Using VoiceThread to Discuss Infographics

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Samantha Stelz.  Is VoiceThread a tool that can be used in the primary grades? Is VoiceThread easy to learn for students who are not as familiar with technology? The answer to those questions is…yes! VoiceThread is an excellent 21st century learning tool that students can use in a variety of ways across grade levels. When talking with other teachers from different counties and states across the US about how I utilize VoiceThread and other technology programs in the classroom, they often cannot believe that my students are ‘only’ second graders. … Continued

Using Comment Moderation to Evaluate and Reply to Your Students

This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator Curtis Izen.  In my online and f2f business information courses, I use VoiceThread for a variety of assignments. This includes an “ice breaker”, transforming discussion boards, group PowerPoint and using individual research assignments to be shared for the entire class to learn from. This semester, I wanted to try an assignment utilizing a feature in VoiceThread that I have yet to explore. … Continued

Using VoiceThread for Language Classes

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Daisy Sam.  I have been a classroom teacher since 2005. My only break from the classroom was in 2011 when my family moved from RI to NJ and this year school year as we made another transition from NJ to FL. Sometimes the teaching life is so involved you seldom have time to sit and reflect on the lessons you have created. … Continued

Using VoiceThread to Enhance Existing Assignments

This is a guest post by Nursing Educator and VoiceThreader Kimberly Davis.  I attended the online VoiceThread Basics Training this past spring and was quickly hooked! One of the features that really appealed to me about using VoiceThread was the idea that students could use multiple modalities to express themselves. I teach Concepts of Professional Nursing, an introductory nursing course, where students have traditionally used a written discussion board post to answer how this class has shaped their professional identity. … Continued

A VoiceThread for Any Course

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dana Heimlich, MS,Ed.  I love VoiceThread! I love it so much that I’m always tweeting my gratitude to them–which is how I ended up writing this guest blog post (seriously). I’m very excited to share my experiences in the hopes that it might inspire you to give VoiceThread a try! I discovered VoiceThread years ago as a high school German teacher. … Continued

Transforming an LMS Group Wiki Assignment to VoiceThread

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThread Certified Educator, Curtis Izen. Each semester, I try refining or creating a new assignment. In my online MIS course, the students are grouped into teams of 4-5 students. Their assignment is to create a group wiki on an emerging technology in business. Using the wiki tools from their LMS, they are tasked to add any multimedia, text or links to make their wiki as engaging and informational as possible. … Continued

Presentations, Virtual Meetings, and Substitute Plans: What CAN'T VoiceThread Do?

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, John Briese.  These days teachers are embracing technology as a way to improve their instruction and help students find a deeper connection to their content. However, I talk to teachers all the time whose concern is that the only “technology” they have used in class is having their students create a PowerPoint. Therefore, my challenge has been to find the next step for them to take that will not overwhelm them, but will also help them move forward with introducing more 21st Century skills into their classes. … Continued

Establishing a Social Presence with VoiceThread

Have you ever asked students what they don’t like about online courses? If you have or if you’ve ever researched the complaints online students have, you’ll notice one major trend: students want to know the instructor is present, engaged and interested in them. Since the advent of online courses, students have craved a strong social presence from their instructor. Sure, most students love autonomy and the freedom to direct their own learning, but no one wants to shout into the darkness. … Continued

Student Assessment in VoiceThread

VoiceThread’s flexible and dynamic recording features allow you to better assess student learning in all subjects. We’ve already introduced several features to help with this: Comment Moderation Specific timestamps on comments Gradebook integration in your learning management system Control over whether users can delete their own comments Selecting which types of comments are possible Searching slides for commenters Our latest step is a minor change in what it means to allow someone else to view your VoiceThread. … Continued

VoiceThread: Just a Substitute for a Live Presentation?

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Keri Phillips. Last Christmas, I left teaching. I was burnt out on the tedious routine of the traditional high school classroom, and I was longing to return to the college realm where parent phone calls were violating FERPA and classroom management wasn’t a buzz word. I spent about 6 months in a teacher training capacity where I was able to research and explore what else is going on in the education world. … Continued

VoiceThread A to Z: Creating Portfolios with VoiceThread

In this final installment of the VoiceThread A to Z series, we’ll be discussing portfolios. In our previous posts in this series, we discussed ways to start your year, use VoiceThread for storytelling, presentations, as a discussion board replacement and for assessments. You can find those posts here: VoiceThread A to Z posts.  Portfolios can be a great way to illustrate progress over the course of a semester. Many students don’t see the progress they have made until they can compare work they completed early in the year with the work they produce later. … Continued

VoiceThread A to Z: Using VoiceThread for Assessments

This is the 5th installment in our VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first 4 posts, we discussed ways to start your year, use VoiceThread for storytelling, presentations, and as a discussion board replacement. You can find those posts here: VoiceThread A to Z posts. This post will focus on using VoiceThread for formative and summative assessments.  It can be difficult to find the time to give students personal feedback on their papers. … Continued

Sharing Your Student's Research With VoiceThread

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Curtis Izen.  Students taking my online Principals of Management Information Systems course are required to contribute in weekly VoiceThreads, submit case study assignments, work on a group project and complete an individual research paper. The majority of their efforts are shared or developed with the entire class as it’s completed. Classmates are able to contribute their knowledge to other peers, who in turn, learn from their findings and insight. … Continued

Using VoiceThread to Help Students Prepare for Interviews

This is a guest post by Instructor and VoiceThread Certified Educator, Dr. Kathy Melago.  With modern technology, the job interview process frequently begins with a phone or video interview. As the head of our music education program, I work closely with our students as they look for jobs and prepare for interviews. While I have conducted live mock interviews in the past, one thing I had not done previously was to help students practice phone and video interviews, yet those are usually the screening interviews that actually get applicants to the in-person interviews. … Continued

Can Algorithms Replace Teachers?

It seems like every week there is a new story about how computer algorithms are the future of teaching and learning. We read about how software can personalize education, differentiate instruction, provide mounds of data for administrators and revolutionize our lives. We hear about how students can open an app, view a playlist of videos that can teach them biology, calculus, literature and a host of other subjects. We know that jobs that human beings used to do are now executed by machines (like ATMs replacing bank tellers) and it gives us pause. … Continued

Improving Your Students' Speaking Skills

This is a guest post by Erik Palmer, educator and VoiceThreader. New ears. Listen very carefully to student speaking. If you listen with new ears, it will be obvious that students do not speak well. Let me give you some examples…from VoiceThread. I will tell you up front that I love VoiceThread. I have written about and recommended using VoiceThread in three of my books: Digitally Speaking: How to Improve Student Presentations with Technology (Stenhouse Publishers, 2012), Teaching the Core Skills of Listening & Speaking (ASCD, 2013), and Good Thinking: Teaching Argument, Persuasion, and Reasoning (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016). … Continued

Giving the Silent Students a Voice

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jesse James. I’m not what you would call an early adopter, so I’m a little behind the curve. My technology integrator knew that I was willing to try something new though, and she brought back VoiceThread from a Texas Region 11 training. When I first reviewed VoiceThread for my classroom, I was instantly excited because I had not seen a tool that allowed for a digital student response to what we were studying in class. … Continued

VoiceThread Storytelling Videos and Cultural Presentations

VoiceThread Screenshot #1 instructional video using the verb “Ser” with physical and personality trails. VoiceThread screenshot #2 follow-up oral activity after watching the instructional video VoiceThread screenshot #3 from a cultural portfolio from Leetal Weiss (shared with student’s permission) VoiceThread screenshot # 4 I had a blast narrating, acting, editing and producing my videos VoiceThread screenshot 5. “Quick review” on Reflexive pronouns VoiceThread screenshot 6. … Continued

Spanish Portfolios and VoiceThread Commenting

This is a guest post by Spanish educator and VoiceThreader, Laura K. Sexton, MA/NBCT.  There are three people that need to see my students’ VoiceThread e-portfolios for Spanish: them, me, and everyone else. E-portfolios help my students watch themselves grow, and VoiceThread allows them to demonstrate that growth in their reading and writing as well as their speaking and listening— something you just can’t do on paper. Portfolios, unlike tests or quizzes, also help me evaluate not just the depth, but also the breadth of each student’s Spanish abilities. … Continued

Cheating in Online Courses

How do you prevent students from cheating in an online course? We come across a number of posts every week discussing strategies, explaining how students can google answers to multiple choice tests, pay other people to act as them during an online exam and even write papers for them. When instructors don’t see or hear students during a course, the ability to cheat increases dramatically. Others have come to this same conclusion, but the solutions they promote involve various strategies previously found in books by George Orwell. … Continued

VoiceThread: An Online Counterpart to the Traditional Design Studio

This is a guest post by design instructor and VoiceThreader, Jody Lawrence. I integrated VoiceThread into my freshman design studio to facilitate instructor and peer critiques, and to promote student dialogue and networking with practicing designers around the country. The students embraced the technology as an enhancement to their in-person studio experience, sharing that the tool introduced continuity to their learning throughout the week, and improved the quality of scheduled, in-class time. … Continued

VoiceThread Portfolios: Capturing the Creative Process

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Jonathan Lewis. As a classroom teacher, sound assessment practices have always been a challenge, especially as we strive towards meeting the diverse needs of all of our learners. This challenge becomes even more complex due to differentiation, descriptive feedback, and the diverse technological tools our students are using to communicate their learning. Throw in a dash of Problem or Inquiry-based Learning and you have the perfect storm of open learning opportunities, leaving you to wonder how you are going to capture anything. … Continued

VoiceThread and Our 1:1 Program

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Mary Ellen Davies. Flash back to February 2013 when the 1:1 program in Hillsborough Township Public schools was in its infancy. A few teachers at the high school and one team at the middle and intermediate schools were part of the pilot program using Chromebooks in the classroom. I received an email from my supervisor that said, “​T​ake a look at what a high school teacher is doing in her class; I thought this was really cool. … Continued

Using VoiceThread with GlobalCOlab

This is a guest post by teacher and VoiceThreader, Brian Jones. This week GlobalCOlab is being featured at the Scandinavian Education Technology Transformation (SETT) Conference taking place in Stockholm, Sweden. GlobalCOlab stands for Global Collaborative Labs. In GlobalCOlab, students from different schools around the world collaborate to investigate global issues and how those issues affect their communities. An example is the Watershed Project involving GlobalCOlab students from Malaysia, Sweden, Ohio, and Norwalk, California (my classroom) all collaboratively designing solutions to watershed problems. … Continued

Online Courses are Different than MOOCs

Massive, open, online courses don’t live up to the hype. People are starting to realize that while MOOCs are open, and they are certainly massive, most of them are not actually courses. They are really just curated spaces where people can access content. They more closely resemble YouTube playlists or online textbooks than genuine, human learning environments. The drop-out rates are massively high because most MOOCs don’t follow the basic formula for learning. … Continued

Diversity in Groups: A Connected Experience

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dr. Jaimie Hoffman The Idea Last summer I was inspired to dream about what could be possible if I could connect my students with students in another country in a common learning experience using technology. This was an exciting possibility both because gaining international perspectives is a key pillar of my institution and because I think it is an important outcome of the undergraduate experience. … Continued

3 VoiceThread Features You Should be Using

This is a guest post by Alissa Harrington, VoiceThreader and Instructional Designer at Stevenson University. VoiceThread is so flexible and simple to use, that we often overlook some of its powerful built-in features. Below are three ideas to incorporate into your VoiceThread experience: 1. Insert an Active Link– An easy way to share a file* or website with students during a VoiceThread presentation is to copy the source URL and paste the link in a text comment. … Continued

Why I Love VoiceThread

*This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Judy Arzt. I use this tool in my own teaching, but, more importantly, encourage the teachers in my classes to use it with their students. The app is flexible and works on a variety of devices. For instance, teachers with limited access to technology in their classrooms can download the app to their phone. This suits those who teach the lower grades, starting with pre-k. … Continued

Is the Flipped Model Disruptive?

We hear about “disruptive” technology all the time, but what does it really mean? Too often the label is misapplied to technologies that simply improve efficiency while preserving an old model. For a technology to be truly disruptive it needs to bring about a fundamental change in how we do things. When it comes to educational technology, many existing tools allow traditional teachers to continue delivering lectures and assessing with short-answer tests. … Continued

How Can Role-Playing Improve Peer-To-Peer Feedback?

This is a guest post by Boise State professor, Yu-Hui Ching. I am an assistant professor of Educational Technology at Boise State University. I have been using VoiceThread for discussions and ice-breaking activities in my online courses for two years. My students and I enjoy VoiceThread because we can see and hear each other, which helps us build a more connected learning community. In my recently published research article, I tackled a problem that concerns many online instructors – how to guide students to provide quality peer feedback. … Continued