Do you remember Mikey?
One of my biggest pet peeves is the misuse or under utilization of technology in the classroom how can such powerful tools for creating knowledge and aiding communication be ignored by so many educators? How do teachers dig in and refuse to utilize computers in the classroom for anything more than a word processor or electronic flashcards? There are sooooo many exciting and new Web 2.0 tools out there and educators are behaving like children refusing to try new cereal.
I found it ironic that last week in the height of looming deadlines for both school and work along with a particular hectic schedule on the home front I was asked in my Technology in Education class to utilize a VoiceThread for a class discussion tread. The problem was this was a new communication tool that I had no previous exposure to and a very limited time to learn. My initial gut response was not positive I resisted even opening the site let alone posting I would have given anything to avoid using something new at that point. I get it ...I understand we have limited time but sometimes if you try it you may like it just like Mikey.
While I do find listening to posts more time consuming than downloading or copying a text thread for later review I found posting to be less labor intensive as I could choose to speak, video or type my responses into the thread without the excessive worrying about grammar and spelling errors. I pushed my internal demons aside and gave it a try and I have to say like Mikey I liked it.
With VoiceThread you are able to create more of a "living" online collaborative space. VoiceThread is a totally web-based application that allows you to place collections of media like images, videos, documents, and presentations at the center of an asynchronous conversation. A VoiceThread allows people to have conversations and to make comments using any mix of text, a microphone, a web cam, a telephone, or uploaded audio file. VoiceThread runs inside your web browser, so there is no software to download, install, or update.
Here are some additional resources for ideas on using VoiceThread in the classroom:
VoiceThread 4 Education - comprehensive collection of VoiceThread examples from students and teachers of all ages and groups. The purpose of this wiki is to gather examples of how educators are using Voicethread in their classrooms (or for professional development) and to share those examples.
7 Things You Should Know About VoiceTread - Educase
Digitally Speaking - Using VoiceThread for Digital Conversations
Beginning with email and instant messages and stretching to texting and synchronous video web conferencing, digital dialogue has gradually become a common element of everyday life for today's students - another opportunity to "gather."
What are some ways you could see VoiceTread being used in the classroom?