For those looking for a one-liner to define just what exactly a Bitmoji classroom is, here you go:
A Bitmoji classroom is a visual of a virtual classroom or online learning space created in a slide deck program such as PowerPoint or Google Slides.
That’s all! Depending on preference, the teacher can choose to use images that look like photographs, therefore adding an element of realism; or they can use bitmojis that have more of an animated look for increased whimsy.
Teachers Create Bitmoji Classrooms
If you wonder what the Bitmoji craze is all about, you are in the right place. Like many hot topics in education, the making of a Bitmoji classroom has taken on a life and meaning of its own. The mention of the term seems to conjure up ideas of something much more complicated than it is. While virtual classrooms can be dreamy visuals of picture-perfect virtual learning spaces, creating a background for virtual classrooms for any grade level is quite simple. A teacher wants to make sure that every kid feels comfortable in their learning environment as it is a safe place for students outside of their homes.
The level of detail included in each area of the room is up to the teachers. As a result, some Bitmoji classrooms hold a much more significant amount of detail.
Similar to real, in-person classrooms at school, there are many ways of designing a classroom. Some teachers have more stuff around! In this way, the Bitmoji classroom craze has effectively been able to bring a bit of personality into the virtual learning world. Teachers have enthusiastically embraced the practice of curating something that represents them and their practice visually. As educators see the same screens and interfaces for hours at a time, the visual intrigue is a welcomed commodity.
How to Create a Bitmoji Classroom
The idea behind making a Bitmoji classroom is to get a home base for students and teachers to access the classroom at any time. You can design more sections of your classroom on different Google Slides and link them together. It is important to have one home base classroom where the students can always go back to. This home base classroom will be your main room from where you can link to other rooms. Below we outlined the steps on how to do that.
As far as creating a Bitmoji classroom, there are only a few steps for teachers to convey before the rest is all about customizing. Here they are:
1. Open A New Presentation
Teachers will find that creating a Bitmoiji classroom is simple and fun. To design the home base of your classroom, open the slide deck platform of your choice first (PowerPoint or Google Slides) and start a new presentation. It helps delete any text boxes that come as a part of the slide to get a completely blank page. Click on the box and delete it.
As you see in the image below, we are using Google Slides.
2. Design a Background
Great, once you opened a blank slide, the next step is creating a background. The most important thing here is that you get the background and not simply adding an image.
Setting a background and not an image is important because a background cannot be resized or moved by anyone. It will be important as you add and move other furniture and classroom decorations. When adding a background, you should search for the specific terminology wall and floor background. This will allow teachers to create the illusion of being inside of the room as you look at the slide.
3. Add Furniture to Your Classroom
Now the fun part begins. After choosing the wall and floor combination you want, you are ready to begin adding an image of furniture and decorations to your heart’s content.
The most important directive here is to ensure that in every image that you search for, you add the word transparent to the end. This ensures that there is no solid background on the item to layer things to account for depth perception effectively.
At first, add the image of the furniture and some fun decoration you like. Once you get started with the virtual classroom decoration, you will see how quickly the plain room turns into a cozy room where students feel comfortable. Using class pictures, family photos, and photos of items from your real classroom and school will bring more familiarity to the classroom. Depending on the grade level, you can either decorate your virtual classroom with many details or keep it simple.
4. Make Your Personalized Bitmoji
The final and arguably most important step is to incorporate an image of your own personalized Bitmoji. Bitmoji is a smartphone app with integrations for web browsers, social media outlets, and email platforms. You can get the app in the App store. Once you download the app to your phone, the process of designing your own Bitmoji is reasonably straightforward. Like many other apps, this app’s interface is designed to instruct users as they go. Each element of the Bitmoji is introduced and chosen one at a time, from hair length, style, cut, and color down to shoe style and color. Every characteristic is highly customizable. This makes it increasingly tempting to alter the character daily to match outfits.
To add an image of your Bitmoji to your Google Slides, you need to ensure first that you have the Google Chrome extension downloaded to your web browser. To do this, you need to go to the Bitmoji website and log in. Once you installed the extension, you will see an icon at the top right of your screen.
Once you installed the Google Chrome extension, you can insert your bitmojis into your Google Slides. The great part of installing the extension is that every change you make to your Bitmoji from the app will update automatically. When you are ready to add your likeness to your classroom, open the extension, search for the pose you need, copy and paste! If you are unhappy with your bitmojis, take a new photo.
One important tip is that when searching for the perfect Bitmoji gesture, type the word pose in the search bar. This will get you many different bitmojis without other characters or animations added on! Right-click to copy the sticker that you want to insert and paste it into your classroom background.
If you like your virtual classroom setup, you can save it as a new background to reuse it for different scene. You can also create more areas of your classroom on other slides.
5. Link All Slides
You can now link up all your slides. Make sure that your home base slide links to all corresponding pages. Click the item and then the hyperlink icon. Choose the corresponding slide from the dropdown box and link up as many slides as you want.
In our example, we use the bookshelf and link it from the home base to the reading room slide. If students now click on the bookshelf, they will be forwarded to the reading room automatically.
Should you have external sources, you can also link to them. Think about what you want your students, who are early for their Zoom meeting or access the Google Classroom earlier than their classmates, should get started with while they wait. The students will come to the home base, click on an external link or image and read a book they like, watch a video on YouTube or do whatever you like them to do.
Bitmoji classrooms can also be a great way to host parents in meetings by setting up a separate meeting room.
6. Share You Bitmoji Classroom
Once your rooms are designed, customized, and added an image of your bitmojis, you will have to share the presentation with your students and their parents or other teachers. Click “share” at the top right and share the presentation with students and parents as “view only.” This is important as you don’t want your students to make any changes or edit the design and links. You can also upload the virtual classroom design to your Google Classroom.
Many teachers and students have to adjust to virtual education this school year. We should keep in mind how important it is to feel comfortable in an online learning environment outside of school. There are many different ways of creating a warm classroom atmosphere online. We think that by setting up a virtual classroom background with personalized images and bitmojis, we can bring familiarity and fun to an unfamiliar learning space for a school teacher, the students, and parents.
Aside from the basic steps outlined above, it is all about adding personal taste and flair to your virtual classroom. A simple room with minimal wall art could be ready for use in any slide deck in under a half an hour. On the other hand, those who tend to find themselves down a rabbit hole may take hours to design the perfect aesthetic. Either way, you will spend less time decorating your virtual classrooms compared to your real classroom.
Overall, the appeal of the Bitmoji classroom is the fact that a teacher gets back one of the most personal parts of their practice – the design and feel of their space. It is not the same as a real classroom, but it adds a bit of consistency that seems to be craved by students and teachers in the world of virtual education this school year.
Students like to have familiarity with walking into a teacher’s room. With a Bitmoji classroom, the teacher can create and host that safe space for students and bring some fun into schoolday.