VoiceThread is a collaborative program that allows users to upload documents, images, video and music (VoiceThread, 2009). It permits users from all around the world to leave comments to your work via five different options, voice using a microphone or telephone, text, audio or video (VoiceThread, 2009). I found this program inviting with its professional appearance and simple guided steps. I enjoyed listening to others and wanted to create my own. I uploaded four images that I had already saved to my computer under, “Bubbles”. It was so quick to upload, then I posted a voice comment on the picture, using another computer as mine does not have a microphone and played a couple of sound clips that were gentle and suitable for this picture like chimes, and bubbles popping. I also included a text comment to a couple pictures to described what they were about.
Have a look at My Voice Thread.
VoiceThread is a great tool that can be used effectively in the classroom for students to work collaboratively on an assessment piece or for teacher directed purposes such as displaying a presentation to the class using the interactive whiteboard.
As my prep students are currently going to begin a unit investigating different environments, I thought i could use VoiceThread to display a variety of animals such as penguins, elephants, koala, kangaroo, dolphins, cow and chicken and together we could record the sounds that these animals make and a description of their size and appearance (with assistance from the teachers aide students could work in pairs making the sounds and descriptions for the correct animal, sounding out the animals names and checking how many sounds they got right, also the teacher can question them on where they think this animal might live and type on the appropriate image). I would then search for images of these environments and create a new presentation embedding the previous one and the students as a group would need to say which animals live in the correct environment. This could then lead us into the beginning of our unit of exploring different environments.
Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) Engagement theory aligns well with my example above as students are working in a group context through brainstorming and sharing their work with the outside world. The learning is a purposeful, creative experience that allows students not only to develop their writing skills but to express how they interpret a particular image.
The only problem with this tool is the amount of time it takes to load in an EQ school because of the slow bandwidth speed. Therefore you could try and upload your presentation prior to the learning experience. Also all Internet safety must be followed as normal as this site can have inappropriate comments displayed when your presentation has finished.
Overall I think that this is another great tool that engages learners of the twenty first century and can easily be embedded within learning experiences in a variety of ways.
Until next time,
Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/%7Egkearsley/engage.htm
VoiceThread. (2009). VoiceThread. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://voicethread.com/?#home.b409