Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Voice Thread

This is such a brilliant tool to promote higher order thinking and online discussions/collaboration.
After creating an account (which is FREE and easy), I went into my Flickr account to search for some pictures that I could upload legally (rather than using google) into the Voice Thread account. I used the search phrase 'numbers' and then 'house numbers'. I then Saved the images to my computer then uploaded them into Voice Thread. The only trouble I had was that images saved as a .GIF didn't load properly on Voice Thread so I only used files that were .jpeg s.

Here is what I put together

The idea I had with this was to use it as a maths tool for a year 3 or year 4 class. It is meant to promote higher order thinking as learners post comments about the characteristics and anything they know about the number presented. I have posted one on each as an example and to get them thinking about the types of number knowledge you can post. By reading other's comments, students not only learn more about the number but are challenged to extend themselves in their own comments so as to not be 'outdone' by their peers. When introduced in the classroom make a point that no two comments can have the same characteristic.

You could use this tool in a myriad of other ways, this is just an idea that came to mind based on a lesson I took with my Year 3 class last year. Another good thing about this tool is that you have a number of publishing options including - who can view it, who can comment, the option to moderate comments, and if it can appear on the browse page. There is also the 'group' option in which you can add people from your contacts to be a part of that thread.

If this was to be used regularly in the classroom it would be beneficial for learners to have their own account purely so they can be added to each thread the learning manager creates, or they can even create their own for their peers to use - this fits in with the Relate - Create - Donate process in a mixed around way (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). Learners Create a thread (based on their learning in class), Donate it to Voice Thread, and then Relate to each other using the various forms of commenting - which ever type suits the individual is fine.

One thing to be careful of - the more comments there are on a thread the longer it takes to load. It may be beneficial to have one thread for a group of students rather than one thread for the entire class.

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Available from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm


  1. Hi Bethanie,
    I like your VoiceThread that yo hav created using multipe imges of numbers. Students viewing this could get develop broader understanding of how often we come across numbers in daily life. Excellent for the many visual learners out there!

  2. Hi Andrew,
    When it comes to a tool as amazing as this there is so much potential and so much to consider - I hadn't even thought of learning styles and numbers in everyday life.
    It is good to get a fresh perspective on things!