Voicethread 1:  The Circulatory System

http://voicethread.com/share/234485/

Voicethread Example 2: The Water Cycle

http://voicethread.com/share/234522/

Voicethread Example 3: A Booktalk of Birdman by Rafe Martin

http://voicethread.com/share/54607/

I was really disappointed I couldn’t embed these voicethreads directly to my wordpress blog because I see that you can embed voicethread into many applications including blogger.   Oh well, something to think about when choosing a blog for next time.   On the bright side, I was able to embed them on my pbwiki so my staff and students can view them easily.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve used voicethread in school.  I first heard about it last year at a divisional technology workshop and promptly tried to use it in my library program as a vehicle for booktalks (see example 3).  Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful in convincing any students to try it because I gave them the option of creating a book advertisement using Word, PowerPoint or voicethread and no one chose the latter.  I was surprised by that because when I first introduced voicethread to them, they thought it was really cool, especially the video demonstration of Wily Coyote but in the end, no one wanted to put their “voice” out there.  Next time I won’t give them a choice!

To display my learning this week using voicethread as a multimedia tool, I decided to think about how this tool could be used to display learning in a core course like science.  I thought about what our students were currently learning to see if I could infuse this web 2.0 tool into the learning process and I was very pleased with the results.

Our grade 8 science students are currently learning the systems of the body.  This week they have been looking specifically at the circulatory system so I decided to find a digital picture of this system and using voicethread, describe how the heart and lungs work together to circulate blood in our bodies (example 1).  Once again, finding and uploading the picture and using the tool was the easy part.  I had to do some reviewing about the circulatory system before I was confident enough to demonstrate my learning using voicethread.    What a great way for students to synthesize all they have learned on the subject and demonstrate whether they understand the process or not!  I had never used the drawing tool before – it was fun and easy to use – and perfect to show whether I knew which way the blood pumps in the body.  Every student in the class could create their own demonstration on the same voicethread and they could all then be reviewed and by the teacher who could leave a comment stating whether the student had understood the process.  After showing a few of our science teachers my multimedia circulatory system, they can’t wait to give it a try.  We’re already thinking of ways to incorporate voicethread into demonstrations of other body systems.

Our grade 7 science students have been discussing how to preserve natural resources such as water.  They have been examining the water cycle and how water tables can become polluted.  So I decided to see if I could describe the water cycle to them using voicethread (example 2).  Much like my experience with the circulatory system, it wasn’t hard to find the picture and use the tool, I had to plan how and what I was going to say.  Using the drawing tool was once again a perfect fit for this presentation.  I haven’t shown this presentation to any teachers yet but I think they will see the value of students demonstrating their learning of the water cycle in the way.  Students could even create their own voicethread presentations finding pictures of other natural resources and adding their thoughts on how they can be preserved.

From the three voicethread multimedia presentations I have created this week, I can see that the uses for voicethread is endless.  Students could use voicethread to create personal histories, describe their latest field trip, create a safety guide for the science lab or create a virtual trip to any country.  On a personal level, I could use voicethread to share my latest pictures with my family especially those out of town.  I would have loved this to show and tell my mother and father about the latest milestones of my children when they lived out of town and couldn’t see them very often.

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