This website is so much fun and really easy to use. What I really like is that creating an account is optional so no email address is needed (something that really frustrates me about a lot of sites out there).
It allows you to create your own characters, which can be a little limiting as you can only choose from thier stock of faces and clothes but still plenty of choice (Creating a Victorian street child was interesting to say the least but I got there in the end).
There is then the option to add a voice, there are three main ways to do this:
1. Type your text and choose a computer voice to read it - ideal if like me you can't stand the sound of your own voice!
2. Record what you want your character to say
3. Upload a pre-recorded sound file.
You can also change the background that appears behind the character you've just created or upload your own. The publish button allows you to save your character so it can be embedded in your webpage/learning platform. Once embedded others can add comments about your character and what they have said, giving plenty of scope for peer assessment. The only downside I can see is the advert for "I can't believe it's not Butter" underneath your character but it's a small price to pay for a freebie!
Ways to use it:
Creating characters to use in writing - what might they be thinking in different situations (a way of using hot seating for shy children)
Re-creating characters from stories who can then be questioned or as above children write what they might be thinking in different situations.