Voicethread is our my favorite web 2.0 tools. Recently, we completed a project with 3rd graders who read a fall poem and then commented on the poems and ideas of their classmates. Upgrading to the classroom features is worth the investment! Voicethread allows for classroom and community groups. We shared with each other and the students are able to have their own videos and also to share their threads with others to comment on. Here is a tutorial showing how that looks.
When students open their Voicethread account, they can create their own avatar and then their identities will pop up around the Voicethreads that they are commenting on. Here is an example of kids and teachers commenting on student posts. This allows for students to practice their digital citizenship and literacy skills. They work to leave constructive positive comments and to engage in quality conversations about many topics. The possibilities with Voicethread are endless!
Another application for Voicethread is to use Primary Sources! This example shows pictures of immigrants coming to the United States and seeing Ellis Island for the first time. Students and anyone who comments can us the drawing tools to draw attention to one part of an image and discuss what is happening, make predictions or tell some of the history around that image. Voicethread allows primary source conversations to go to the next level. Outside experts, parents and others can join the conversation and help students to tell the story of primary sources! Our students are working on telling the immigration stories of their family. Can you imagine how wonderful these family immigration timelines will be with their family members commenting and helping to tell the story?
A project highlighting the strengths of Voicethread is our 5th grade Flat Classroom Project. Students from all over the world are assigned to small groups to collaborate virtually to create a multi-media presentation about a week in the life of the student around a certain topic. It is very powerful and promotes working with each other to identify commonalities and make connections.