Teacher Review For Voxopop

A simple way to collect oral work from your students.

Larry J.
Classroom teacher
El Diamante High School
Visalia, CA
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My Grades 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning, Arts
My Rating 3
Learning Scores
Engagement 3
Pedagogy 3
Support 2
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Creation
Small group
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
One of my first assignments for my AP Comp class is an oral essay in the style of "This I Believe." While I try to nudge my students towards more oral-friendly writing, it isn't until they actually try to record their original compositions and hear them played back that they understand that oral and written language can differ. Hearing their words played back to them helps them to realize how some compositions can really sing, while others sound flat. In my classroom, I've got four computers that students can use to record their essays. From a practical standpoint, only one or maybe two can be used at any given time.The fact that the program is free and can be downloaded on a home computer is a strong selling point; however, I spent about 30 minutes tweaking the Java settings on my own computer before I could actually record anything. Once that was accomplished, the rest of the process flowed smoothly. A less tech-savvy person would probably have been flummoxed by the process.
My Take
Google has apps that probably deal with voice recording in a far easier manner. This program, however, allowed my students to record their oral essays on any platform, whether they had a Google account or not. It's easy to use once you get the tech issues out of the way, and it does offer protections for students (you can designate your discussion thread to be 'by invitation only' and limit access). I don't know that I'd use it for much more that as a repository for a particular assignment. Many of the reviews have mentioned tech problems and infrequent updating. If you want to have a mechanism for getting students to record an oral text and submit it to you in a platform-free process, this would work well. Beyond that, I see little classroom application, though it might be interesting for peer editing of essays.