15 Days Left of My Summer: Voicethread

Here is a simple way for getting pairs or small groups of students to work together, VoiceThread! If you have not seen this product or website, it is time for a visit to voicethread.com.

The point of VoiceThread is to create an interactive collaborative project. Let’s say a pair of students collect 5 images about sharks. They create a script and decide how they will input the facts about sharks. The options include audio or video recording, text, doodle on the image or phone input.

One slide one students create a title slide and speak about the intent of their VoiceThread. Slide two might be about the types of sharks with text descriptions and arrows drawn on the images to coincide with the text. Slide three might be about sharks’ favorite food as a video recording. Slide four would include a map of the Pacific Ocean and shark migration routes done with drawing on a map. Slide five would explain some fantastic world records about sharks like how fast they can swim or the largest shark that has been caught. Students will record audio or video for this set of facts. An additional slide will include the resources used for the project.

Now the fun begins. Once students have created their VoiceThread, they can visit other projects and add a comment. So students can comment on other student’s in their class projects. There are many examples of projects on the site.

One example for Kim Hisler at CFPMS includes using VoiceThread to teach students about nutrition. Eighth grade students are paired and choose a topic about nutrition or the food groups, vitamin supplements, energy drinks, organic foods and more. Once students finish their own VT project, they do a walk-about quiz and review the other projects in class. They become an expert in their topic while helping other students become more educated about additional nutritional topics. Students critique each other’s projects and add helpful comments.

I have seen projects about the book “The Great Chicago Fire” by Christy Ilgenfritz’s class, travelogues, family history, science process topics, natural resources and energy.

Be sure YOU create one as a sample for your students to see. It also makes you go through the process to you can understand what students will face as they create theirs! And don’t forget to watch SharkWeek on DiscoveryChannel or review the resources in the DiscoveryEducation library.

VoiceThread has a mobile app as well as a web version. An educator can get a reduced price for a class. More details about the pricing is available at the site voicethread.com.

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