When asked what skills students lack, business leaders around the world routinely point to poor communication skills in recent graduates. VoiceThread can help. With the diverse set of commenting options: audio, webcam, and text, teachers and students can customize their communication around course content to reach their educational goals. Research has shown that VoiceThread can increase student engagement and learning outcomes.
VoiceThread can be used in business classes by instructors to deliver lecture content and to replace outdated text-discussion boards, but the most dramatic impact occurs when students use VoiceThread to improve their communication skills. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Abigail Alexander.
When I joined my current institution as an Assistant Professor of French in 2019, I was relatively outspoken against online, asynchronous language courses. However, after incorporating VoiceThread into my courses in spring 2020, I have become an avid believer in online asynchronous French courses, which I now offer every semester. My university’s subscription to VoiceThread (a collaborative learning space that allows language students to record themselves speaking and better replicate the in-person classroom experience) has enabled me to offer engaging online asynchronous language courses in which students gain just as much speaking proficiency as their in-person language course peers and therefore meet the course’s learning outcomes with ease. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Raelynne M. Hale.
Ending the Semester - The Importance of a Goodbye Another thing I noticed about a lot of online courses was that many courses just seemed to end, without any sort of closing message. Many final messages to students were reminders about final exams and projects, which are very important messages, but I wanted to make sure students also reflected on the semester and everything they had learned and to have an opportunity to say goodbye to their online classmates. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Raelynne M. Hale.
Interactive Weekly Lectures through VoiceThread
The second type of VoiceThread that I use on a regular basis in my fully online, asynchronous courses is an interactive lecture. This lecture includes informational slides that I narrate to teach students about new topics as well as interaction slides where students are asked to leave text, audio, or video comments. Students may be asked to contemplate a question and to type a personal response, or they may be asked to participate in a class discussion where they share an original view or listen to another classmate’s ideas and elaborate on their thoughts. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Raelynne M. Hale.
When I began redesigning my courses online in 2018, I longed for a way for them to be interactive, engaging, and fun like my in-person courses. I wanted to make sure that students could see and hear one another each week and that they could interact with the content and me, while having the feel of being “in class” despite being on the other side of a computer screen. … Continued
The quote above is from Paul Lockhart’s essay A Mathematician’s Lament. In the essay, Lockhart argues that the way mathematics is taught in schools is often ineffective and uninspiring. He believes that students should be encouraged to think creatively and to explore mathematical concepts for themselves. He also argues that discussion is an essential part of learning mathematics, as it allows students to share their ideas and to learn from each other. … Continued
Speaking and listening are a big part of what Language Teachers do in face to face classrooms, but it can be difficult to replicate these activities in online courses. So many online courses silence student voices and that is a big problem for language teachers. VoiceThread can be the solution to this problem because it humanizes the online learning experience for students. Here are six ways VoiceThread can be used in language teaching: … Continued
This is a guest post by Educator and VoiceThreader, Bonnie Jean Nicholas.
I teach language and settlement to newcomers to Canada in a government-funded language program. Part of teaching settlement means guiding students as they develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to find success in their new country. Presentation skills are important transferable skills, so students in my classes give mini presentations on different topics every week throughout our term. … 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
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
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
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Daisy Sam.
I have been a classroom teacher since 2005. My only break from the classroom was in 2011 when my family moved from RI to NJ and this year school year as we made another transition from NJ to FL. Sometimes the teaching life is so involved you seldom have time to sit and reflect on the lessons you have created. … 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
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThread Certified Educator, Curtis Izen.
Each semester, I try refining or creating a new assignment. In my online MIS course, the students are grouped into teams of 4-5 students. Their assignment is to create a group wiki on an emerging technology in business. Using the wiki tools from their LMS, they are tasked to add any multimedia, text or links to make their wiki as engaging and informational as possible. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, John Briese.
These days teachers are embracing technology as a way to improve their instruction and help students find a deeper connection to their content. However, I talk to teachers all the time whose concern is that the only “technology” they have used in class is having their students create a PowerPoint. Therefore, my challenge has been to find the next step for them to take that will not overwhelm them, but will also help them move forward with introducing more 21st Century skills into their classes. … Continued
Have you ever asked students what they don’t like about online courses? If you have or if you’ve ever researched the complaints online students have, you’ll notice one major trend: students want to know the instructor is present, engaged and interested in them.
Since the advent of online courses, students have craved a strong social presence from their instructor. Sure, most students love autonomy and the freedom to direct their own learning, but no one wants to shout into the darkness. … Continued
VoiceThread’s flexible and dynamic recording features allow you to better assess student learning in all subjects. We’ve already introduced several features to help with this:
Comment Moderation Specific timestamps on comments Gradebook integration in your learning management system Control over whether users can delete their own comments Selecting which types of comments are possible Searching slides for commenters Our latest step is a minor change in what it means to allow someone else to view your VoiceThread. … 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
In this final installment of the VoiceThread A to Z series, we’ll be discussing portfolios. In our previous posts in this series, we discussed ways to start your year, use VoiceThread for storytelling, presentations, as a discussion board replacement and for assessments. You can find those posts here: VoiceThread A to Z posts.
Portfolios can be a great way to illustrate progress over the course of a semester. Many students don’t see the progress they have made until they can compare work they completed early in the year with the work they produce later. … Continued
This is the 5th installment in our VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first 4 posts, we discussed ways to start your year, use VoiceThread for storytelling, presentations, and as a discussion board replacement. You can find those posts here: VoiceThread A to Z posts. This post will focus on using VoiceThread for formative and summative assessments.
It can be difficult to find the time to give students personal feedback on their papers. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Curtis Izen.
Students taking my online Principals of Management Information Systems course are required to contribute in weekly VoiceThreads, submit case study assignments, work on a group project and complete an individual research paper. The majority of their efforts are shared or developed with the entire class as it’s completed. Classmates are able to contribute their knowledge to other peers, who in turn, learn from their findings and insight. … 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
It seems like every week there is a new story about how computer algorithms are the future of teaching and learning. We read about how software can personalize education, differentiate instruction, provide mounds of data for administrators and revolutionize our lives. We hear about how students can open an app, view a playlist of videos that can teach them biology, calculus, literature and a host of other subjects. We know that jobs that human beings used to do are now executed by machines (like ATMs replacing bank tellers) and it gives us pause. … Continued
This is a guest post by Erik Palmer, educator and VoiceThreader.
New ears. Listen very carefully to student speaking. If you listen with new ears, it will be obvious that students do not speak well. Let me give you some examples…from VoiceThread. I will tell you up front that I love VoiceThread. I have written about and recommended using VoiceThread in three of my books: Digitally Speaking: How to Improve Student Presentations with Technology (Stenhouse Publishers, 2012), Teaching the Core Skills of Listening & Speaking (ASCD, 2013), and Good Thinking: Teaching Argument, Persuasion, and Reasoning (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016). … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jesse James.
I’m not what you would call an early adopter, so I’m a little behind the curve. My technology integrator knew that I was willing to try something new though, and she brought back VoiceThread from a Texas Region 11 training. When I first reviewed VoiceThread for my classroom, I was instantly excited because I had not seen a tool that allowed for a digital student response to what we were studying in class. … 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 Spanish educator and VoiceThreader, Laura K. Sexton, MA/NBCT.
There are three people that need to see my students’ VoiceThread e-portfolios for Spanish: them, me, and everyone else.
E-portfolios help my students watch themselves grow, and VoiceThread allows them to demonstrate that growth in their reading and writing as well as their speaking and listening— something you just can’t do on paper. Portfolios, unlike tests or quizzes, also help me evaluate not just the depth, but also the breadth of each student’s Spanish abilities. … Continued
How do you prevent students from cheating in an online course? We come across a number of posts every week discussing strategies, explaining how students can google answers to multiple choice tests, pay other people to act as them during an online exam and even write papers for them.
When instructors don’t see or hear students during a course, the ability to cheat increases dramatically. Others have come to this same conclusion, but the solutions they promote involve various strategies previously found in books by George Orwell. … 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 Jonathan Lewis.
As a classroom teacher, sound assessment practices have always been a challenge, especially as we strive towards meeting the diverse needs of all of our learners. This challenge becomes even more complex due to differentiation, descriptive feedback, and the diverse technological tools our students are using to communicate their learning. Throw in a dash of Problem or Inquiry-based Learning and you have the perfect storm of open learning opportunities, leaving you to wonder how you are going to capture anything. … 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 teacher and VoiceThreader, Brian Jones.
This week GlobalCOlab is being featured at the Scandinavian Education Technology Transformation (SETT) Conference taking place in Stockholm, Sweden. GlobalCOlab stands for Global Collaborative Labs. In GlobalCOlab, students from different schools around the world collaborate to investigate global issues and how those issues affect their communities. An example is the Watershed Project involving GlobalCOlab students from Malaysia, Sweden, Ohio, and Norwalk, California (my classroom) all collaboratively designing solutions to watershed problems. … Continued
Massive, open, online courses don’t live up to the hype. People are starting to realize that while MOOCs are open, and they are certainly massive, most of them are not actually courses. They are really just curated spaces where people can access content. They more closely resemble YouTube playlists or online textbooks than genuine, human learning environments. The drop-out rates are massively high because most MOOCs don’t follow the basic formula for learning. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dr. Jaimie Hoffman
The Idea Last summer I was inspired to dream about what could be possible if I could connect my students with students in another country in a common learning experience using technology. This was an exciting possibility both because gaining international perspectives is a key pillar of my institution and because I think it is an important outcome of the undergraduate experience. … Continued
This is a guest post by Alissa Harrington, VoiceThreader and Instructional Designer at Stevenson University.
VoiceThread is so flexible and simple to use, that we often overlook some of its powerful built-in features. Below are three ideas to incorporate into your VoiceThread experience:
1. Insert an Active Link– An easy way to share a file* or website with students during a VoiceThread presentation is to copy the source URL and paste the link in a text comment. … 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
We hear about “disruptive” technology all the time, but what does it really mean? Too often the label is misapplied to technologies that simply improve efficiency while preserving an old model. For a technology to be truly disruptive it needs to bring about a fundamental change in how we do things. When it comes to educational technology, many existing tools allow traditional teachers to continue delivering lectures and assessing with short-answer tests. … Continued
This is a guest post by Boise State professor, Yu-Hui Ching.
I am an assistant professor of Educational Technology at Boise State University. I have been using VoiceThread for discussions and ice-breaking activities in my online courses for two years. My students and I enjoy VoiceThread because we can see and hear each other, which helps us build a more connected learning community.
In my recently published research article, I tackled a problem that concerns many online instructors – how to guide students to provide quality peer feedback. … Continued