VoiceThread – voicethread.com
Voicethread is quickly becoming one of my favourite new Web 2.0 tools. VoiceThread is basically a collaborative media slideshow that holds images, videos and documents and allows users to leave comments about said slideshows.
How can this support me as a teacher…
Well, imagine you are a teacher and you would like to find an exciting new way to allow students to collaborate on, and share, their work. And imagine that you are looking for an engaging way to teach and facilitate Descriptive Feedback in your class. VoiceThread allows students (and teachers) to upload their work (image, audio recording, text document, and video) and display it. Other students can then log in and look at the work and leave a comment. The comment can come in a variety of forms including by text, audio, video, uploading another file, and even by using a phone. Of course the comments should follow the proper Descriptive Feedback Model and focus only on the co-created Success Criteria.
There is a great set of tutorials to help you get started, and are sure to entertain as well. There is also a search and browse option where you can have a look at how other educators are using VoiceThread to support collaboration and the effective infusion of technology into their classrooms.
Oh yeah, it’s free! Check it out; you will not be disappointed.
60 Second Recap – 60secondrecap.com
60 Second Recap is another new site to check out, particularly if you teach grades 7-12. The site has one stated goal: they want to make the great works of literature accessible, relevant, and irresistible to today’s teens. Using short (60 second) video albums, they seek to help teens engage with the best books out there … not just to help them get better grades, but “to help them build better lives”. It’s still relatively new but it looks like a 21st Century version of Coles Notes! The first thing I thought of after browsing the site for a few minutes and watching a few videos was that this would be a fun and engaging instructional task to add to your arsenal. Students could use these videos as a model and create their own 60 Second Recap of the chapter or novel they just read, or the concept they just learned in Math or any of the other content areas. Check this one out – it only takes a minute!
Books Should be Free – booksshouldbefree.com
Just a quick note to check out this site. It offers thousands of audiobooks that can be downloaded in MP3, iTunes, and iPod formats. The site is easy to search and has a ton of books – some of which are still read in school.
Thanks for reading.