Thursday, August 06, 2009

VoiceThread: Where do you fit in?


One of my BLC09 presentations was on using VoiceThread. Although so many in the online and blogging community know about VoiceThread, it's so easy to forget that it has yet to go mainstream and so there are still SO many educators who still don't know what VoiceThread is. I'd have to say that the participants at the Building Learning Communities 2009 Conference were far ahead of the curve than most, and it was a real pleasure to engage with those who were present in my VT session.

Where do you fit in?

If you'll humor me on the following generalizations, I'm starting to see how educators, who see potential in integrating VoiceThread into their lessons, can fit into certain VoiceThread categories:
  1. There's the newbie. Never heard of VoiceThread and just stumbled on your session because your description sounded interested or someone else recommended it.
  2. The Emergent VoiceThreader has heard of VT and has seen others' and might have even commented on someone else's VT. This person wants to know how to replicate what he/she's already seen.
  3. The VT Dabbler has created threads and loves using it, sees the potential, but is confused about how to use it with students and/or how it really differs from other online publishing services.
  4. The VT Hero understands that it is not just another publishing platform such as PowerPoint. The VT Hero is creates teacher threads and engages students in many opportunities for valuable conversation. The VT Hero most likely uses his/her own account, with multiple identities, to have students comment. This works well for the VT Hero and students.
  5. VT Evangelist is passionate about using VT and helping others learn as well. The Evangelist "gets it" and creates and engages others in creating threads and may even create collaborative wiki's and Nings in an effort to share educator resources and/or conduct workshops or presentations at conferences. The Evangelist probably knows everything there is to know about VT but may still not be totally as comfortable with all of the sharing options/managing students as the PowerUser.
  6. The VoiceThread PowerUser may or may not also be a VT Evangelist but definitely has mastered groups and sharing. Students and teacher create threads and teacher knows how to manage student-sharing by using groups and advanced sharing and publishing options. By using the extensive sharing options and communicating the purpose and results of each, the PowerUser understands how to meet the needs of the nervous parent or administrator while not losing a beat of instructional bang!
Are there other categories that I haven't thought of? In which category do you fall?

How would you use a free classroom subscription?
For my BLC09 session, VoiceThead CoFounders, Ben Papell and Steve Muth, generously allowed me to give away a $60.00 classroom account. How great that would have been, if only I did it! The reason I didn't was because I forgot!!! So, not to let something so valuable go to waste, I'm going to offer it to you here. if you are interested and would make good use of it, I propose the following:
  1. Create your own blogpost where you explain how you would use your new classroom account (if you won). Consider addressing the following - just some ideas here: What is your comfort level with VT and why do you need student accounts? If you've been using VT with your students, how have you been using it and how will your students' experiences be different with a classroom account? What are some of your instructional big ideas and how can VoiceThread fit in? Do you have a specific lesson in mind to get your class started?
  2. In your blogpost, link back to this post.
  3. Come back here after you've published your post, and leave a comment letting me/us know that you've blogged and want the classroom account. Be sure to leave the URL to your post and a way to contact you.
  4. Complete this by August 31, 2009.
After August 31, I will create a new blogpost linking back to all of your submissions and announcing the winner. I'm sorry I can't give you an exact date; I'll try to get to it quickly. The last time I asked for contributions where I promised to blog back the submissions, I was pleasantly surprised at how many responses I got. The huge number of responses, of course, took longer for me to compile.

I can't wait to read your posts!
~Lee

12 comments:

環保木棧板 said...
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A. Mercer said...

Sigh, I've done that one before. So EASY to forget when you do a preso. After the last blogging session, I figured out a great solution. I give the freebie to the first (or first three) who send a comment up on my blog. For VT, I'd say the first to leave a salient comment on a VT I set up for the training. Since I print a label and put it on the back of my business cards as my "handout" I could just add a line, saying leave a comment for a surprise, so I don't have to remember during the preso. We'll see how it works at my next preso.

Jean Tower said...

I love the descriptors you use to portray different levels of awareness and adoption. Really illustrative!

Signorina Clerico said...

I loved your blog and how you broke down the categories of users. I have published a blog in response and it can be accessed here: http://italianvoicethread.blogspot.com/

Mary Lou Buell said...

Thanks, Lee! Even if I don't win, this "contest" will get my booty in gear to start planning for the upcoming school year. I love VT! I actually used it more last year as a parent who made my children complete VTs after their school field trips. However, I did one project with my students-all 126 of them and was very pleased.

loonyhiker said...

I believe I'm a VT Evangelist. I love VT and here is the presentation on it that I gave in June: http://voicethread.com/share/544400/. I wish I could get more teachers in my district to use it because it is so easy and I love the interactiveness of it. Thanks for an interesting post!

JGlyn said...

Hi. I believe I'm a VT Evangelist. I promote parent involvement by encouraging them to take learning home through technology such as Voicethread. I refer to tools like this in my online (and face-to-face) speech.

My view is that technology should be embraced as an efficient tool to promote, encourage, and involve students in the ownership of their learning.

http://mrglyn.wikispaces.com/Voicethread

josh.glyn@tusd1.org

jenwagner said...

We are going to use Voice Thread to extend the O.R.E.O. project this year. Which excites me to no end.

In the past, I have not done as good of a job as I could with having opportunities for teachers and classrooms to share with each other what happens in their classroom while involved in a project.

So -- when I started planning O.R.E.O. this year, I added the element of voice thread. (grins, honest I did, the website has been up now for 3 weeks with the voice thread link!)

However, I will not keep the classroom account if awarded to me -- instead I will gift it to one of the participants of the project.

Smiles -- I am obedient -- so I am posting here the link to my blog: http://jenuinetech.com/blog/?p=1169 --

Win or lose the free account is fine -- because anyone who uses voice thread -- wins!!

Thanks Lee.
Jen

David Cosand said...

I began using VoiceThread this past school year with the encouragement of Lisa Parisi and Christine Southard. I am excited to expand our use this year. Here is the link to my blog post about how we're planning on including VoiceThread in our leaning: http://www.dreamextreme.us/blog/?p=893

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