Monday, March 31, 2008

VoiceThread Examples

We used VoiceThread for the first time just before spring break so I thought I’d share these examples. We still have a lot to learn about how to use it well, but I think these are a good start. Anne Smith describes several different poetry projects some of our freshmen completed - you should read the descriptions of the different types of poems as well as follow the links to some of the projects they created using various tools. Here are direct links to the VoiceThread examples in Anne and Maura Moritz’s classes:

Smith Period 2

Moritz Period 3

Moritz Period 4

Smith Period 5

As always, constructive criticism is welcomed, either on Anne’s post or – even better – leave a comment on some of the VoiceThreads.


  1. Oh My!! Voice threads have so many applications and it is so easy to do! I can have my students explain their work with photos and voice over and receive comments from me on improving their work!
    This is such an inspiration!

  2. I am collecting examples of how educators are using Voicethread in their classroom or for professional development on a wiki at:

    My plan is to share these examples with other technology teachers who provide professional development in their schools.

    Feel free to add your own examples or links to resources. Thanks in advance,
    Colette Cassinelli

  3. Karl,
    Anne has done an amazing job with her kids! I only had time this morning to check out one of the Voicethreads and I picked Maddie's. It was so moving for me personally, I left a comment for her, but I'll be back to check the others. I'm so excited about the potential of this application and how it allows us to reach beyond our school walls. Not to be a "buzz kill" but, has there been any issues from the IT security dept?

  4. I'd like to hear about security issues with voice threads also.

  5. @colette - I just discovered your wiki in the last two days, either through diigo or twitter, I'm not sure which. Thanks for putting that together. I'm not sure we have any "exemplars" yet, but I think we have some good ideas.

  6. @lee and @jacquio - define "security issues." "Security" usually refers to thinks like viruses, but I'm not sure that's what you really meant. Do you mean security issues as in virus-type stuff, security issues in terms of copyright-type stuff, or security issues in terms of student privacy and safety type stuff?

  7. Hi Karl,
    I'm referring to anyone from the "outside" being able to post to student work, although I'm sure it can be moderated. In my paranoid district, that would not be good enough. In addition, of higher concern in my district, "outsiders" ability to view student work. Everything that has student work published is supposed to be secured. Now, there are some who get around this somehow (yay, for them), but technically aren't supposed to publish student work in an unsecure environment.

  8. Well that is right. When I have posted student work on 'you tube', I have not allowed there to be comments for fear that there would be inappropriate comments. To quell any fears, the first 'you tube' posts did not include student faces. The voice threads that I have been playing with in the past 24 hours do have student faces...but no names. I did not allow comments on those either (even though the comments are one of the best parts off the site) I don't want to create concern in the school community that I am putting some child at risk or violating privacy but I don't what to be dragging my feet for unfounded concern.

  9. Now, I see that there are more controls on the educators portion of the voice threads. That makes me more comfortable with using it with young kids.

  10. Well, basically we talk to our students a lot about being safe, how to respond, etc. When I showed these particular students VoiceThread, I showed them where they could turn on comment moderation if they wanted, but I said it was up to them. Of course even with comment moderation the student will see the comment.

    The district is hoping to have a little bit more formal "Internet Safety" program in place next year, but I still think it has to be talked about in context, when they're about to do a project. I don't think we have to belabor the point, but just remind them every time.

    In general my philosophy is that we need to be open and transparent with students, explain the risks and the issues, talk to them about appropriate responses, and then encourage them to be smart.

    I know other folks believe we should block everything because that approach isn't foolproof, but I think it's critical that they learn how to do this in the relatively safe environment of high school. We do that in a lot of different ways at my school - we have variable scheduling (like a college schedule, students have a fair number of unscheduled hours where they are free to go wherever they need to; open campus; students have a fair amount of control over their schedule, etc.). It goes back to having high expectations of our students, them living up to them most of the time, and then talking with them the few times they don't. (see this post for more about that).

  11. Thank you for sharing this. I have passed this on to the Language Arts teachers on my campus hoping to inspire them to try something new in publishing original student work.

  12. Karl, Anne, Maura -

    Good to see how you used VoiceThread. I watched a couple and forwarded one on to the Board and Scott. Thanks for all you do to walk us into the frontier!