Having seen quite a few people on Twitter referring to ‘Voicethread’, I thought that I’d have a little look and see what the fuss is all about. One month later and I am hooked, and keen to share what Voicethread can do with colleagues that I work with in Primary and Secondary education.
I’m now currently building a school tour using Voicethread, including inviting students from across the school to comment on videos and photos. When finished, I will export a ‘finished’ version and have it on the front page of the school site!
Currently, I have subscribed to the ‘Class pack’, giving us one hundred accounts to use at The Royal Latin School. I have sent an email to all members of the school community, inviting them to take part in adding a voice to the tour. A small group of students have been wandering around school, filming different areas of interest using Creative Vado digital video cameras. The clips have been added to our video Voicethread, with a view to all of the people who have applied for an account adding comments. We also have a photos only based tour for students to comment upon.
Students can add text comments, record comments using a microphone, or they can use a webcam to record live footage. Whilst recording, users can doodle on the screen, pointing out key features etc. The response so far from students has been very positive, although most users have elected to post text comments rather than audio or video.
The tours will be used as part of our Year 7 induction process, hopefully giving new students a good idea of what school is like before they have even visited! We have set up a Moodle induction course for the new year 7s, and Voicethread embeds nicely into a course. We have had to adjust our filtering settings to get it running in school though. Another slight problem is that students have been a little bit sloppy on the spelling and capital letters front; as the tour is a showcase for the school, it is important that students check their work, but this is easier said than done, as most are posting from home.
Voicethread can be used for free, although we have elected to subscribe so that we can make sure that our area is fully protected and only our students can post comments.
For the future, I would very much like to share the use of Voicethread across KS1, 2 and 3; it has so much potential for collaborative learning.