Our Community

This VoiceThread is based on our social studies lesson about our communities, smaller and larger, and our addresses.  I really enjoyed preparing this for my students and while it would still need work, it would be a great way to prepare a lesson that involved many computer files in order to reduce the time it takes to move between them while trying to work with the students.  It would also offer teachers things like ways to handle either reteaching of a topic for some students, or to differentiate lessons for all students by offering different leveled work.  It could also allow teachers help with differentiating instruction in the form of small groups.  This would allow a teacher the ability to manage instruction without having to be with a group of students at that time.  Aside from listening to my own voice on the recording, it was a great tool to learn.

http://voicethread.com/book.swf?b=2312629

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2 responses to “Our Community

  1. I really like seeing the “start” here, both for what it models about your pedagogy and the ways in which you use the visuals and narration together. I am wondering what you’ve done here that sets VoiceThread apart from PowerPoint – is it different? Differentiating with VoiceThread is smart, smart planning. I’m wondering how that plays into your thinking about assessment, too…

    • I feel you have an element of control in VoiceThread that you do not have over your average PowerPoint. You can be certain the instructional audio is available as the student is viewing what is being taught or discussed. There are the features where you can write directly and make other notations on the image as you speak as well. The ability to connect with others in the VoiceThread through commenting and thinking creates collaborative learning that a PowerPoint just cannot offer to students who are viewing. Also, PowerPoint, while able to add some elements of sound, and video is based on static information. There is not the ability to have a constant dialog between creator and users that remains contained directly in the lesson. There are so many options to grow and extend a lesson being built in VoiceThread and like those of us old kids who remember the days of taping lectures, students can go back and actually hear again how a lesson was explained by choosing a specific point. I will say that aside from my goals of connecting in the audio to the specifics for my students, much of what I did was static and not collaborative. Using some of these tools will take more work for primary to be able to develop their ability to interact, but it can happen. At least it was cute when they all clapped at the end! They were mesmerized when they were able to come up to the board and tap the uploaded voicethread image and immediately zoom the maps in for a closer look.

      I was even surprised myself when finding how much could be done with VoiceThread. I know that is a tool that would take more time to truly learn then some of the others we have used. I found a cool wiki for information http://digitallyspeaking.pbworks.com/w/page/17791568/FrontPage I was impressed with just the information they shared on VoiceThread.

      Here is the think about VoiceThread with regard to DI. You can find, meet, and/or make your students reach without much change. They can listen on their own, but you can personalize your comments and thoughts to fit their needs. Also, you can hit on Bloom’s Taxonomy and create higher learning for the students based on what you ask of them in commenting back.

      As for assessment… while I have to depend a bit on these at the moment, I could see VoiceThread giving teacher the power of authentic assessment! Students could respond in their own voice with their thoughts directly to questions posed; they can offer/upload files to support their thinking and learning. It would offer students who find the written word a challenge new ways to express their knowledge. I have not thought as far as the true end, but I know that my students did receive a copy of the blank envelope in our last image of the VoiceThread which will be a simple formative assessment of their knowledge of addresses. It isn’t much, but adding things in is taking me time.

      I admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed by how to make this tool really work hard in the classroom to develop the things I think it can offer, but I suppose Rome wasn’t built in a day either.

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