Friday, February 17, 2012

Finding Your Voice With VoiceThread

I have been using VoiceThread for a long time now and frankly can't believe that I haven't blogged about it before.  If you don't know what a VoiceThread is, then you are in for a pleasant surprise.  A VoiceThread is kind of like a collaborative audio blog type presentation tool that allows you to use pictures, videos, and documents to make your story known.  You can also draw in color on a picture to make your point as your audio plays.

Here is an example of how you could use it in the classroom as an assessment/culminating activity.

You assign your students to groups and allow them to pick a topic to research.  The group researches their topic and begins to shape the material into a presentation.  They use VoiceThread by uploading their pictures and video that they have taken/gathered to accompany scripts that they have written to teach others what they have learned.  They create their VoiceThread and then ask their peers to view and make audio comments/ask questions on the material.  The original student group then addresses the questions by adding more audio to the VoiceThread.  They then make it public to share their learning with the world.  Teachers can also browse content to find information that they may wish to use to illustrate concepts that they are presenting to their class.

This is a wonderful tool that you just have to check out.  There is a free version and a paid version.  Schools can purchase site licenses as well.  However, older students can create their own free account which will work just fine for projects.  Classroom teachers can have a class account to use with their younger students.  Check out this highly collaborative and unique tool by watching the VoiceThread below and by going to the link!

Here is an example of a VoiceThread made by 7th graders on creating safe passwords and you can browse at VoiceThread to find many more examples of student work.