VoiceThread is a collaborative network that is designed for the K-12 population. Some of the key features include being able to create voice, import pictures, presentations, video, and text to share with other students and educators.
Recently I created a VoiceThread that revolved around the concept of rounding. Some of my colleagues were talking about rounding and how some students understand the concept quickly and others never understand it or struggle with it for a long time. I think for the students who are struggling, they need to “see it” and cannot memorize a rhyme or follow/memorize a rote procedure. After giving it some thought and having follow-up discussions, I decided to try a different approach.
The basic concept is this: after being able to determine the place to be rounded to, we need to determine the place value above and below. Following that, students would determine the mid-point of those two numbers. Last students would determine whether or not the number being rounded fell above or below the mid-point.
In addition, students can map these numbers out on a blank number line with the “below” number left, the “above” right and the mid-point in the middle. The student could then place the number where they think it would be in relation to the other three numbers. For more on that, go to VoiceThread.
I think the true potential of VoiceThread is putting this tool in the hands of the students. How about having the students choose a topic they are learning about, collaborating with the teacher to develop the concept and creating their own VoiceThread? Students could script out their concept and either create text, video, presentation, or pictures. To that one could add voice and then can be published.
This has the potential to reach beyond the curriculum. Giving students the power to create their own learning, to go out and teach others is terrific. If one can teach a topic, they truly understand. Reaching an audience that is looking at this work is powerful. A teacher directed lesson that is followed by a worksheet that is only looked at by the teacher doesn’t carry the same weight.
I would be curious to hear from others who have implemented VoiceThread into their educational lives.