When asked what skills students lack, business leaders around the world routinely point to poor communication skills in recent graduates. VoiceThread can help. With the diverse set of commenting options: audio, webcam, and text, teachers and students can customize their communication around course content to reach their educational goals. Research has shown that VoiceThread can increase student engagement and learning outcomes.
VoiceThread can be used in business classes by instructors to deliver lecture content and to replace outdated text-discussion boards, but the most dramatic impact occurs when students use VoiceThread to improve their communication skills. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Abigail Alexander.
When I joined my current institution as an Assistant Professor of French in 2019, I was relatively outspoken against online, asynchronous language courses. However, after incorporating VoiceThread into my courses in spring 2020, I have become an avid believer in online asynchronous French courses, which I now offer every semester. My university’s subscription to VoiceThread (a collaborative learning space that allows language students to record themselves speaking and better replicate the in-person classroom experience) has enabled me to offer engaging online asynchronous language courses in which students gain just as much speaking proficiency as their in-person language course peers and therefore meet the course’s learning outcomes with ease. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Curtis Izen of Baruch College.
Before using VoiceThread, all my discussion board requirements consisted of text-based posts and replies to weekly research questions. The results were not exemplary. Students completed the assignments, but I wasn’t confident they fully understood the concepts they were expressing. Quite often, the text appeared to be copied from another source. Different size fonts, font sizes, and the appearance of the discussion board was challenging to read or traverse. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Raelynne M. Hale.
Interactive Weekly Lectures through VoiceThread
The second type of VoiceThread that I use on a regular basis in my fully online, asynchronous courses is an interactive lecture. This lecture includes informational slides that I narrate to teach students about new topics as well as interaction slides where students are asked to leave text, audio, or video comments. Students may be asked to contemplate a question and to type a personal response, or they may be asked to participate in a class discussion where they share an original view or listen to another classmate’s ideas and elaborate on their thoughts. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Raelynne M. Hale.
When I began redesigning my courses online in 2018, I longed for a way for them to be interactive, engaging, and fun like my in-person courses. I wanted to make sure that students could see and hear one another each week and that they could interact with the content and me, while having the feel of being “in class” despite being on the other side of a computer screen. … Continued
The quote above is from Paul Lockhart’s essay A Mathematician’s Lament. In the essay, Lockhart argues that the way mathematics is taught in schools is often ineffective and uninspiring. He believes that students should be encouraged to think creatively and to explore mathematical concepts for themselves. He also argues that discussion is an essential part of learning mathematics, as it allows students to share their ideas and to learn from each other. … Continued
This is a guest post by Educator and VoiceThreader, Bonnie Jean Nicholas.
I teach language and settlement to newcomers to Canada in a government-funded language program. Part of teaching settlement means guiding students as they develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to find success in their new country. Presentation skills are important transferable skills, so students in my classes give mini presentations on different topics every week throughout our term. … Continued
This is a guest post by Social Studies Teacher and VoiceThreader, Erin Coppola-Klein.
In the time that I’ve been using VoiceThread in the classroom, I’ve come to believe that it is the program most ideally suited for meaningful, high quality social studies instruction. The most obvious benefits center around the discussion that occurs using the comment feature. Because it is asynchronous, VoiceThread provides space for students who are reluctant verbal participants in real time class discussions to have their voices heard. … Continued
This is a guest post by Agi Bodis, Melissa Reed and Yulia Kharchenko, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney.
Three weeks into our TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) postgraduate teacher training program the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown was announced in Australia. As university courses swiftly moved online, we were left with the task to continue the practical microteaching elements of a teaching methodology unit. These typically involved students doing short peer-teaching to develop practical teaching skills. … Continued
This is a guest post by Art Teacher and VoiceThreader, Hannah Zecher-Freeman.
Everyday students come into my classroom afraid to create. The art of making has become insignificant in the shadow of standardized testing and rigorous curriculum standards. How do you engage students in the making process, when they are afraid and see it as obsolete? During my 1st year of teaching I realized I needed to engage with students at a level they understood. … Continued
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This is a guest post by language educator and VoiceThreader Araceli Trujillo.
As an online Spanish instructor, I can say that VoiceThread has revolutionized my course design and teaching. VoiceThread is a tool that enables students to practice their listening and conversational skills for language courses in a fun and engaging way. They can listen to dialogues and comment orally on images and videos. VoiceThread allows language teachers to replicate to a certain extent what is done in an in-person classroom. … Continued
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
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
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. They might simply leave a comment like: “nice job, Mike!” or “Interesting post, Debbie!” but add no real value to the discussion. … Continued
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
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
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
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
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
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
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). One of the key areas of agreement between John Hattie @VisibleLearning and Robert Marzano @MarzanoResearch, the two most influential voices in EBT, is that feedback has one of the most significant teacher-attributed effects on student achievement. The problem with feedback, as Hattie (2009,4) points out, is that the vast majority (80%) of feedback that a student receives in school is from a classmate, and the majority of that (80%) is incorrect. … Continued
*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
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