The Animal Farm Project on VoiceThread

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

Using VoiceThread for Music Classes

This is a guest post by Music Educator and VoiceThreader, Erika Safford.  VoiceThread is an amazing resource for the music classroom at any level. I frequently use VoiceThread in instrument instruction in my general/vocal music classroom. It allows me to have various groups at different levels learning and testing on different pieces at the same time. For beginners, I post a video of myself giving instruction on how to play the piece, a copy of the sheet music, and any accompaniment tracks that they can use. … Continued

Celebrating International Creativity Month with VoiceThread

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

Taking advantage of UDL with VoiceThread's Closed Captioning

This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator, Curtis Izen. In my online and f2f business information courses, I have used VoiceThread for a variety of assignments. This includes an “ice breaker” (Ice Breaker), transforming discussion boards (Transforming Discussion Boards), group PowerPoint (Group PowerPoint), individual research assignments to be shared for the entire class to learn from (Sharing your Research) , using comment moderation in a Microsoft Excel assignment (Using Comment Moderation) as well as students needing to create their own VoiceThread from scratch (Creating your Own VoiceThread). … Continued

VoiceThread Benefits from Teacher's Training Experience

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Luisa Josefa Corsi García.  I want to share some of the benefits I had after taking a short teacher training workshop on VoiceThread. Thanks to that course I was able to learn how to use some extra tools that the VoiceThread offers to us, such as the video VoiceThreads that I was not using up to that moment. I was truly motivated by concrete pedagogical concerns in the speaking component that pushed me to innovate using new technologies with my undergraduate students at Los Andes University. … Continued

Online Instruction of Technical Skills Through VoiceThread

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jennifer Schultz.  How can I teach hands-on technical skills in an online environment? How can I be sure that students not only understand concepts, but can apply them to their future careers? How can I encourage students to do their best when I’m not in the classroom with them 3 days a week? These were the unknowns that I faced as we attempted to deliver face-to-face training for speech-language pathology assistants in an online classroom. … Continued

Using VoiceThread in my Art Room

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

Game-Based Learning with VoiceThread- Part 3: The Ultimatum Game

*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 with VoiceThread Part 2: Visual Pop Quiz Games

*This is part 2 of our Game-Based Learning series. You can check out part 1 here: Doodle Games.  In the days before technology empowered educators, the phrase “pop quiz” would instill fear in the hearts of students. Students didn’t like pop quizzes because they didn’t have time to prepare. They were simply assessments, that usually counted toward a student’s grade, and were all anxiety but no fun. This no longer needs to be the case. … Continued

Game-Based Learning with VoiceThread- Part 1: Doodle Games

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

Doing Things Differently in 4th Grade with VoiceThread

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

Using VoiceThread with History Courses

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

From Cradle to Grave: Having Students Create their Own PowerPoint VoiceThread

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

Casting Votes With Voicethread

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

Creating Reading Comprehension Assessments with VoiceThread

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

Using VoiceThread for a Bioethics Lesson

This is a guest post written by a team of teachers and VoiceThreaders at the South Burlington School District.  Our students have a lot to say. Imagine all of the opinions swirling around our topic of Bioethics in a tenth grade general science class! How could we hear from each of the 85 learners in our 4 sections of Biology, and allow them to share thoughts with students in other sections? … Continued

VoiceThread and Structured Literacy Instruction

[Photo credit: TheDyslexicBook.com.] Students with Dyslexia are one of the most underserved student populations in our schools. When we discuss Universal Design and accessibility for students, we typically forget about students who struggle with text. The International Dyslexia Association has spent time working to help these students and recently shared a Structured Literacy approach that works well with VoiceThread. … Continued

Adding the Human Element with VoiceThread

Online courses have many advantages, but they often lack that human connection we find in traditional, face-to-face courses. Why is this the case? Many online courses are designed to distribute information in ways that are limited by the tools used. We use platforms that allow instructors to upload documents and create text-based tests but we are missing the human element. In a face-to-face class, we can see and hear each other but this social interaction usually disappears once we teach online. … Continued

Using VoiceThread to Discuss Infographics

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

Share Your VoiceThreads with Our Community

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

First (Snow) Day of Class

This is a guest post by professor of Law & Ethics and VoiceThreader, Matthew Phillips. Today was the first day of classes for my university, but it was also a snow day. I drove into work anyway, in part because I’m just that stubborn and in part because I wanted to be ready for my classes, which were having their first meetings tomorrow (what was to be the second day of school). … Continued

Flip Your Professional Development with VoiceThread

The concept of “flipping” the classroom has been around for a number of years but it hasn’t been widely adopted as a professional development strategy. Why is this the case? In a traditional face-to-face course, students are required to attend classes at a certain time in a specific classroom so their schedules are predictable. Professional development workshops for faculty are typically not as predictable. Scheduling workshops for teachers can be a difficult task because of after school activities, department meetings, office hours and a host of other obstacles. … Continued

Using Comment Moderation to Evaluate and Reply to Your Students

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

Ask Me Anything: Teaching with Comic Books!

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

Using VoiceThread for Language Classes

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

Ask Me Anything: Teaching with Comic Books!

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 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

Why VoiceThread?

This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator Donna Hanks.  VoiceThread has completely changed the teaching and learning dynamic of my online courses! Classes are more engaging, student participation is rich with information and providing feedback is simple yet meaningful! I initially started using VoiceThread as a replacement to the traditional discussion board in my online Supervisory Management course. Rather than have students type out their thoughts to a question, self-assessment or case study, I have students use VoiceThread. … Continued

Using VoiceThread to Enhance Existing Assignments

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

A VoiceThread for Any Course

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

New Comment Controls + Pecha Kucha and Ignite

Flexibility is one of VoiceThread’s strengths as an instructional tool, but sometimes restrictions can actually bring focus to a learning experience and make it much more engaging for students. We’ve just included two new features that allow instructors to do just that. Setting the Maximum Comment Length By default, audio and video comments recorded in VoiceThread can be up to 60 minutes long. Now you can set a shorter limit for comments for any VoiceThread you’ve created. … Continued

Course: Teaching Languages with VoiceThread

We are proud to announce a new online course for language teachers! Join us and discover how to design powerful VoiceThread lessons and assessments for your language learners. This week-long course is designed to give you a genuine learning experience through lesson analysis, discussion, and creation. There is a live info session webinar before the course starts, but the course is asynchronous, so you can participate when you have time throughout each day. … Continued

Look Ma, No Flash!

VoiceThread’s transition away from Flash has been an ongoing project over the last four years. Not unlike re-building a plane in flight, it required keeping in mind that VoiceThreaders all over the world were counting on us to keep the conversations going no matter what. It wasn’t easy, but as of today you don’t need any Flash whatsoever to use VoiceThread. The new HTML5 version looks and feels the same while offering new features like adjustable playback speed, streamlined audio/video recording, and increased security. … Continued

A Global Collaborative Project for Grades 3-8

This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator, Christine Trimnell.  Have you ever participated in a global project before? If you answered ‘no’ then this could be your opportunity to trial one! We are looking for 16 classes across the world to ‘have a go’ with their students (grades 3-8). Topic: Can we work together to save the endangered animals of the world?” Objective of Project To provide an opportunity for teachers who are new to online global projects to participate and gain insight into the many benefits of joining such projects. … Continued

Free* (strings attached)

Participating in a VoiceThread conversation is free and unlimited. People around the world use VoiceThread to capture and share their voices, and this has resulted in some amazing examples of human expression and collaboration. All that’s required to register for a Free account is a valid email address. VoiceThread does, however, have an number of accounts that offer upgraded creative and management features, and here’s why: “Free” services are never actually free. … Continued

Using VoiceThread for Field Trip Reflections

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Austin Fleischer.  One of the biggest challenges with technology in education today is trying to navigate through the enormous amount of apps and websites that are available. I have been fortunate enough to work in a district that is one to one with technology. This has allowed me to explore a large variety of apps and create a list that we call our Core Tools. … Continued

Transforming an LMS Group Wiki Assignment to VoiceThread

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

Presentations, Virtual Meetings, and Substitute Plans: What CAN'T VoiceThread Do?

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

Using VoiceThread with Hands-On Projects

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

Seeking Purpose in the Digital Age

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jessica Gonzalez.   I learned about VoiceThread when I started my new job in 2015. I work in the Center for Teaching & Learning at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX. Primarily, my office works on teaching best practices with the faculty. VoiceThread, I came to understand, was an online tool that professors could use to add a human connection to their online coursework. … Continued

Using VoiceThread to Celebrate Read Across America Day

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

Establishing a Social Presence with VoiceThread

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

5 Lessons Classroom Teachers Can Learn From Coaches

Classroom learning is often criticized for being too removed from authentic experience. Coaches rarely face the same criticism and here are a few reasons why. Coaches generally use most of the following approaches to teaching that can be overlooked in the traditional classroom setting: Get to the hands-on practice as soon as possible ————————————————— Athletes, just like academic students can’t start doing something until they know what it is they should be doing, but coaches know that with limited time they had better use words economically and get the students practicing and developing an understanding as soon as possible. … Continued

Using VoiceThread for Poetry Critiques

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

Capturing the Moment with VoiceThread

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

What's Bugging You? Project-based Learning with Biology + Art

This is a guest post by educators and VoiceThreaders, Dr. Thom Tomlinson and Ashley Jo Allen.  We are a project-based learning, early college high school in Raleigh, North Carolina. Over the weekend of October 8th our beautiful city received a visit from the knave Hurricane Matthew. Matthew’s flood waters engulfed our school building, turning an award winning building into an uninhabitable wreck. There may be places where people would give up and cry about the unfairness, Vernon Malone College and Career Academy is NOT such a place. … Continued

VoiceThread Certified Educator Course Info

We invite you to join the hundreds of VoiceThreaders who have already been certified. Unlike other edtech certifications, this course is not a rubber stamp for work you’ve already completed. Our course is designed to give you a genuine learning experience through creating, experimenting, and most of all, fun. Whether you are a novice or advanced user, this course will help you become an expert VoiceThreader through personal guidance from the facilitator, group discussions, and hands-on activities. … Continued

Digital PenPals and VoiceThread

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

Converting F2F Lessons to VoiceThread

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

My VoiceThread Biology Journal Club

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dr. Karen Wells.  Teaching graduate-level biological sciences in the online classroom can be challenging! As an online instructor, I’m always looking for ways to “translate” enriching experiences from the brick-and-mortar classroom into the virtual classroom. One essential component for graduate-level instruction is the Journal Club: students critically read and evaluate the primary literature and then engage in a presentation and discussion of the research. … Continued

Break down your classroom walls: Global Debate

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Aaron Maurer.  One of my favorite projects is almost underway. Over 700 students involved in our Revolution Debate project are about ready to embark in a powerful learning project. This is a project that started small two years ago. Two years ago teachers in our building created a debate on the topic: Revolution – Is It Justified? At this time we had students debate each other from separate classrooms. … Continued

VoiceThread: Just a Substitute for a Live Presentation?

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

Accessibility and Universal Design with VoiceThread

Image source: http://readingsounds.net/chapter9/ Inside Higher Ed just published an article about the intersection of the two biggest online education topics of the last few years: MOOCs and accessibility. Institutions want to create online courses and content that are available to the wider public, but questions are being raised about whether this content is designed for universal access. … Continued

4 Ways to Turn Debates into Learning Opportunities

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

VoiceThread A to Z: Creating Portfolios with VoiceThread

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

Join us for the OLC Accelerate TTK Iron Chef Competition

Source: http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/olc-accelerate/program/ttk/chef-battles/  Are you going to OLC Accelerate in November? We are looking for partners to join us in creating a winning “recipe” for the TTK Iron Chef Competition! We believe that VoiceThread would be a great option for participants for any of the themes below. If you would like to work with the VoiceThread team at OLC, add your info to the form and we will contact you. … Continued

VoiceThread A to Z: Using VoiceThread for Assessments

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

VoiceThread A to Z: Replacing Text Discussion Boards

This is our fourth 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 and our third post dealt with storytelling lesson ideas. This post will focus on using VoiceThread as a replacement for text-based class discussions. Upcoming posts will focus on other innovative lesson design and assessment ideas. Stay tuned! … Continued

Sharing Your Student's Research With VoiceThread

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

VoiceThread A to Z: Three Storytelling Lesson Designs

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

VoiceThread A to Z: Creating Presentation Content

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

VoiceThread A to Z: Tips for the First Day of Class

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

Global Connections with VoiceThread

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

Using VoiceThread to Help Students Prepare for Interviews

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

Using VoiceThread as an Ice Breaker Assignment

This is a guest post by Instructor and VoiceThread Certified Educator, Curtis Izen.  One of the issues with online pedagogy is truly knowing and identifying who your students are. The students are in an analogous situation. As instructors, we are supplied with a list of names, id numbers, etc., but very little about the individual. The students probably know very little about the instructor other than what they see on Rate My Professor or social media. … Continued

Can Algorithms Replace Teachers?

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

Conversations in the Cloud in Chinese

This is a guest post by Educator and VoiceThreader, Mary Ellen Davies How do you connect four Chinese classes from two schools located in different states who meet at completely different times? Why, ​VoiceThread o​f course! When learning a new language, it is important to speak that language as much as possible! World Language instruction has evolved to focus on a communicative approach. Students communicate in the target language with their teachers and classmates but rarely have the opportunity to connect with other target language learners. … Continued

Using VoiceThread for Online Courses

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

VoiceThread Contest

What is a ThreadTalk? A ThreadTalk is a great presentation plus a great conversation. TED talks, PechaKucha presentations, and Ignite presentations are all ways to broadcast knowledge to an audience. ThreadTalks deliver your presentation and then engage the audience in a conversation. It’s when the sage on the stage steps down, pulls up a chair, and sits eye to eye with the people in the room. We believe this follow up conversation is where real change takes place, where progress is made, and where our ideas are honed into something more useful. … Continued

Inter-Class Debates in VoiceThread

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

Improving Your Students' Speaking Skills

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

Giving the Silent Students a Voice

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

Are you an #EdTech Hoarder?

Is your EdTech toolbox getting crowded? There are literally hundreds of tools for educators to use for a wide variety of purposes ranging from class discussions to lecture capture to portfolios and a dozen other categories. There are expensive learning management systems and “free” tools supported by advertising dollars and student data collection. There are tools dedicated just for assessment and tools designed for presentations. There are so many options. … Continued

Transforming from Text to VoiceThreads and Not Looking Back

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

Become a VoiceThread Certified Educator

We are proud to announce a new cohort for the VoiceThread Certified Educator online course! We invite you to join the dozens of VoiceThreaders who successfully completed the course in 2015. Unlike other edtech certifications, this course is not a rubber stamp for work you’ve already completed. Our course is designed to give you a genuine learning experience through creating, experimenting, and most of all, fun. Whether you are a novice or an advanced user, this course will help you become an expert VoiceThreader through personal guidance from the facilitator, group discussions, and hands-on activities. … Continued

Break Down Your Classroom Walls with VoiceThread

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Eleanna Liscombe. I am a 12 year veteran teacher of third graders as well as a Google and eMINTS Certified Educator. I earned my Master’s of Information Science and Learning Technology from Mizzou where my studies ignited a new passion. After realizing that I rarely had my students use technology for reaching outside our classroom walls, I decided it was time to open the world to my kiddos from the Midwestern USA. … Continued

The Great Kindness Challenge and VoiceThread

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

World Read Aloud Day ThreadBox Guide

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: Getting Started Play this thread to watch the tutorial: Written Instructions: If you don’t already have a VoiceThread account, you can register for a free trial account here: https://voicethread. … Continued

Using VoiceThread to Facilitate Language in an Elementary Deaf Education Classroom

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

Creative Storytelling with Picture Books

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

VoiceThread Storytelling Videos and Cultural Presentations

VoiceThread Screenshot #1 instructional video using the verb “Ser” with physical and personality trails. VoiceThread screenshot #2 follow-up oral activity after watching the instructional video VoiceThread screenshot #3 from a cultural portfolio from Leetal Weiss (shared with student’s permission) VoiceThread screenshot # 4 I had a blast narrating, acting, editing and producing my videos VoiceThread screenshot 5. “Quick review” on Reflexive pronouns VoiceThread screenshot 6. … Continued

Spanish Portfolios and VoiceThread Commenting

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

Cheating in Online Courses

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

New Direct, Private and Threaded Comments

We recently released 3 new commenting features for our VoiceThreaders to use! Now, instructors can reply directly to students, give private feedback or enable threaded conversations on their content. Here is a breakdown of each new commenting feature. 1. Direct reply to a comment If you are the owner or editor of a VoiceThread, you are able to insert a comment directly after someone else’s comment on your slide. This allows you to help guide the conversation and give feedback directly to your participants. … Continued

VoiceThread: An Online Counterpart to the Traditional Design Studio

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

Adding Multiple Group Admins

You can now add multiple admins to manage your VoiceThread groups! Take your groups to the next level by adding your teaching assistant, other teachers from your department, or even students as admins. Only teachers can create groups, but once you have created the group you can promote any of the members to admin status. -If you work in a support role in your school district or higher ed institution, you can now create groups and promote faculty members as admins. … Continued

Are your students better than spammers?

Image source: https://bibbornemdigigids.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/spam5.jpg While it can be easy to get students to comment on each others’ work, it is not always easy to get them to leave thoughtful, quality comments. Frequently, the student commenters mean well and they try to be encouraging, but their feedback to each other is lacking real substance. … Continued

The Hidden Power of Asynchronous Learning

How do you define the word “learning”? If a student passes a test by cramming the day before, but they can’t remember the concepts months later, can we truly say they have “learned” the material? We know that when students cram for an exam, the information they consume is not going to be stored in long-term memory. To transfer information from their short-term to their long-term memory, students need repeated interaction with concepts over time. … Continued

Teaching Music Online with VoiceThread (part 2)

This is a guest post by music educator and VoiceThreader, Eric Lindsay. A few weeks ago I wrote a guest blog post about the media-rich capabilities in VoiceThread for online music learning. This is a follow-up entry with three quick ideas for teachers interested in bumping up the audio and video production quality of their online presentations. TIP 1: Premix your Voiceovers Want to enhance the cinematic qualities of your slides? … Continued

Using VoiceThread in Religion Class

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

Teaching Music Online with VoiceThread (part 1)

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

VoiceThread Portfolios: Capturing the Creative Process

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

The Student Privacy Pledge

​ ​ Student privacy is everyone’s concern. VoiceThread is proud to support the effort to safeguard student data by signing The Student Privacy Pledge. We have believed strongly in these protections ever since VoiceThread was founded almost 10 years ago. Ed.VoiceThread, our dedicated K-12 community, was developed on those very principles. This New York Times article makes clear the dangers of not understanding terms of use and the business models of your EdTech services. … Continued

Why do questions matter?

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

Khan Academy and VoiceThread

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

VoiceThread and Our 1:1 Program

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, “​T​ake a look at what a high school teacher is doing in her class; I thought this was really cool. … Continued

Win a Free VoiceThread License for Your School

Are you a Phys. Ed. teacher or coach on the K-12 level? Would you like to win a free VoiceThread license for your school? If you answered yes to both questions, then this contest is for you! Entering is simple. All you need to do is create a VoiceThread lesson for your students that meets the criteria below and submit it to us via this form: Contest Submission Form The VoiceThread must include: … Continued

Using VoiceThread with GlobalCOlab

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

Changing the “Culture” of Learning

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

Using VoiceThread for Virtual Science Fairs

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

Kicking Instruction Up a Notch - with VoiceThread!

*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

Online Courses are Different than MOOCs

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

Bullying and Anonymity

The New York Times recently published a story about a teacher at Eastern Michigan University who discovered insulting messages about her on social media. Margaret Crouch discovered that during one of her classes, students were having conversations about her on a popular social messaging app. She made efforts to determine who made the comments about her, but she was unable to find answers: “In the end, nothing much came of Ms. … Continued

Diversity in Groups: A Connected Experience

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

Connect Your Students with an Author

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

How to: Write and Read using VoiceThread and Storybird

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 Students for World Read Aloud Day

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

Delivering meaningful feedback using VoiceThread

Students from the University of Augsburg, Germany give structured feedback using VoiceThread Students brainstorm (using a chalk-talk) how to improve our feedback method This is a guest post by Eoin Lenihan, a pedagogy lecturer and VoiceThreader. Students at the University of Augsburg recently took part in a weekend seminar on Evidence-Based Teaching (EBT). … Continued

The Multi-Faceted Uses of VoiceThread for Online Undergraduate Instruction

This is a guest post by Susan Bertolino, University Professor and VoiceThreader. Online education is a part of the college experience. More departments are choosing to include online classes in their course schedule. Many instructors are trained to use Web Ex as a mode of conducting synchronous learning, in which college students meet with their instructor via the internet for class discussion, questions, outlines of assignments and other necessary components of active learning. … Continued

Novel Ideas: A LitWorld VoiceThread Unconference

Are you an educator in the New York City area? Do you work to improve literacy in schools? If you answered yes to both questions, then we want you to join us for *Novel Ideas*: A LitWorld VoiceThread Unconference. (What is an “unconference“?) This unconference is for educators who work at the intersection of literacy and technology. At VoiceThread, we believe in conversations, not presentations, and the unconference model embodies that belief. … Continued

VoiceThread of the Month: January

Each month for the 2014-2015 school year, we will be accepting submissions for a “VoiceThread of the Month”. Each month, we will ask for an entry based on a different theme along with a link to submit the work when it’s complete. If your submission is chosen as our winner, and your school doesn’t already have a license, you will win a free license for a year! The winning selection for each month will also be added to a special section in our digital library so everyone can see the great work you do. … Continued

VoiceThread and Early Learning

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

3 VoiceThread Features You Should be Using

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

VoiceThread of the Month: December

We are excited to announce a new way for us to feature your work and the work of your students! Each month for the 2014-2015 school year, we will be accepting submissions for a “VoiceThread of the Month”. Each month, we will ask for an entry based on a different theme along with a link to submit the work when it’s complete. For December, the theme is: December Holidays Do your students know the history of Hanukkah? … Continued

Why do your students use emojis?

Do your students use emojis when they post messages on your class discussion boards? Do they sprinkle smileys into their emails? If you’ve taught a class in the last ten years, you probably answered yes to both questions. So, why do they do it? Maybe they do it because they are used to miscommunication with their text-based communications. There are entire websites dedicated to documenting text messages gone wrong, misconstrued emails and essay fails. … Continued

VoiceThread of the Month: November

We are excited to announce a new way for us to feature your work and the work of your students! Each month for the 2014-2015 school year, we will be accepting submissions for a “VoiceThread of the Month”. Each month, we will ask for an entry based on a different theme along with a link to submit the work when it’s complete. For November, the theme is: Election Day  Are you discussing voter suppression with you students? … Continued

Why I Love VoiceThread

*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

You'll Never Guess Why Clickbait Posts Work So Well

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasukaru76/ If you’ve spent any time on the web in the last few years, you’ve probably come across hundreds of links with titles like: “Drake just got an emoji tattoo—and you’ll never guess which one” or “Facebook is unveiling something new on Monday” or “You’ll never guess who wants to cater Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding” … Continued

VoiceThread of the Month: October

Each month for the 2014-2015 school year, we will be accepting submissions for a “VoiceThread of the Month”. For October, the theme is: Halloween The themes are intentionally open-ended so you and your students can be as creative as you like. Maybe your students are DIYers who can make a VoiceThread tutorial showing how to make a costume or carve a pumpkin. Maybe your students can learn about the history of Halloween or how it is celebrated across the globe. … Continued

Is the Flipped Model Disruptive?

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

Why Text Discussions Are Not Enough

*This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dr. Scott Taylor. Internet learning is fast becoming the modality of choice for higher education students. With the advent of Internet coursework must come a multifaceted way to engage and stimulate students. A linear delivery of instruction (i.e. a narrow and restrictive use of electronic communication like email and threaded discussions) will not compel students to apply skills on higher cognitive levels. … Continued

Why the Status Quo is High-Risk

Who was the second person to walk on the moon? Many people know that Neil Armstrong was the first, but most people have never heard of Charles Conrad or David Scott (the third and seventh, respectively) even though these people walked on the moon.  In the world of education, many innovative ideas are questioned by administrators because there is no precedent. Neil Armstrong had no precedent to follow when he took the first steps on the moon, but Charles Conrad and David Scott did. … Continued

5 Niche twitter Chats for Educators

The K-12 school year usually starts with a frenzy. Between meeting parents, new teachers and classrooms full of students, time can get away from us pretty fast. It can be easy to put off professional development “until things settle down” but often we find that things never really settle down at all. There’s always a big test or a holiday coming up and educators scramble to find time to enrich their practice. … Continued

VoiceThread of the Month: September

We are excited to announce a new way for us to feature your work and the work of your students! Each month for the 2014-2015 school year, we will be accepting submissions for a “VoiceThread of the Month”. Each month, we will ask for an entry based on a different theme along with a link to submit the work when it’s complete. For September, the theme is: Your Learning Goals for the Year … Continued

What are Visual Thinking Strategies?

This is a guest post by VoiceThread Certified Educator, Dr. Jaime Hannans. About the same time that I was introduced to VoiceThread, I was finishing PhD courses with my colleague, Dr. Meg Moorman, Clinical Assistant Professor at Indiana University. During our talks, Dr. Moorman educated me about Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), and I learned how she was applying VTS in her teaching. VTS is a teaching strategy used to engage students with a work of art. … Continued

How Can Role-Playing Improve Peer-To-Peer Feedback?

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

Flipping History Class with VoiceThread

This is a guest post by History teacher and VoiceThread user, Liz Ramos. Sharing and collaborating with educators on Twitter has been INVALUABLE to me as an educator and my classroom over the past year and a half. I (@historytechie) participate in a variety of educational Twitter chats and have no problem sharing resources and tools that work in my classroom, such as VoiceThread. As a result, I was eduhonored when VoiceThread reached out and asked me to be a guest blogger. … Continued

Do you think about classroom design?

Summer is a great time to think about classroom design. In this VoiceThread, Cristina Milos (@surreallyno on twitter) counters conventional wisdom about classroom design. She discusses her ideas about the drawbacks of “cute” displays, gender perceptions and much more. Take a minute to watch and add your ideas on this thought-provoking VoiceThread from an incredible international educator: … Continued

Reimagined. Redesigned. VoiceThread.

Sign up for the demo below.  Wednesday, July 23, 2014 12:00 pm EDT  Wednesday, July 23, 2014 8:00 pm EDT (After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.) … Continued

What is Asynchronous Learning?

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” -Jerry Seinfeld  People hate public speaking because mistakes happen in real-time. We can’t delete something we regret saying to a live audience. … Continued

Summer Professional Development with VoiceThread

Join us this summer for some professional development! VoiceThread is hosting 6 free online sessions in the coming months to help K-12 educators develop ideas for enhancing their classes. Each session will be led by George Haines, an expert VoiceThreader, curricular designer, and former K-12 educator. George will share his expertise, showcase some exemplary VoiceThreads, and facilitate an open discussion about lesson design. Check out the sessions below and click on each link to register. … Continued

How a “Digital Dinosaur” Adapted to Teaching Online

This is a guest post by VoiceThread user Timothy Lloyd.   Recently, I was asked to do a guest blog by VoiceThread. I teach an honors level biology course at Norwin High School in North Huntingdon PA. I would consider myself to be a digital dinosaur, I still have a dumb phone (and I like it) and when my computer at home has issues, I consult my son (whom I often refer to as my IT department) to fix it. … Continued

How VoiceThread Helped My Work-Life Balance

This is a guest post by VoiceThread user Laura Volpintesta. I’m so excited to be in my first year teaching fashion illustration for myself. 6 years ago, as a relatively not-tech-savvy individual, (and full time faculty member/single mother of two at Parsons School of Design Fashion Department,) I was assigned to the project of creating their very first completely online fashion studio and illustration course by my very kind supervisor who figured that teaching a few classes online “would give me more time with my kiddies”. … Continued

Hijacking FOMO for Your Online Course

What is FOMO? FOMO is an acronym that stands for Fear Of Missing Out. It describes the compulsion people feel to constantly check in with friends on social media to see if they’re missing anything good. FOMO cuts to the heart of modern behavior in a world full of distractions. Those very distractions make it a challenge to teach online because teachers don’t have the captive audience they once had. … Continued