Sam, a student reporter for our school newspaper, asked me to name my favorite Web 2.0 applications for an article on technology last year. Google Voice, Google Docs and Voicethread were the first tools that came to mind. In this series of blog posts, I want to show how versatile these tools are for the World Language classroom, and why teaching your students to use them will have a big payoff all year long.
One of the most versatile tools for a language classroom is Voicethread. It is very easy to use and you will find some very nice resources on their web page. Since I last visited their resources page I see they have added PDF documents as well as short Voicethreads that explain how to use this tool.
My students will be working on a Voicethread project, and I will be presenting to a group of World Language teachers at an inservice this week. I thought I'd create a quick presentation to get everyone started, and I wanted to share it on my blog as well.
Voicethread is easy to use, but sometimes finding what you need takes a little bit of practice. Hopefully this presentation will cover some of the basic trouble shooting issues you might have as you start working on a project. You can find the presentation at the bottom of this post.
As far as how I use Voicethread in class...
One of the most basic uses is for vocabulary practice. A student will write sentences using their new vocabulary, and pair the oral work with an image. They usually email me the link. I will then post them to our class Ning for other students to view.
As I mentioned before, my students will be working on their first in class Voicethread project this week. They will be putting together vocabulary and the imperfect tense when they narrate a series of photos about their childhood. They will tell me what toys they used to play with, who they would play with, what they use to eat and any special traditions their family had as they were growing up.
Once the individual student puts together this project and publishes it, her classmates will be able to comment on her presentation and compare & contrast their childhood with hers. This will be the follow up activity. This also gives each student an authentic audience for their work.
Voicethread is a great collaborative tool, so I will assign group work with this tool. My favorite one so far was the collaborative project that Leigh Murrell's classes in California and my own classes in Ohio worked on. You can read about that project here.
These are just three uses for Voicethread. Project for this tool are unlimited. I would love to hear how you use Voicethread in your classrooms. Please don't hesitate to share your plans for Voicethread with me.