VoiceThread

VoiceThread is an online presentation and collaboration tool.  What makes it different from other tools is that you and others can add spoken, written, or video comments to enhance the presentation and increase collaboration.  You can upload photos, videos, documents, audio recordings, and presentations and easily move slides around so everything is in the order that you want. You can then narrate your presentation and allow others to comment on the product as well.  It is easy to share VoiceThreads with other people via link, Twitter/Facebook post, and embedding into your website.  You can also make groups and post your creations to that group. You can search for public VoiceThreads from all over the world for inspiration.

Here is a VoiceThread that I made where I walk through through several web tools discussed in Boni Hamilton’s book, Integrating Technology into the Classroom.  I read this book as part of the TeachersFirst summer book club.  In this presentation, I share a few science, math, and history internet tools that Hamilton referenced in chapter 6.

http://voicethread.com/app/player/?threadId=8040775

I can see a lot of potential uses for this tool in the classroom.  Teachers could use it to teach how to use a specific online tool or narrate a presentation for individual viewing at home or at school if a student was absent.  Teachers could also use it to create content videos for flipped or self-paced classrooms.  Students could then view the videos in class or at home whenever they needed.  They could even add their own comments and questions to the presentation to make it more interactive.  Students could create their own VoiceThreads to demonstrate to their teacher (or their classmates) how to use a specific online tool.  Students could also use it to present their learning, in place of a traditional PowerPoint presentation.  They could share research findings, experiment data and analysis, literature analysis, and published writing pieces.

I like that this tool is easy to use.  It takes a while to record comments for each slide, but the overall product is effective.  I love the idea of having students create their own presentations to share their learning.  You can get a free account to try it out, and there is also an educator’s account for a yearly fee.   In your free account, you can add additional identities to have students create their own products and make comments without having to have their own logins.  My students are starting the year with photography and art history, and I think this would be a great platform to use to share their own and other’s artwork while discussing their learning with their classmates.  I think my students will like being able to comment on each other’s presentations as well.

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