Voicethread for Multi-sensory Learning and Sharing

Voicethread is a communication and presentation platform that provides a multi-sensory learning experience for users as they learn and share information. Voicethread presentations allow users to create slides that include images, webcam video, and voiced audio with the capability for webcam comments to be added and seen right in the presentation. Voicethread can be accessed from computers, tablets, and mobile devices.

Voicethread is a great learning medium in the classroom as it provides a collaborative learning environment. Students can join a teacher’s “group” or “class” to easily access Voicethread presentations. In addition, presentations can be shared as a link, embedded on a web page, or posted on Facebook or Twitter. With a premium membership presentations can be exported to a file. Privacy settings on presentations allow users to control who can view and comment on a presentation. Students do not need an account to view a Voicethread presentation, yet require an account to comment.

Aside from teacher’s using Voicethread to teach content to students, there are many uses in the classroom. A few are discussed below.

Reflection

Using Voicethread, students can improve metacognition and make meaning of their learning by reflecting upon the process, content, and coursework. Students can answer the teacher’s reflection questions as they develop their Voicethread, or they can finish sentences provided by the teacher such as, “As I read, I was most surprised by…”

Communication

Voicethread allows students and teachers to communicate via comments posted on a Voicethread presentation. Comments can be added to individual slides, allowing for specific feedback to be given and may be posted as video, audio, or text. This facilitates a collaborative learning environment, as students can construct and express knowledge through meaningful comments posted on a Voicethread presentation. Not only can students communicate with students in other classrooms, but they can easily communicate with students in other schools. Such a capability makes it a great medium for learning different perspectives and for research projects focused on geography.

Collaboration

Student groups can work together to create a unified Voicethread presentation. Working as a unit, groups select the media necessary to successfully share their knowledge. Communication and executive functioning skills will be developed as a group makes decisions and develops their plans for creating their Voicethread presentation.

Journal

Throughout a unit or semester students can add slides to their Voicethread, documenting their knowledge and thoughts during the learning process. This can act as a future resource for review and contemplation as the student looks to apply learning while also providing the student and teacher with indicators of growth.

How have you used Voicethreading in your classroom?

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3 Benefits of Technology in the Classroom

http://www.schooltechnology.org

Technology integration is a buzzword in education right now- and has been for a few years. The way we live our lives is changing due to technology, and so is the way we are teaching. Here are a few benefits of technology use in the classroom.

Constructivist Learning

One benefit of using technology in the classroom is that it allows students to construct their own knowledge as they take problem solving into their own hands. Rather than being passive listeners, students are actively using their 21st century skills of accessing, evaluating, and applying information. Whether they are using tablets, computers, or cell phones students are learning to use these tools as consumers and producers of information. An important lifelong skill for many professions today.

Differentiated Learning

As educators, we know how individual the learning process can be for students. Technology provides students and teachers with more resources and tools to meet diverse needs. Using technology resources in the classroom also helps diverse learners succeed by providing multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement- helping teachers align their lessons with the principles of Universal Design for Learning.

Collaborative Learning

As we know, it is important to have strong communication and problem solving skills. There are many technology resources that provide students with the opportunity to learn and share online. Google Drive allows students to work on the same document simultaneously while chatting about ideas and feedback. The website epals.com connects classrooms around the country as they complete research projects together. Collaborative learning websites foster skills that help prepare students for college and career.

As we can see there are great benefits to using technology in the classroom. However, it is important to remember that technology is constantly evolving and changing. Thankfully, there are excellent resources available to teachers online including websites like edutopia.org and iste.org that provide information from researchers, teachers, and writers in the field of educational technology.

Resources:

http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/whatisudl/3principles