VoiceThread is a collaborative program that contains documents, images, video and music. It allows users from around the world to leave comments via five different ways, voice (microphone or telephone), text, audio or video (VoiceThread, 2009). Files can be uploaded from computers or websites and exported to MP3 or DVD players (VoiceThread, 2009).
Recently I uploaded a picture that I had on my computer entitled, ‘Autumn Leaves’. Once I uploaded this file, I then posted a voice comment on the picture. I described what it was and how it could be used in the classroom. I also included a text comment, which was a description of the picture. After commenting on this picture, I made this ‘view’ public, and embedded the code into my blog.
Click here to view my VoiceThread file.
After completing this activity, I considered the implications of this technology within the classroom.
The theory of connectivism (Siemens, 2005) suggests that learning occurs in a variety of ways - through the use of personal networks, communities of practice and continual practice. These can be defined as tools to be used to shape students’ thinking. Therefore, the selection of appropriate technology within the classroom is paramount.
Connectivism provides the opportunity to learn through the use of networks and connections to aide thinking and learning (Siemens, 2005). VoiceThread links to this theory by providing an opportunity for students to view the images and video, comment on them, and view others’ thoughts on the file. The Learning Manager could set up a class page, where students are able to upload images and other documents for their classmates to view and provide comments. It is the responsibility of the Learning Manager to ensure that students remain safe online and netiquette standards are upheld.
The only negatives with this site is that within EQ schools the internet bandwidth is slow, therefore, it would take a considerable amount of time to load documents, especially if multiple comments have been given, through audio means. The Learning Manager could load the program during lunch breaks, making it easily accessible for students. Another option is for the Learning Manager to provide the URL for students to access at home, where they could view the image or video and record their own comments. When placing comments via audio means, it requires the use of a microphone. These can be purchased cheaply and are useful to teach students how to correctly record using an audio device.
I believe that I could use this technology within the classroom, provided that I allowed for time for it to load on the school computers. In the Early Years, with assistance, students could leave purely an audio comment. Whereas in the older grades, they could experiment with a variety of comment tools and use this program to analyse pictures and videos that would relate to a wide range of Key Learning Areas.
I believe this technology would work in the classroom, provided that the Learning Manager was willing to create meaningful learning experiences to accompany this program.
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved July 16, 2009, from http://wwww.elearnspace.or/Articles/connectivism.htm
VoiceThread. (2009). VoiceThread. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from http://voicethread.com/about