How I Use It
I have used VoiceThread in my classroom with students in a variety of ways. In my Rock unit, I uploaded various minerals and added my voice and pen to create a multimedia explanation of various minerals and mineral types. My students have then build VoiceThreads (as one of several options) by creating products on the Rock Cycle, and a year end Earth Science product of their choice such as Global Warming, Keeping the Environment Clean, ect. These products were shared with all students in the class as well as their parents.
What worked? Students were engaged. My ELL and SPED students were able to produce content similar to their peers. Parents loved being able to see and hear what their children were doing. It was very easy to use, I didn't have to do much instruction to any of them, they picked it up fast!
What didn't? In a full class, it was difficult to have the speech work without other classroom noise. While we tried to put them in the hall, ect it was a scheduling concern. It worked better if they did it on their own at home. For those students under 13 I had to create generic accounts for them to use, which gave them access to other teams using the same account. We had to establish ground rules before hand, which helped.
Who did you use the product with, for what purpose, and in what setting? Middle level Earth Science students as a creation and production tool for my Rock and end of year products.
What were the specific takeaways for your students? They were able to hear and see other student's work and learn from them. While they didn't like to hear their own voice, they liked the opportunity to get away from the powerpointish presentations they have always done. One take away for me was to have them flowchart and script their creation. This saved us a lot of time!
I have always loved VoiceThread. This tool works well to allow students to add their voice to their creations. I have heard from teachers who have purchased VoiceThread for their student body and like that it can pull from their LDAP server which keeps the roster up to date. Teachers can monitor the content.
Concerns- safety for students under 13 with the free version.