in a pack of backgrounds/templates for Bitmoji Classroom and now sell them in my TPT store. I will include links below if you decide to go that route.
But first, let me see if I can convince you to try it out yourself. If anything, you can say that you attempted to create your very own Bitmoji Classroom all by yourself.
Okay, so now what? Well, think of your Bitmoji Classroom as residing in a Google Slide that you save in your Google Drive. When you are done and love your Bitmoji Classroom, you will then add the saved slide to your school website (Google Classroom, Canvas, or School Website or platform that your district uses). Any changes that you make on your Google Slide will automatically show on your platform when saved and refreshed. So that means that you can have the same background all year long if you would like, but can still change the Bitmoji pose, the links, or any other images or items that you wish to change without making many major or drastic changes. You just re-save the Google Slide and the changes appear wherever you embedded that Google Slide. This sounds more complicated than what it really is.
First open a blank Google Slide. By default your slide should open to the perfect ‘presentation size’ that you will need. Make sure you have a nice clean blank canvas to start adding ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT! Start building your virtual classroom. This part is my favorite. Do you want a fancy sofa in your reading corner in real life, but can’t afford it? Well, in your Bitmoji Classroom you can have the fanciest sofa in the most perfect color, and it won’t cost you a penny! Isn’t that just so cool?! You can add teacher desks, student desks, bookshelves, lamps, file cabinets, carpets, posters, anchor charts, class pets, whiteboards or chalkboards (edit what you write on the board on your Google Slide whenever you want). The possibilities are endless! You can make it as simple as you want or add more if you need to. The point is to make it fun and engaging for your students and their needs. You can use images that you search for on Google, or use your own photos. Type “wall backgrounds” and maybe the color that you would like and see many walls to choose from. Then search for items to add… search for “transparent teacher desk” to get desks without backgrounds that you can add to your slide. Just keep searching for items (add “transparent” to the items you choose) for better search results. If you find an image and have your heart set on using it but it has a background, they do have free or inexpensive apps or websites that remove the background for you. (You can do a Google search for “background remover”). You then just arrange all these images to your liking! And there you have it!!! Your very own Bitmoji Classroom!!!
The only thing left to do now is to 'Publish' your slide that you created on Google Slides. In Google Slide when you are done adding all the images you want, all the links that you want, and of course your Bitmoji... you now have to 'PUBLISH your slide to the web' so that you can get the link to embed in your website or online classroom. I am only familiar with Canvas LMS. To use my slide on Canvas, I have to embed the code of my saved Google Slide. To do this, with your Bitmoji Classroom file open, click on FILE top left, then scroll down to PUBLISH TO THE WEB, click on that and then click PUBLISH. When you click on PUBLISH, it will then create a link and imbedded code that you will need to add to your school's platform.
Once embedded in your online classroom platform, you can make changes to your original Bitmoji Classroom or add links and those changes will automatically update on your online classroom platform.
If you read through all of this and find that a cute Bitmoji Classroom sounds awesome, and that you HAVE TO HAVE ONE... try it out! I promise you will not regret it!
If you need some ready-to-go and cute Bitmoji Classroom backgrounds or templates come take a peek at my Bitmoji Classroom Templates and Backgrounds for Teachers PK-12th. This pack has tons of backgrounds, here you can add your Bitmoji, other images and links. Many to chose from for all teachers in all subjects.
I also added a second pack with a little more goodies (Bitmoji Classrooms Completely Editable Realistic Virtual Distance Learning). This one also includes backgrounds, but this one has tons of images and labels to play with!!!