Initially I couldn’t get my head around this ICT as quickly as most of the others, but after watching the instructional video and having a play around the site, it all became clearer to me.
I uploaded some holiday pics and added comments to them, and then I added recorded comments. I found this incredibly easy and lots of fun. Embedding it into my blog was easy too, I love this tool! Students will love it too, although speed of internet access in schools could be a drawback.
I performed a search using ‘education’ as the keyword, and came up with 56 pages of Voice threads, but the one I particularly liked and thought would be very pertinent was one I was not able to use!
It is in the Library under ‘Education’ and called ‘Higher Ed from Della Curtis’ and shows the collaboration in a Voice thread between colleagues. It’s definitely worth looking at, so search for it.
I have posted the Voice thread below which displays some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous work. It’s worth a look just for the sheer visual pleasure of it!
And here is mine.
Whilst searching for more information about Voice Thread and how to use it, I found a fabulous Wiki where educators share their examples of Voice Threads and how they are using them in the classroom. There are some wonderful models on this page so take a look.
I think this technology is perfect for students to use when they want to explain a project, not just to display it. They can talk the viewer through why they included certain aspects/ideas, offer different perspectives and encourage comments.
If a class could establish a link with another class in a different country on a common project/theme, imagine the endless possibilities for utilising this technology. It would provide a fantastic opportunity for students to really understand the perspective of students from another country and how they look at and evaluate similar projects.
This ties in with Engagement Theory (Kearsley and Schneiderman , 1999) as not only are students receiving different perspectives, but they are receiving those perspectives from around the another part of the world and another culture.
Another use for secondary classes could be as a pre information program about an upcoming topic to be studied. Students could get a feel for the topic before they plunged into it in a new term, and (maybe!) even have some prior knowledge to bring to the classroom.
The teacher could also upload a picture or video and ask all students to analyse and leave their comments for homework. This would be a great collaborative project.
A Grade 6 teacher in the US, Bill Ferriter, found that using a Voice Thread, more of his students participated more actively on line than in the classroom. Some students are unwilling to put up their hand in class, but were more than willing to participate vigorously via the Voice Thread. They also felt that it gave them time to think about what they wanted to say.
An interesting point he makes is that students said they liked the fact that multiple conversations could happen at once, whereas in class only one conversation occurs and if it is boring to the student, they disengage.
Engagement and motivation are the two most important challenges facing educators today. Digital natives are already using the technology, the trick is for teachers to use it to capture and hold student’s interest.
Kathleen Bacer (2009) states that in the online learning environment it is ‘essential to focus on effective utilization and implementation of any online tool to break down the barrier between the curriculum, instructor, and colleagues for the engagement and enrichment of the empowered learner.’
She further states that although it sometimes requires a considerable investment of time by the teacher to create these feasible learning settings, “the presence and voice can make the environment rich with constructive opportunities to engage in the learning process”.
The rewards of an engaged student group far outweigh the initial effort involved in construction.
Bacer, K. (2009) Utilising Auditory and Visual Tools to Engage the 21st Century e Learner
http://dev.caudit.edu.au/educauseaustralasia09/assets/papers/tuesday/Kathleen-Bacer.pdf Viewed August 16, 2009.
Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999), Learning Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning.
http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm Viewed August 15,2009.
Voice Thread https://voicethread.com/#home Viewed August 15, 2009
Weir, L. (2008) Voice Thread Extends the Classroom with Interactive Multimedia Albums
Edutopia, The George Lucas Educational Foundation
http://www.edutopia.org/voicethread-interactive-multimedia-albums Viewed August 16, 2009