Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Connected Educator and VoiceThread

As mentioned in previous post, I am using The Connected Educator in next semester's cohort of students in our Teaching and Learning with Technology. As I am planning the curriculum, the authors Sheryl Beach and Lani Hall have included a "Get Connected" section at the end of every chapter. At the end of chapter 2, they suggest readers to join their VoiceThread to discuss either by text or by audio about change in our schools. As you can see below, the numbers of participants are growing. Feel free to join in even if you don't have the book right now, but I highly suggest you do. 

VoiceThread is a sight worthy of discussion. It is real easy to sign up and use to create open and private discussions. Respondents can comment via text or audio very easily. To listen or read previous comments, you only have to hover over the profile pics around the discussion board. Try it out. Simply click on one of the respondents to the right and read or listen to the contribution to the discussion. 

Beyond simple voice and text discussions, VoiceThread has created a platform for discussing video and respondents and actually watch a video, pause it, and mark the actual video with comments and annotations all the while talking through their comments and explaining either visually or audibly. Check out this example.

I really like the sharing features. With invites, embedding, and social media integrations, it is really easy to garner more voices to the discussion. I plan to use this with my students to discuss a modified prompt about the chapter. Look for a post in the following weeks after my students have participated in their discussion, I will invite and share to hear what your voices think. Later in the semester I will use the video feature with my student teachers. 

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