On a personal point of view, VoiceThread is one of the most engaging and interactive web base tools I have used to date. http://voicethread.com/share/580104/
I found this tool easy to use due to simple and graphical instructions .I experimented with this tool by uploading and commenting on travel pictures of friends and invited these friends to comment with their thoughts on the same images. The way I could incorporate VoiceThread into my hospitality class, would to upload images related to food hygiene and kitchen safety and have students interact by commenting on correct food handling and kitchen safety procedures.
VoiceThreads are a collections of multi-media file that anyone can interact with in a number of ways (e.g., leaving comments using voice, typing, web video or by phone) (Weir, 2009).
The advantages of VoiceThread as an educational tool are:
· Social networking and collaboration advantages
· Way of sharing class projects ( students within the classroom or worldwide)
· A way of acquiring diverse views and knowledge about one media topic
· A way of extending education (can be used anywhere/anytime)
The importance of VoiceThread to education has been realised and a new site has been launched: Ed.VoiceThread.com
VoiceThread gives students a Voice. It gives students time to think about their comments and provides them with a variety of ways to express their views on media. This form of online communication provides a sense of safety and comfort for students who normally don’t get a say in a classroom environment (Weir, 2009).
VoiceThread caters for different learning styles. Pointed out in a Felder (2005) paper, certain learners process information more efficiently if sensory learning styles are considered (e.g., Video/images).
The only downside I found with VoiceThread is that it was slow to load media. However the benefits of this tool overshadow this minor inconvenience.
In conclusion, VoiceThread is a great collaborating and communication tool which can be used to engage students/teachers with classroom topics. The importance of co-operative learning is highlighted by McMillan and Weyers (2006) stating, collaborating is a form of creating a supportive network and learning resource for students.
VoiceThread can encourage critical thinking and reflective thoughts on topics of interest to students (Weir, 2009). Critical and reflective thinking is a desirable skill required for schooling and future employment (McMillan & Weyers, 2006).
Thanks for listening
Educause. (2009). 7 things you should know about VoiceThreads. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7050.pdf
Felder, M., R. (2005). Understanding student differences. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/Understanding_Differences.pdf
McMillan, K., & Weyers, J. (2006). The smarter student: study skills & strategies for success at university. Harlow, Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited.
Weir, L. (2009). VoiceThread Extends the Classroom with Interactive Multimedia Albums. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from http://www.edutopia.org/voicethread-interactive-multimedia-albums