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Posts tagged ‘VoiceThread’

Supporting Effective Teaching & Learning Practices with VoiceThread #edtech #elearning

I used the “free” version of VoiceThread (VT) in my online course this fall, EDU 261 – Teaching, Learning & Technology, and based on that experience, I will definitely use it again. VoiceThread is a VoiceThread Screenshotpopular Web 2.0 tool used to foster learner engagement and increase instructor and student presence in online and hybrid courses.  It is basically an online discussion on steroids, but it can also be used to create presentations and tutorials. Learners can add audio comments, video comments, or text comments to VoiceThread slides.

This is the second time I’ve used VoiceThread in this course. The first time VoiceThread was optional, and I only used it a few times during the course.  This time I required students to use it as part of their course participation and discussion grade.  I created a Voicethread almost every week to share mini lectures/announcements. Then bi-weekly, I required students’ to comment/respond to questions using VoiceThread in lieu of a traditional text-based discussion.

What I liked about teaching with VoiceThread

  • Easy to re-record VoiceThread comments compared to other screencast/video recording tools.
  • Flexibility for adding comments (text, audio, or video).
  • Opportunity to both see and hear student comments
  • Basic license free for students and instructor
  • Very few technical issues

How I will use VoiceThread differently next time

  • Use VoiceThread for ice breaker instead of threaded discussion
  • Purchase license for VoiceThread to fully leverage the technology
  • Use VoiceThread for Peer Review Assignment
  • Share/post student tech projects
  • Include Voice Thread discussion requirements on VT slide
  • Require everyone to post at least one video VT comment early in the course

In addition to supporting several of the principles of good practice on the slide included in this post, VoiceThread also supports the following UDL principles:

  • presenting content in a variety of formats
  • keeping learners motivated by offering choices
  • providing multiple means of engagement

I was able to teach the entire course using the FREE version of VoiceThread.  The free account is available for anyone who is at least 13 years old and has a valid email address. It allows you to create up to 5 VoiceThreads, comment by microphone and text, and share or embed VoiceThreads via a shared link or embed code.

Register for FREE Voicethread account

  • Go to http://voicethread.com
  • Click “Register” in the top-right corner of the page.
  • Fill out and submit the short form.
  • Check your email for the confirmation message, and click on the verification link in this message.

Visit the link below to compare the differences between the Free account and the Single License here.

https://voicethread.com/howto/whats-included-6/

Give it a try!

 

 

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Why I’m using VoiceThread in my online class

I’ve been debating on whether or not to use VoiceThread (VT) as an alternative to text-based, threaded  discussions in an online course I’m teaching this Fall. The course is titled EDU 263 – Teaching, Learning & Technology. The last time I taught the class, we experimented with VoiceThread, but only during one week of a ten week class.

Screenshot of Voicethread with picture of Kathy, University of Iowa buildings and downtown Denver

VoiceThread Slide (2016 Teaching, Learning and Tech course)

Instructor presence and community building are keys to the success for learners in online courses. VoiceThread will be used to not only support these principles, but also supports the following standard competencies for the course:

III. Utilize technology to manage and communicate information.
VI. Utilize instructional technology to support a wide variety of learners and learning styles.
VII. Explore various instructional tools and technology, including computers, video, graphics, multimedia, audio, and other media, and their contributions to the learning process.
VIII. Investigate and design a lesson using instructional technology coupled with a variety of instructional strategies, including: cooperative learning, discovery, problem solving, games, simulations, discussion, demonstration and presentation.
IX. Select the most appropriate instructional methods, materials, and media for a particular lesson or presentation.

The deciding factor for me as I was spending my Friday evening evaluating and testing VoiceThread, was receiving timely technical support from VoiceThread.  I sent support a message to VoiceThread support tonight at 6:50 pm and received an email response from Sadie at VT at 7:14 pm which resolved my problem.  What is really impressive is that I’m using a FREE version of VT!  I’ve been experimenting with VoiceThread since 2009 and look forward to using it in my course.

Quality technical support is crucial when teaching with technology and I hope the level of support I received from VT tonight continues for me, as well as my students. I’ll let you know how it goes…

VoiceThread Research Abstracts

 

VoiceThread

I recently came across this blog post called “Humanizing Online Learning with Voicethread” by Michelle Pacansky-Brock which provides some great tips for using VoiceThread. VoiceThread is a collaborative and multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos. It allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). VoiceThread can also be used as a communication or collaboration tool.  It is a very popular and powerful tool for “visual” collaboration. VoiceTheads can be embedded within your Blackboard course or you can simply post a link to your voicethread. The basic version is free.

VoiceThread Screenshot

Voicethread from Teaching Online Workshop