MIDL321: Using VoiceThread in with Elementary and Middle School Children: Great Examples and Ideas for my Classroom

Please explore the VoiceThread page on this PLN (teaching, technology tools, VoiceThread). Identify 2-3 really good VoiceThread examples for grade 4-8 students. Include links to these in a thoughtful post and explain why you thought they were great examples. Describe 3 different approaches to using VoiceThread in your classroom.

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8 thoughts on “MIDL321: Using VoiceThread in with Elementary and Middle School Children: Great Examples and Ideas for my Classroom

  1. Examples
    A) http://voicethread.com/about/library/4th_Grade_bookreading_discussion_from_Krystina_Kelly/
    -I believe that this would be a great example that you could use within the classroom. This voicethread is used for a bookread discussion. The teacher begins by describing the book for the students. In the description, the teacher states that she will have the students add their book discussion to the voicethread. This voicethread allows your students to visualize how the other students can add their different voices to the voicethreads and how they come together create one.
    B) http://voicethread.com/about/library/7th_graders_practice_Math_in_Action_from_Ms_Redd/
    -I believe this is a great example to demonstrate on how to use voicethread in the classroom. The students are given a prompt with a video and asked to answer the question given. The first student uses his voice and writes on the picture to show how he answered the question. The next student uses the comment box instead of recording her voice. This shows different examples on ways the students can use voicethread.
    C) http://voicethread.com/about/library/5th_and_6th_grade_Digital_literacy_project_from_Julienne_Hogarth/
    -This voicethread shows different comments that the students left about the artist’s life. Some students commented in writing while others used their voices. Other students took it a step further and even drew on the pictures. This would be a great example to use for your students so they can see the different ways you can use voicethread.

    Approaches:
    1. One way that you can use voicethread in the classroom is by having your students create a book. As a class, you can create one book and have each student speak a part in voicethread. When each student has spoken, the voicethread will come together to create one. This is a way that all students will have to work together and create a project.
    2. A way to use voicethread in the classroom is by having each student create their own poems. You can gather all poems and create a hard copy of them in one book for all students. After doing this, you can create a voicethread by introducing the book and then having each student speaks their poem into the microphone. This way the poems are used through technology and as a hard copy.
    3. I think the greatest way that you can incorporate voicethread into your classroom is by communicating with a classroom from a different country. One example is by connecting with a teacher that is planning on teaching the same unit as you. This way, you both can add items that the students have completed to the voicethread. By doing this, the students can see the different projects that all students have completed. Also, the students can connect with other students from a different culture.

  2. http://voicethread.com/about/library/Language_learners_use_VoiceThread_to_practice_speaking/
    This first link was awesome! The teacher used VoiceThread to record her ELL students reading directions on how to get to places, like school. On the screen, there is a picture of a map and the voice is verbally explaining the directions. I think this would be a great idea for an ELL student in 4th-8th grade because it is helping with their English skills and also helps them learn how to read a map. This is also a great tool for the teacher because they can track the student’s progress throughout their semester and can listen to the recording whenever they want.

    http://voicethread.com/about/library/4th_Grade__Where_Im_From_Poems_from_Tara_McCartney/
    I also really like my second link. This teacher had her students draw a picture of themselves and write a poem about who they are and learn about their different backgrounds. The teacher displayed the drawn picture of the student on the screen and the student said their poem while VoiceThread was recording them. This is a great idea to incorporate art, technology, and diversity into the classroom.

    http://voicethread.com/about/library/7th_Grade__Exploring_Probability_from_Britt_Gow/
    My last link is very cool! The teacher displayed pool table balls and explained visually that there were 7 striped balls and 8 solid balls. The teacher did not talk at all, but I thought that the method she used was great! After explaining the fractions, she opened up the discussion to all of her students. The kids commented on the VoiceThread and explained and showed the teacher different things that they noticed about the picture.

    1. One way to use VoiceThread in the classroom is to create a VoiceThread with pictures or videos with the words of a story on the screen. You can have your students be different characters and each will read aloud their part. The pictures or videos that will appear on the screen will help the students visualize the story and the reading will help them practice reading out loud and they can learn a new story.
    2.I think that VoiceThread would be great for providing feedback on a paper or project. Students can upload their work and other students can use VoiceThread to do their peer editing. This could also be useful for the teacher. Instead of writing feedback on paper, the teacher could record the feedback on VoiceThread and send it to the student.
    3.VoiceThread could be used as a place for students to have an online discussion. The teacher could post a discussion topic and students could write comments back and fourth to each other or they could record themselves talking and communicate that way. The teacher could have a few questions posted and could assign this for homework.

  3. The first VoiceThread that I explored is one called 100 People: A World Portrait. This is a great example of a meaningful VT. The VT is about people in their town that they believe represent the population of their town. They used drawing and voice inserts to comment on the project. It is easy to see that the students took this into their own hands and created something in which they are proud of. http://voicethread.com/myvoice/#thread/266052/1466095/1590097
    The second VT that I explored was called Cell Portfolio and it described a science experiment that the group did about cells and their properties. It is a great example of a student led VT. The students created the entire thing on their own with comments from other students and teachers. They included pictures, voice, video, and animation into the slides. It was great to hear the thoughts from the students and what their peers had to say about the experiment. http://voicethread.com/myvoice/#thread/67181/347337/367057

    VoiceThread could be a great resource for my future classroom. If working with younger students such as Kindergarten through second grade a teacher led VT may be appropriate. With the older students the possibilities are endless.
    1. One of the ways I would use this technology is to have the students create a VT as a study guide for a test. It would be so simple to record thoughts and notes onto the slide as well as share expressions or visual representations throughout the VT.
    2. Another way to use VT is to create one to share with another class such as a shared lesson on the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. The students in two separate classrooms (or schools even) could contribute to the VT on the book providing examples, reactions, and explanations for each other.
    3. The last way that I may use VT in my future classroom is to introduce students to me prior to the start of school. An introduction letter is great but how amazing would it be to hear and see your teacher prior to physically meeting them? The students and parents would be able to comment back with any questions or information they may have. This could later be turned into the classroom VT so that all work and activities could be shared.

  4. Prior to this exercise, I had never encountered Voice Thread. I explored many of the examples on their site and found that I really enjoyed the pieces I viewed and I love the concept. It’s a great web based tool for getting students actively involved in learning a new concept, improving their verbal skills, and promoting a better relationship between them and their peers and well as their teacher.
    I think Voice Thread could be a great tool for an English classroom. While working on improving literacy or learning new concepts with middle schoolers, there is present the opportunity for each one to practice aloud what they think about the concept or how something should be grammatically worded. Also, it takes the pressure off of them if they are not sure at first. They can listen to what their peers have added before they add their own comment. For example, this Voice Thread —http://voicethread.com/about/library/connotations/ —discusses what Connotation is. At first the teacher explains the definition of the word so the students have a good understanding. Then, the students view a picture and use their own spoken connotations to describe it. It’s a great example of active learning!
    Another way Voice Thread could be for a math class. It’s sometimes difficult for students to visualize a concept that the teacher is explaining or they struggle to explain just with words how they solved a problem. With Voice Thread, like in this example—
    http://voicethread.com/about/library/7th_Grade__Exploring_Probability_from_Britt_Gow/ — a teacher can prompt students with a problem and they can respond with a verbal answer and a graphic explanation. Also, as I stated before, students who are still confused can view how their peers reached a solution and collect ideas on how to solve the problem themselves.
    In Science class, students could use Voice Thread to actively participate in so many ways. My favourite among the examples I found was a project—http://voicethread.com/about/library/4th_graders_study_plants_in_collaboration_with_Pakistani_students/ — where 4th grade students from the United States collaborated with 4th grade students in Pakistan to form a Voice Thread project about plants. The goals included having students research a plant of interest, condense knowledge into a few minutes of vocal presentation, and also to draw the plant. Making the audio recording was the final part of the project. Each group of students also had the opportunity to learn about some culture from the other group. Overall I think this was an awesome example of how students can be connected in their learning, even when they are separated by miles or even an ocean.

  5. VoiceThread seems like a great tool for any classroom, but this is the first time I had seen or heard of it. I was surprised when I looked at the webpage and noticed I had never used this in any of my classes yet. I browsed many of the examples on VoiceThread and I found two that I think would be extremely beneficial to use in my classroom in the future:

    -http://voicethread.com/about/library/connotations/

    In this example, Julie Combs uses VoiceThread to pack an entire class into a 15 minute lesson. She wanted her students to be able to create a VoiceThread account, learn how to use the mic, and post a comment in just 15 minutes of class time. I think this is a very good way to use 15 minutes of class time because it is not much time and they also get to use a great tool for learning. If they can learn to use VoiceThread in just 15 minutes, the teacher and the students could use it for assignments for the rest of the year.

    http://voicethread.com/about/library/4th_Grade__Where_Im_From_Poems_from_Tara_McCartney/

    For this example, the teacher had the students first write poems about themselves. The teacher then had the students draw a self portrait and upload it to VoiceThread. This allowed the student to present their poem and self portrait using VoiceThread. I think this is a great example because of the simplicity of the assignment. VoiceThread can be used for big ideas, but it can also be used to improve a small assignment.

    I believe that VoiceThread is a great tool for not only teachers, but students as well. Some ideas I can think about using VoiceThread for is presentations. Instead of a PowerPoint, I think that having students use VoiceThread would be a great way to mix things up. I would also use it to scan students work so that their parents could see what they are doing in class. This would be a great tool for parents to see what their students have been doing in class and can serve as a great resource for parent-teacher conferences. All-in-all VoiceThread seems like a very useful tool that I can see myself using in my future classroom as a way to improve student learning.

  6. I have never used VoiceThread before, nor have I ever heard of it. I was excited to view them, especially after reading through Jessie and Nick’s commentary. However, the sound is not playing when I go into the pages to watch them, so I really am not getting the full experience. However, I think they could be really fun for students to use and it would be a great way for teachers to see how students are getting answers. I know I can figure things out in a different way than some of my classmates, especially with math problems. Also, like Jessie mentioned, it is a wonderful tool for students that are struggling on their own. They can see how other students are figuring out problems. OR in a writing classroom, students could post how they are going through and starting their rough drafts. Teachers can post their thought processes with transitioning from one scene to the next.

  7. VoiceThread is a new tool for me. I enjoyed learning about it, as well as finding examples of successful uses of it in the middle school classroom.

    1) One example that I found (http://voicethread.com/#thread/72145/370323) entailed 4th grade students and their personal “I Am” poems. After writing their poems, the teacher took a photo of them holding it. Then, in one VoiceThread, the teacher included each picture. The teacher provided the students with personalized, individual feedback about their piece. I enjoyed this, not only because I like “I Am” poems, but because the teacher verbally documented encouraging feedback for her students.

    2) Another example (http://voicethread.com/#thread/4214634/21516424/23511980) was that of 6th graders and their vocabulary acrostic poems in social studies class. Individual students chose a vocabulary word, and then wrote an acrostic poem to define/describe it. They illustrated their work, as well. The VoiceThread was used as a way to “showcase student learning.” This example gave me a great idea to enhance the learning of vocabulary for students of my own!

    3) In a third example (http://voicethread.com/#thread/4362996/22251149/24209991), 8th grade students wrote and illustrated their own picture book. Pictures of each page were then uploaded to VoiceThread, where the students recorded themselves telling the story. The story was entered in the Scholastic Books contest, “Kids are Authors.” Again, I was a fan of this example because the project seemed to be quite an engaging assignment. When I was in 8th grade, I worked with classmates to create a children’s book, too.

    After browsing the library of projects, I discovered that VoiceThread can actually be utilized in numerous ways. One approach to using VoiceThread can be as tool to provide feedback. Whether students receive oral or textual comments, they can have digitally documented statements from their teacher and/or peers. As a second approach, VoiceThread is a great way to display student work. Thus, it can then be viewed by teachers, classmates, and even families. Students can individually or collaboratively use VoiceThread as the actual project, too. In this sense, they are using the software as a presentation tool. Branching off of the idea of displaying student work, a third approach would be to use VoiceThread as an e-Portfolio. Students may upload their created materials, reflect on their learning process (via text, audio, or video), and invite others to provide comments/feedback.

  8. 3 ways to use VoiceThread in the classroom:
    1. Could use it to inspire students to find comment about a topic that they are interested in learning about. For the student to comment their thoughts about a topic of their choosing because there are so many different things on VoiceThread.
    2. as a teacher I can take the subject we are learning about and have the students comment about a certain picture that is on a thread that I would create so that everyone could see or listen to everyone’s comments. To hear everyone else’s opinion
    3. The teacher could have the students in groups make a voice thread about a topic as a project and the other students could post comments right onto the other students VoiceThreads.
    http://voicethread.com/#thread/35616/207518/207564: is middle school students that do 15 different book talks that are for the seventh grade. This could help students find a book that they are interested in and it comes not from a teacher but from other students who are the same age and the might like the same things as they do.
    http://voicethread.com/#thread/3713506/19287909/21306488: Pythagorean Theorem this is a student that is teaching the theorem through the voicethread. I like this because it mixes up instruction and allows the teacher to teach the students from someone else’s voice.
    http://voicethread.com/#thread/107025/547013: This thread shows students some examples of where math is in the real world and that it is all around us. This could even be used to spark the student’s ideas if the teacher were to do a similar project in the class.

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