Welcome to June! You may or may not have noticed, but everything we talked about in May was related to writing and sharing – resources and ways that you can share other resources with your students, encourage them to write, and allow them to collaborate. The same tools also allow you to share resources and collaborate professionally. Now that we have started a new month, we are going to switch gears a little and spend time talking about presentations. Presentations are a part of most classrooms, and we all know how most students present materials: PowerPoint, oral reports, and posters. Just in case you (or your students) are bored with the status quo, we’re going to investigate some different ways that students can give presentations in class.
This week, we’re going to look at VoiceThread. What is VoiceThread? VoiceThread is a website that allows users to create digital slideshows of images and also record their voices over the images. In addition, users can share their slides and allow others to record comments, creating a thread. Here is a brief VoiceThread slideshow that talks about how VoiceThread works for education.
Here are some examples of VoiceThread projects:
- The Town of Corte Madera – A 2nd grade local history project in California
- Escape on the Underground Railroad – A 5th grade class demonstrates the integration of visuals, voice, and teacher annotation.
- 8th Grade Child Labor Investigation – An A/V lesson plan by a teacher explaining a cross-curricular approach to the industrial revolution.
In addition to the examples above, there is a VoiceThread for Education wiki that has lots of ideas for how to use VoiceThread – broken down by grade level! Take some time to explore and get some ideas!
And because every student presentation needs a rubric, here are a couple that you can use or modify:
- VoiceThread Rubric (opens in Word document)
- VoiceThread Feedback, Student Projects Rubric (opens in Word document)
If all of this isn’t enough information on VoiceThread, there is a comprehensive guide to using VoiceThread in the classroom. Just be aware that it contains a LOT of information!
Because VoiceThread only allows members to leave comments, you are going to have to register for an account in order to participate in this exercise. Their registration process is easy, though.
Go to www.voicethread.com and click on the Sign In or Register button in the top, right hand corner of the screen.
On the next screen, make sure you select the Register tab.
Fill in the required information and then click Register.
That’s it! You’re ready!
Now, go to the VoiceThread that I created for this blog. Once there, listen to my thread and then add your own. If you don’t have a microphone, then type your comments!
I think VoiceThread is a really cool alternative to the presentation tools that we are used to seeing! It allows students to work collaboratively, while at the same time allowing them the freedom of working individually from home. What do you think? Do you think your students would enjoy using it? What are some ways that you think it can be used in your classroom? Have you ever used VoiceThread before? Share your experiences!