This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, AJ Fitzgerald.
A common complaint about secondary and post-secondary education is that it’s simply not practical enough. Students commonly wonder aloud amongst their friends, “Why are we learning this?” Here on the internet, memes abound about how infrequently the average adult uses high school subjects like calculus and cellular biology in real life. The commenters often ask why they couldn’t have learned something useful instead, like taxes. … Continued
This is a guest post by Agi Bodis, Melissa Reed and Yulia Kharchenko, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney.
Three weeks into our TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) postgraduate teacher training program the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown was announced in Australia. As university courses swiftly moved online, we were left with the task to continue the practical microteaching elements of a teaching methodology unit. These typically involved students doing short peer-teaching to develop practical teaching skills. … Continued
This is a guest post by online Math Teacher and VoiceThreader, Audrey McLaren.
I can’t say that this year has been a normal one for me, but it’s been closer to normal than 2020 was for most teachers. I’ve been teaching online for 12 years. I work for LEARN, a non-profit organization in Quebec, Canada, that has been providing synchronous online math and science instruction for Quebec’s English high school students for almost 20 years. … Continued
Research tells us that combining orthographic and phonological forms of language has many benefits for language learning. Nakashima, Stephens and Kamata (2018) found that reading-while-listening increases comprehension. Mestres, Baro and Garriaga (2019) found that combining text with audio helps children (10 to11 years of age) obtain higher vocabulary when learning a second language. Valentini, Ricketts and Pye (2018) had similar findings with children between 8 and 9 years of age when reading short stories. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Timothy Thomas.
VoiceThread has been a wonderful tool to use with middle school students. As the library media specialist, I have used VoiceThread with students to engage and motivate them, introduce topics, curate research and information, and develop unit portfolios. VoiceThread is one of my go-to web tools because it is simple to use, efficient, and adaptable.
Recently, I was working with language arts’ students who were researching the Russian Revolution, so they could better understand the allegorical novel, Animal Farm by George Orwell. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Tasia King.
I bet when Randall Munson created International Creativity Month, he had no idea of how this would impact the minds of students at my elementary school in South Carolina. During the month of January, I wanted to make it clear that our students can, and are ready to be creative geniuses this month and beyond. I’d have to say that many times, schools across our country are the very places to stifle students’ creativity. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jim Briggs.
I am an Art Educator, 24 years strong, and I say, “you can teach an old dog new tricks!” Although I primarily teach traditional art: drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, etc., to grades K-5, I also enjoy infusing a little art & technology-based learning into my lessons when I feel it is necessary and extremely useful to my students. For me, VoiceThread quickly became one of those perfect tools to use every day. … Continued
*This is part 3 of our Game-Based learning series. You can check out part 1 and part 2 here.
The Ultimatum Game is popular in Economics and Psychology courses but it can be applied to a variety of different course subjects like History, Math, and Literature. Below, you will see a few examples of how this game can be used in different educational contexts on VoiceThread.
How does the game work? … Continued
Game-based learning is one of the most effective ways to get students excited about learning. Educators have been experimenting with games as learning tools for decades, but it isn’t always easy to design games using online tools. VoiceThread is not a gaming platform, but with a little creative lesson planning you can design activities that take advantage of gaming principles. Over the next few weeks, we will be showing different ways you can use these game-based learning principles for a variety of educational tasks. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Preeti Singh.
Technology has revolutionized the world. The current generation of students learn better when they are taught with the aid of technology. There are numerous benefits in using technology, and teachers have to learn to apply it to their advantage in “doing things differently” and not just “doing different things.” I love technology and look for various tools to ‘hook’ my students into learning. … Continued
This is a guest post by History teacher and VoiceThreader, Gerald G. Huesken Jr.
The great Polish-born American rabbi and Jewish leader Abraham Joshua Heschel once wrote that, “Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.” In the course of my educational career, when given the option between the written word and the spoken word, I have always found that the spoken word tends to carry more weight, meaning, and depth of understanding for my students then the traditional written reflection or research paper. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Curtis Izen.
In my online and f2f business information courses, I have used VoiceThread for a variety of assignments. This includes an “ice breaker” , transforming discussion boards, group PowerPoint, individual research assignments to be shared for the entire class to learn from, and using comment moderation in a Microsoft Excel assignment.
Through all these assignments, I created the initial VoiceThread. … Continued
This is a guest post by 3rd Grade Teacher and VoiceThreader, Traci Blazosky.
Every year, my students celebrate Major League Baseball (MLB) day. This day happens in my classroom on opening day for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The entire day is devoted to baseball related activities that all align with the Common Core. For ELA, we read a poem by Ernest L. Thayer, titled Casey at the Bat and complete a comprehension activity. … Continued
Any teacher who asks students to read materials understands the important of reading comprehension. Whether you are an elementary school teacher who teaches reading, a foreign language teacher who works to build fluency, or a history teacher who wants students to learn about WWII from their textbook, comprehension is vital to the process.
As Daniel Willingham points out in his NY Times Op-Ed, comprehension isn’t simply about decoding; it’s also about vocabulary and context. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Samantha Stelz.
Is VoiceThread a tool that can be used in the primary grades? Is VoiceThread easy to learn for students who are not as familiar with technology?
The answer to those questions is…yes! VoiceThread is an excellent 21st century learning tool that students can use in a variety of ways across grade levels. When talking with other teachers from different counties and states across the US about how I utilize VoiceThread and other technology programs in the classroom, they often cannot believe that my students are ‘only’ second graders. … Continued
Educators around the world like to share their work and now VoiceThread has a way to let everyone know what you’ve been working on too! Our public Browse page is a great place to see VoiceThreads from different subjects for both K12 and Higher Ed courses. On the Browse page, you will see different ThreadBoxes for each subject. You can search for a ThreadBox about your subject and see what others have shared, then you can share your own! … Continued
This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator Curtis Izen.
In my online and f2f business information courses, I use VoiceThread for a variety of assignments. This includes an “ice breaker”, transforming discussion boards, group PowerPoint and using individual research assignments to be shared for the entire class to learn from.
This semester, I wanted to try an assignment utilizing a feature in VoiceThread that I have yet to explore. … Continued
Have you ever used comic books to teach? Tim Smyth has, and he is ready to share his secrets with you in our first “Ask Me Anything” on VoiceThread! Learn how Tim has used comics to teach his high school students about the Civil Rights marches, Japanese internment camps, and more during this special, one-week only, online event.
Tim has helped hundreds of educators learn how to use comics to teach a variety of subjects like history, science, and classic literature, and he can share his strategies with you, too. … Continued
This is a guest post by Nursing Educator and VoiceThreader Kimberly Davis.
I attended the online VoiceThread Basics Training this past spring and was quickly hooked! One of the features that really appealed to me about using VoiceThread was the idea that students could use multiple modalities to express themselves. I teach Concepts of Professional Nursing, an introductory nursing course, where students have traditionally used a written discussion board post to answer how this class has shaped their professional identity. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dana Heimlich, MS,Ed.
I love VoiceThread! I love it so much that I’m always tweeting my gratitude to them–which is how I ended up writing this guest blog post (seriously). I’m very excited to share my experiences in the hopes that it might inspire you to give VoiceThread a try!
I discovered VoiceThread years ago as a high school German teacher. … Continued
Educational technology shouldn’t compete with hands-on learning; it should support it. Regardless of which subject you teach, there are always opportunities for your students to get out of their seats and explore real-world learning and VoiceThread can help. Hands-on learning helps student by providing memorable experiences, but experimenting alone isn’t enough. Students need to analyze and reflect on those experiences to crystalize the lessons.
Here are a few ways you can use VoiceThread to support hands-on projects with your class: … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Joel Solomon.
Every year our school celebrates “Read Across America Day” on March 2nd to honor Dr. Seuss’s birthday. We invite community members to visit our school and read to classes, the cafeteria serves “Green Eggs and Ham” for lunch, and we have a contest where classes decorate their doors to show how much we appreciate Dr. Seuss. As our school’s Technology Specialist, I’m always looking for new and innovative ways to incorporate technology into the curriculum, and VoiceThread is what I use to publish student work. … Continued
This is a guest post by Educator and VoiceThreader, Mary Ellen Davies.
De Pere, Wisconsin and Hillsborough, New Jersey are separated by 999 miles. Without traffic, it would take over 14 hours to drive between these two towns. Given this large geographical gap, it might be surprising to know that students from De Pere Middle School and Hillsborough Middle School spent 4 days reading and critiquing poems together. With the help of VoiceThread, this asynchronous connection was possible. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Andrea Plato.
When the bell rings at the end of the day and my students scoot out the door, I often reflect on the events of the day. I think about the discussions, clever comments, and insight my students share. The bad news is I can’t remember exactly what was said in the moment, and I feel like I’ve lost a treasure trove of ideas. … Continued
This is a guest post by Educator and VoiceThreader, Mary Ellen Davies.
In my 10 years as an educator, I have learned that there is definitely a difference between “teacher cool” and “student cool.” When “teacher cool” and “student cool” are the same, the result is something incredible!
At the start of the school year, Daynon Blevins, an 8th grade literacy teacher at Hillsborough Middle School in Hillsborough, NJ, mentioned to me that he would like to find pen pals for his class. … Continued
We often hear that there are two fundamental types of courses: face-to-face and online. Because so much of what students experience in a typical online course is text-based, we can understand why this perception exists. We don’t see such a clear distinction between the two. With VoiceThread, teachers can design lessons that traditionally were only seen in a classroom setting.
Converting a Math Lesson
The Teaching Channel recently posted a great math lesson about using manipulatives to teach place value concepts. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Keri Phillips.
Last Christmas, I left teaching. I was burnt out on the tedious routine of the traditional high school classroom, and I was longing to return to the college realm where parent phone calls were violating FERPA and classroom management wasn’t a buzz word. I spent about 6 months in a teacher training capacity where I was able to research and explore what else is going on in the education world. … Continued
Political debate season is heating up. So how do educators turn the debates into learning opportunities? Here are some ideas about engaging your students with VoiceThread:
Idea #1 Analyze the debates to build enthusiasm for global issues. Each political debate centers around issues like economics, poverty, immigration or climate change. If your students watch the debates, they can practice their communication skills and critical thinking by researching and presenting their own ideas about these topics. … Continued
This is our third post in the VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first post, we discussed ways to use VoiceThread for early semester activities and in the second post we discussed creating presentations. This post will focus on incorporating storytelling into your curriculum. Upcoming posts will focus on other innovative lesson design and assessment ideas. Stay tuned!
Which types of courses can use storytelling as a lesson design framework? … Continued
This is the second post in our VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first post, we discussed ways to use VoiceThread for early semester activities. Now we can move on to the different ways you can use VoiceThread for the week to week lesson design in your course. This post will focus on instructor-created mini-lecture content and student-created presentations. Upcoming posts will focus on other innovative lesson design and assessment ideas. … Continued
We frequently hear from instructors who use VoiceThread for one specific purpose in their classes, but haven’t thought about how VoiceThread can be a complete solution for online or blended courses. In this blog series, we will work through all the different use cases throughout the school year. Over the next few posts in the VoiceThread A to Z series, you’ll see how to use VoiceThread from day 1 through the final day of classes. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jennifer Starkey.
For the past few months I have had the privilege of being involved in a teacher professional development program called Finnish Connections, Collections, and Reflections at North Carolina State University. One of the goals in this program is for the participants to connect with other cultures through global, collaborative, classroom projects.
For our project, I worked with my colleague Andrea Echols who is a second grade teacher and also part of the Finnish Connections program. … Continued
This is a guest post by Instructor and VoiceThread Certified Educator, Dr. Kathy Melago.
With modern technology, the job interview process frequently begins with a phone or video interview. As the head of our music education program, I work closely with our students as they look for jobs and prepare for interviews. While I have conducted live mock interviews in the past, one thing I had not done previously was to help students practice phone and video interviews, yet those are usually the screening interviews that actually get applicants to the in-person interviews. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dr. Maureen Cuevas.
Teaching in an online asynchronous format for the national MSW program at Our Lady of the Lake University, I have come to depend on Voice thread in every class I teach. And as we redevelop our courses to make them more interactive, I recommend to every faculty member that they try to use the incredible power of this tool in each class. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Justin Miller.
The first in-depth classroom activity I did in VoiceThread was to have my students hold an inter-class debate. I was excited by the concept of having a debate between students in different classes. I determined the topic and had students select sides by a coin flip. The students researched their arguments in groups of three or four. Each class had six arguments: an opening statement, four supporting arguments, and a closing statement. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Curtis Izen
Students taking my online Principals of Management Information Systems course participate in discussion boards, group projects and case study assignments. Discussion boards are a large component of the course. It is at this juncture where students have the greatest opportunity to express their own ideas in writing while responding to other classmates. Many examples I have seen over the years are done writing directly in the text editor of the discussion board. … Continued
This is a guest post by educators and VoiceThreaders, Kelly Riley, Jeff Williams, and Stacey Zawisza.
Students + VoiceThread + Kindness = one wholehearted experience. The Great Kindness Challenge (GKC) is a global initiative where participating schools all over the world devote one week, January 25-29 of the current year, to reinvigorate their campus with a kindness driven culture. The J.W. Reason Elementary counseling department’s focus for the week was to provide over 450 students with interactive, hands-on kindness lessons and activities each day. … Continued
VoiceThread and LitWorld are teaming up to bring you a new way to participate in World Read Aloud Day! Every year, classrooms around the world celebrate literacy education and this year you can share your love of reading with the world.
Here’s how your class can join the fun:
Play this thread to watch the tutorial:
If you don’t already have a VoiceThread account, you can register for a free trial account here: https://voicethread. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Marleah Jacobson.
VoiceThread meets Deaf education and magic happens. Magic in the form of a classroom erupting with language; both English and American Sign Language.
Once the Deaf and hard of hearing students in my 3rd-5th grade classroom have the chance to respond to questions, process new material and express their ideas in a language that is fully accessible due to its visual nature–American Sign Language–I see marked growth in their abilities to understand and produce written English. … Continued
Are you looking for ways to empower your students to be more creative? Picture books are a great way to bring your students’ imaginations into your curriculum.
At VoiceThread, we think every student should be heard, but with the time constraints of a class period, not every student has that chance. Why not let them each record their version of a story in one of the picture books that you use with them? … Continued
This is a guest post by language educator and VoiceThreader Araceli Trujillo.
As an online Spanish instructor, I can say that VoiceThread has revolutionized my course design and teaching. VoiceThread is a tool that enables students to practice their listening and conversational skills for language courses in a fun and engaging way. They can listen to dialogues and comment orally on images and videos. VoiceThread allows language teachers to replicate to a certain extent what is done in an in-person classroom. … Continued
This is a guest post by design instructor and VoiceThreader, Jody Lawrence.
I integrated VoiceThread into my freshman design studio to facilitate instructor and peer critiques, and to promote student dialogue and networking with practicing designers around the country. The students embraced the technology as an enhancement to their in-person studio experience, sharing that the tool introduced continuity to their learning throughout the week, and improved the quality of scheduled, in-class time. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Michelle Reagan.
I use a variety of EdTech tools in my blended classroom, but my absolute favorite is VoiceThread. Not only is it the most user friendly, it does something that is essential in a religion classroom: It allows us to continue to build relationships in cyberspace.
Teachers are ultimately in the business of forging relationships: We bond with students, we communicate with parents and we enable youth to become personally invested in their education. … Continued
This is a guest post by music educator and VoiceThreader, Eric Lindsay.
Developing your first online course isn’t easy. You worry about engagement and retention. You’re not sure whether the online portal will be easy for students to navigate. You wonder if you’ll need to make changes to delivery formats mid-semester and whether it’ll confuse everyone. In short, it can feel like it’s your first time in the classroom again. In a way, it is. … Continued
Have you ever been driving somewhere only to miss your exit because you got wrapped up listening to a song? Have you ever gotten to the end of a page in a book only to realize you couldn’t remember a single thing you just read because you were replaying a conversation with a colleague in your mind?
These things happen to all of us. Our attention shifts and we sort of enter a cognitive cruise control where we are looking but not seeing, reading but not thinking. … Continued
If you flip your class, you probably know how difficult it can be to create your own content day after day. That is one reason why we created an easy way for you to pull images and videos from other media sources directly into your VoiceThreads. Not only can you import media from your own VoiceThreads, the NY Public Library and Flickr’s Creative Commons, but now we’ve added Khan Academy videos too. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Mary Ellen Davies.
Flash back to February 2013 when the 1:1 program in Hillsborough Township Public schools was in its infancy. A few teachers at the high school and one team at the middle and intermediate schools were part of the pilot program using Chromebooks in the classroom. I received an email from my supervisor that said, “Take a look at what a high school teacher is doing in her class; I thought this was really cool. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Pam Sengos.
Personalizing Learning for All Students
As a technology coach in my district, I have the opportunity to work with many wonderful teachers and students. In the past few years, our district has researched and invested time in personalized learning for all students based on their own skills, interests, and learning paths.
With a team of third grade teachers, we began our work by redesigning our Culture Unit. … Continued
How can schools ensure that science fair projects are fair? A recent article by The Atlantic details some of the ways science fair projects have been corrupted by over-involvement from parents and we would like to offer a solution to this growing problem.
This problem exists mainly because teachers can’t observe and assess the student’s work at home. Most science fairs are essentially take-home projects, so parents who mean well may be taking over much of the design and creation process from their children. … Continued
*This is a guest post by online educators and VoiceThreaders Candace Figg, Dave Potts, and Caitlin Munn.
Often as higher education faculty, we want to include collaborative discussion activities in our instruction to enhance our information presentation to large class sizes and provide learning environments that our digital-age learners perceive as relevant instruction. Enter VoiceThread! The very structure of the tool facilitates a collaborative discussion where everyone gets a turn, and makes you look like the cool, hip, fabulous professor you are! … Continued
Would you like to connect with an author for World Read Aloud Day? Your students can add their voices to a collaborative VoiceThread with author Kelly Young-Silverman and illustrator erin the great for their book Man in the Moon!
About Man in the Moon:
“Man in the Moon is a beautifully illustrated story about an inquisitive little girl who reaches for the moon and finds a friend. This sweet rhyming tale follows our young heroine on a magical journey as she learns that any acquaintance can easily become a friend and no matter how small you may feel (especially compared to the great big moon) you are special to someone. … Continued
Read alouds are a staple in many classrooms around the world. We know that read alouds can be beneficial for both older and younger students. Creating a VoiceThread read aloud can be a wonderful learning experience for all students and a great way to assess reading ability for their teachers.
However, listening to students reading a published work by an author they love on a VoiceThread is tricky when we consider copyright and fair use rules. … Continued
Connecting your students with other classes around the globe for World Read Aloud Day can be tough. Scheduling a live skype session with a school in a different time zone can be a deal-breaker for what would otherwise be a wonderful learning experience for your students. Even when you overcome the scheduling issues, technology can fail to cooperate. Sometimes their mic isn’t working, sometimes your bandwidth ruins the idea, sometimes the server goes down or your principal decides to have a fire drill halfway through. … Continued
This is a guest post by Sarah Diaz, VoiceThreader and Kindergarten teacher.
I had first used VoiceThread as a student in graduate school. I loved the idea of sharing media, narrating it, and giving/receiving instant feedback. As a student, I enjoyed the freedom it gave me and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to create new projects. I began to think of how I could use it in my kindergarten classroom. … Continued
*This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Judy Arzt.
I use this tool in my own teaching, but, more importantly, encourage the teachers in my classes to use it with their students. The app is flexible and works on a variety of devices. For instance, teachers with limited access to technology in their classrooms can download the app to their phone. This suits those who teach the lower grades, starting with pre-k. … Continued