Tech Tuesday

Finds and Thoughts about Tech Integration

VoiceThread

April6

This month, I’m very excited to start working with VoiceThread with students. VoiceThread (VT) is a medium that works like an interactive scrapbook. A creator uploads pictures and can add written, verbal or video comments. A VT can be shared with others who also may leave comments. Moreover, there is a doodle tool that lets a commenter draw directly on the image in the VT. This feature is superb for highlighting and accenting key points. You know how most sites have made instructional videos? The makers of VT do a wonderful job of using their own tool to explain and demonstrate how to do things in VT. Check out how to make one here… it’s very fast!

Previously, I have used it in a professional development course that I co-taught. Essentially, I snapped lots of candids of the class learning how to podcast using GarageBand. I then uploaded the pictures as a VoiceThread. Next, we asked the teachers to visit our VT and leave comments reflecting on their experience. It was a great summarizer of podcasting as well as an authentic use of VoiceThread.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had a classroom collaborator until now. A third grade teacher and I co-wrote a MassCUE Initiative 2010 Grant that will allow her social studies students to act as detectives. They will analyze primary source documents, specifically portraits, from the American Revolution. Students also will create their own document (using a drawing program, such as KidPix) to challenge others to analyze the picture clues. We have chosen to use VoiceThread as our tool because of its easy to use voice recording and doodle tool features. These components will allow students of all abilities in this inclusion classroom to share their knowledge. The grant has allotted us the opportunity of purchasing a one year subscription so that her students may have individual accounts in an educational setting of VoiceThread as well as give us additional storage space for all of our images.

However, this is not a tool that a teacher needs to spend money to use. A teacher can sign up for a free account and use the “identity” feature. The teacher can make enough identities for an entire class. This is ideal if the teacher logs into the account and wants to have students interact with a VT as a class, but wants each student’s contribution identifiable. The drawback is that the students are logged into the teacher’s account, making all work created by the teacher accessible with the potential of being deleted accidentally. Another option is for students to have their own accounts since an email only is required to sign up. This option probably is best for older, more independent students since the teacher will not be able to manage and monitor the student’s work. VT does a nice job of discussing pros and cons with its education manuals. (BTW- Just like Glogster, there is a non-educational setting as well.)

There are tons of resources at the site as well. There is a VoiceThread ning. Also, this slideshare presentation has some great examples. A member of my professional development course and math resource facilitator at my school has given me permission to share her Finding Equal Groups VT. (Thanks, Katie!)

What inspirational work have you done or would like to do with VoiceThread?

6 Comments to

“VoiceThread”

  1. April 6th, 2010 at 7:20 am       Dan McGuire Says:

    Thanks for reminding me of this great tool. This kind of sharing of resources and the practical tips on how to make it work is so valuable to me as a classroom teacher.
    thank you,


  2. April 6th, 2010 at 1:32 pm       ktenkely Says:

    I love the idea of doing a detective work Voice Thread with primary resources. VoiceThread can be used in so many fun ways, my students often ask if they can “thread it” 🙂


  3. April 6th, 2010 at 2:35 pm       Patti Says:

    I used the Voice Thread adjective activity that we created this morning. My students loved hearing their voices as they used adjectives to describe a picture of candy. Can’t wait to use Voice Thread again!


  4. April 6th, 2010 at 4:19 pm       Melissa Says:

    Love using VoiceThread! By the end of the year last year, my students wanted to create VoiceThreads about everything! We used VoiceThreads for responses to reading, answering questions, giving presentation, read alouds to share, and all kinds of fun (and useful for assessment) stuff!


  5. April 11th, 2010 at 10:13 am       Nicholas Provenzano Says:

    I’m looking forward to using VoiceThread so students can openly comment on projects presented by students from other classes. I would love to be able to open up all of kids projects to other classes in the building or around the world. It’s on my radar for the future.


  6. May 11th, 2010 at 10:00 am       jlmoreau Says:

    Again, thinking about how to use this tool with my classroom guidance lessons…maybe while we’re reading and discussing some peer pressure books?


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