Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Using Voicethread

Recently, I have been spending a good deal of time training staff members on the use of Voicethread. Voicethread is a Web 2.0 tool that allows the user to upload images and then narrate them or type comments about them, creating online, collaborative, multimedia presentationws. It is incredibly easy and powerful. What I love about it is the versatility of it. You can upload presentation slides and narrate them, you can upload student created artwork and narrate them, or you can upload photos.

I inevitably get the question, "So why would I use that in my classroom?" Here is a short list of ways it can be used:

  • Storytelling

  • Book reports

  • Narration of a multimedia presentation

  • Sequencing

  • Field trip narration

  • Explanation of how to process complex problems - see

  • Virtual field trips to far away times or places

  • Current events

  • upload diagrams/concept maps and explain their meaning

  • How to Videos

  • Anything, everything

Here is a quick Voicethread that explains what it is all about:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Internet Safety Presentation at the Parenting Forum

I had the opportunity to present at the Wayzata Parenting Forum this weekend. I am attaching my presentation in case anyone is interested. The presentation was created in Smart Notebook which could not be uploaded so I converted it to pdf. The only problem there is that the video on the 4th slide is not viewable. Oh well.

I thought it went really well. The discussion was far more interesting than the presentation. I wish I had recorded it. I spoke with a teacher who came to my presentation and he had a great idea. He said we should present this to parents when their kids are in kindergarten. One of the big discussions at the presentation centered around how much easier it is to set up safe routines for using the Internet if you start when the kids are young. Taking a 12-year-old and changing the rules now is much more difficult. I would love to see us present this to all kindergarten parents, but finding a way to bring them all together is a bit of a challenge. I'd love to hear some ideas for how we could do this.