Voice Thread is a versatile online media album that can hold essentially any type of media (images, documents, videos) and allows people to make comments in five different ways – using voice, text, audio file or video and share them with anyone they wish (Wood, 2009). Subramaniam (2009) states that Voice Thread allows conversations to be collected and shared in one place, from anywhere in the world. Another aspect of Voice thread is that once created they have their own URL which can be posted to blogs, wikis or a class website where students can watch.
I found it was very easy to navigate my way around the Voice Thread website and uploading my pictures didn’t take too long (which can be frustrating). I created my own Voice Thread which I called “My Bali Adventure”. I used photos of my trip to Bali just as an experiment to help me understand how to use Voice Thread within the classroom. As I don’t have a microphone or webcam I just used text to comment on my photos.
Teachers could provide students with many opportunities in using Voice Thread throughout many different learning areas. One of the strategies I found interesting was Digital Storytelling as it can be used not only in the classroom but also outside the classroom. This could be useful if a student is away on a vacation. They can take photos, upload them to Voice Thread and add commentary to the picture to explain what he or she has been doing on their vacation. This will not only benefit the student creating the Voice Thread but also the students in the classroom as they can not only see what their class mate has been doing but they can also comment on the students photos.
Story telling in a traditional sense is still a very effective tool within the classroom. I believe using a different method (new and improved) to produce the stories will remain an effective tool. Moving our stories into digital format is the next generation of teaching (Teehan, 2006). Teehan (2006) states that storytelling, it seems, is timeless. Digital Storytelling provides students with many different learning experiences. Teehan (2006) states that it gives teachers a systematic method for integrating technology across the curriculum while tapping into students high level thinking, creativity, and emotional engagement with the content material.
Digital Storytelling can also promote multiple intelligences within the classroom. Students are involved in visual – spatial and verbal – linguistic when they are creating their stories, logical as they are using computers, Interpersonal and Intrapersonal (Cheek, 2006). Providing opportunities to use different intelligences in the learning will help students to become more engaged in their learning. Many students have an intelligence that they prefer so being able to provide a lesson that uses the majority of them will create an authentic learning experience for all students.
I loved creating my Voice Thread and the more I added to it the more I became comfortable with using the technology. I would definitely use it within the classroom in many different learning areas.
Link to Voice Thread "My Bali Adventure" - http://voicethread.com/share/583363/
Cheek, B (2006) Multiple Intelligences: Accessed on the 17th August 2009; http://www.gp-training.net/training/educational_theory/multint/multint.htm
Subramaniam, R (2009) Handbook of Research on New Media Literacy at the K -12 Level: IGI Global, United State of America.
Teehan, K (2006) Digital Story Telling – In and Out of the Classroom: Lulu; London.
Wood, K & Blanton, W (2009) Literacy Instruction for Adolescents: Guilford Press; New York.