Student Led Conferences Paired with VoiceThread

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Kelle Stroud. Buckland Mills Elementary School implemented Student Led Conferences 9 years ago. It was our goal to provide an opportunity for the students to be at the center of the conference and lead the way in sharing their learning. We also wanted to engage our community and have them play a significant role with their child in the conference. The traditional conference with the teacher and parent only gave a glimpse into the ability of their child due to time limits and structure of the conference. … Continued

Online Instruction of Technical Skills Through VoiceThread

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jennifer Schultz.  How can I teach hands-on technical skills in an online environment? How can I be sure that students not only understand concepts, but can apply them to their future careers? How can I encourage students to do their best when I’m not in the classroom with them 3 days a week? These were the unknowns that I faced as we attempted to deliver face-to-face training for speech-language pathology assistants in an online classroom. … Continued

Doing Things Differently in 4th Grade with VoiceThread

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Preeti Singh.  Technology has revolutionized the world. The current generation of students learn better when they are taught with the aid of technology. There are numerous benefits in using technology, and teachers have to learn to apply it to their advantage in “doing things differently” and not just “doing different things.” I love technology and look for various tools to ‘hook’ my students into learning. … Continued

Using VoiceThread with History Courses

This is a guest post by History teacher and VoiceThreader, Gerald G. Huesken Jr. The great Polish-born American rabbi and Jewish leader Abraham Joshua Heschel once wrote that, “Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.” In the course of my educational career, when given the option between the written word and the spoken word, I have always found that the spoken word tends to carry more weight, meaning, and depth of understanding for my students then the traditional written reflection or research paper. … Continued

Casting Votes With Voicethread

This is a guest post by 3rd Grade Teacher and VoiceThreader, Traci Blazosky.  Every year, my students celebrate Major League Baseball (MLB) day. This day happens in my classroom on opening day for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The entire day is devoted to baseball related activities that all align with the Common Core. For ELA, we read a poem by Ernest L. Thayer, titled Casey at the Bat and complete a comprehension activity. … Continued

Using VoiceThread for a Bioethics Lesson

This is a guest post written by a team of teachers and VoiceThreaders at the South Burlington School District.  Our students have a lot to say. Imagine all of the opinions swirling around our topic of Bioethics in a tenth grade general science class! How could we hear from each of the 85 learners in our 4 sections of Biology, and allow them to share thoughts with students in other sections? … Continued

Adding the Human Element with VoiceThread

Online courses have many advantages, but they often lack that human connection we find in traditional, face-to-face courses. Why is this the case? Many online courses are designed to distribute information in ways that are limited by the tools used. We use platforms that allow instructors to upload documents and create text-based tests but we are missing the human element. In a face-to-face class, we can see and hear each other but this social interaction usually disappears once we teach online. … Continued

Using Comment Moderation to Evaluate and Reply to Your Students

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

Using VoiceThread for Language Classes

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

A VoiceThread for Any Course

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

Using VoiceThread to Celebrate Read Across America Day

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Joel Solomon.  Every year our school celebrates “Read Across America Day” on March 2nd to honor Dr. Seuss’s birthday. We invite community members to visit our school and read to classes, the cafeteria serves “Green Eggs and Ham” for lunch, and we have a contest where classes decorate their doors to show how much we appreciate Dr. Seuss. As our school’s Technology Specialist, I’m always looking for new and innovative ways to incorporate technology into the curriculum, and VoiceThread is what I use to publish student work. … Continued

Using VoiceThread for Poetry Critiques

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

What's Bugging You? Project-based Learning with Biology + Art

This is a guest post by educators and VoiceThreaders, Dr. Thom Tomlinson and Ashley Jo Allen.  We are a project-based learning, early college high school in Raleigh, North Carolina. Over the weekend of October 8th our beautiful city received a visit from the knave Hurricane Matthew. Matthew’s flood waters engulfed our school building, turning an award winning building into an uninhabitable wreck. There may be places where people would give up and cry about the unfairness, Vernon Malone College and Career Academy is NOT such a place. … Continued

Digital PenPals and VoiceThread

This is a guest post by Educator and VoiceThreader, Mary Ellen Davies.  In my 10 years as an educator, I have learned that there is definitely a difference between “teacher cool” and “student cool.” When “teacher cool” and “student cool” are the same, the result is something incredible! At the start of the school year, Daynon Blevins, an 8th grade literacy teacher at Hillsborough Middle School in Hillsborough, NJ, mentioned to me that he would like to find pen pals for his class. … Continued

Break down your classroom walls: Global Debate

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Aaron Maurer.  One of my favorite projects is almost underway. Over 700 students involved in our Revolution Debate project are about ready to embark in a powerful learning project. This is a project that started small two years ago. Two years ago teachers in our building created a debate on the topic: Revolution – Is It Justified? At this time we had students debate each other from separate classrooms. … Continued

VoiceThread: Just a Substitute for a Live Presentation?

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

VoiceThread A to Z: Replacing Text Discussion Boards

This is our fourth post in the VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first post, we discussed ways to use VoiceThread for early semester activities and in the second post we discussed creating presentations and our third post dealt with storytelling lesson ideas. This post will focus on using VoiceThread as a replacement for text-based class discussions. Upcoming posts will focus on other innovative lesson design and assessment ideas. Stay tuned! … Continued

VoiceThread A to Z: Tips for the First Day of Class

We frequently hear from instructors who use VoiceThread for one specific purpose in their classes, but haven’t thought about how VoiceThread can be a complete solution for online or blended courses. In this blog series, we will work through all the different use cases throughout the school year. Over the next few posts in the VoiceThread A to Z series, you’ll see how to use VoiceThread from day 1 through the final day of classes. … Continued

Global Connections with VoiceThread

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jennifer Starkey. For the past few months I have had the privilege of being involved in a teacher professional development program called Finnish Connections, Collections, and Reflections at North Carolina State University. One of the goals in this program is for the participants to connect with other cultures through global, collaborative, classroom projects. For our project, I worked with my colleague Andrea Echols who is a second grade teacher and also part of the Finnish Connections program. … Continued

Using VoiceThread to Help Students Prepare for Interviews

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

Using VoiceThread as an Ice Breaker Assignment

This is a guest post by Instructor and VoiceThread Certified Educator, Curtis Izen.  One of the issues with online pedagogy is truly knowing and identifying who your students are. The students are in an analogous situation. As instructors, we are supplied with a list of names, id numbers, etc., but very little about the individual. The students probably know very little about the instructor other than what they see on Rate My Professor or social media. … Continued

Using VoiceThread for Online Courses

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

VoiceThread Contest

What is a ThreadTalk? A ThreadTalk is a great presentation plus a great conversation. TED talks, PechaKucha presentations, and Ignite presentations are all ways to broadcast knowledge to an audience. ThreadTalks deliver your presentation and then engage the audience in a conversation. It’s when the sage on the stage steps down, pulls up a chair, and sits eye to eye with the people in the room. We believe this follow up conversation is where real change takes place, where progress is made, and where our ideas are honed into something more useful. … Continued

Inter-Class Debates in VoiceThread

This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Justin Miller.   The first in-depth classroom activity I did in VoiceThread was to have my students hold an inter-class debate. I was excited by the concept of having a debate between students in different classes. I determined the topic and had students select sides by a coin flip. The students researched their arguments in groups of three or four. Each class had six arguments: an opening statement, four supporting arguments, and a closing statement. … Continued

Improving Your Students' Speaking Skills

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

Connecting Students for World Read Aloud Day

Connecting your students with other classes around the globe for World Read Aloud Day can be tough. Scheduling a live skype session with a school in a different time zone can be a deal-breaker for what would otherwise be a wonderful learning experience for your students. Even when you overcome the scheduling issues, technology can fail to cooperate. Sometimes their mic isn’t working, sometimes your bandwidth ruins the idea, sometimes the server goes down or your principal decides to have a fire drill halfway through. … Continued

Why I Love VoiceThread

*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