Monday, September 26, 2011

Voice Thread! COOL and FREE!

This is NOT the best application of VoiceThread ever but it is serving my need to create a book talk "video" for my third annual "Sakai Reads" all school read program.  Every year I manage to convince the teachers, students and parents to join me in a theme-based all school "read" based on the "One Book, One Community" model.   It's pretty amazing that they are willing to do this with me! This is our third year for it!  Each student in my school chooses a read and participates in a parent led book discussion.  We call this year's theme "Building Community" but it really has more to do with being able to place yourself in the shoes of another person.  What does it mean to have empathy for another?  I've selected fourteen books this year and they represent many different genres. I'm looking forward to having the students select their choices!

Since I can't book talk the whole lot to them as much as I'd love to, I made this VoiceThread last night by uploading the book covers and a few slides that I made with PowerPoint.

VoiceThread is at its best when you allow others to comment on your slides.  Commenters can make videos with their Web cams, they can record their voices,  they can type in a text comment and they can even draw on the screen.  

As you can see, it embeds nicely into a Web site.  My only frustration with it is that it takes some time for it to transition between slides and upload the new audio. 

Last year two of my teachers had their students create an original poetry VoiceThread where they shared one of their poems partnered with a slide of art.  It was really a cool and relatively easy project.  Almost all of the students were stunned about what their voice sounded like!

VoiceThread also has a program called VT Educator where teachers can get a little more storage space if they can prove that they work for a school.  VoiceThread also has very affordably priced subscriptions.  A teacher or a school might choose to purchase a subscription because it allows users to create their own profiles which makes commenting much easier and also sensible. 

Also, Scipi from "Go Figure!" has encouraged me with a TOP TEN award from TeachingBlog Addict! Cool!

Top 10 TBA

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