I am posting the following school project I am planning on introducing to our entire faculty in the next few weeks. If any of my teachers are reading this …congratulations… you have advanced notice 🙂
This time the approach to the collaborative project is internal. I am involving all grade levels (Pre-K through 6th grade) within our school. It is going to involve creating avatars for all our students, which I will leave up to the teachers to have them created with KidPix, hand-drawn/scanned in or using clipart. Pull together what students have learned about Egypt through the Egypt Blog and their individual class units that are in progress throughout the rest of the school year.
VoiceThread.com is an amazing application, that holds great promise for the classroom.
A VoiceThread is an online media album that can hold essentially any type of media (images, documents and videos) and allows people to make comments in 5 different ways – using voice (with a microphone or telephone), text, audio file, or video (with a webcam) – and share them with anyone they wish. A VoiceThread allows group conversations to be collected and shared in one place, from anywhere in the world.
It can be used for collaborative digital storytelling at ALL grade levels. Please sign-up for a free Pro- account (for educators) with your school’s e-mail by going to the main site. As alway, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you need any help in the process.
Once you have your own account, you will create additional identities for your students under your main account. To add these identities go to “My Account” and “Add an Identity”. Please keep in mind that you will use first names only for your students. Upload an avatar (a visual ‘handle’ or display appearance you use to represent yourself online) for yourself and your students. We can plan on creating an avatar for your students during your time in TechConnect. This could be a clipart from the Microsoft clipart gallery, drawing in KidPix or a scanned image that your students’ drew.
I have created a voicethread called “Jose, the bear travels to Egypt“. You will be taken directly to the voicethread by clicking on the link. The voicethread is set to Public (so anyone can see it), but limited to invited users (from our school) to comment.
I have uploaded several photos from Jose’s Egypt trip and arranged them in chronological order.
You are able to choose “on” which image you want to leave an audio or written comment or message by clicking on that image. You then can choose the record button to directly record with an attached microphone, upload a previously recorded sound file or type a comment by pressing the “type” button. VoiceThread also allows the option to use a telephone to leave a comment or use a webcam to leave a video message.
Make sure you have the correct identity of each student selected before they are recording or typing the message. You can embed Jose’s story into your blog and allow everyone to follow along as the story grows and grows by our comments. Make sure you are clicking on the “Embed” button
and then copy (CTRL-C) and then past (CTRL-V) into the Code tab of your blog post.
Why are we creating a storybook together as a school?
- … that we are a learning community.
- … the younger students that learning never ends (even for us teachers).
- … that we are learning and working together across grade levels and subject areas.
- … that we are creating and sharing what we are learning with the rest of the world.
And if all of this is not enough…
The voicethread will be an unique story about Jose’s adventure in Egypt. As the teacher make sure that each students comment is constructive and demonstrates student learning about Egypt’s history, culture and traditions.
Here are a few links to other blog posts that discuss the use of VoiceThread in the classroom.
Look at some examples of using voicethread in the classroom