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Multimedia Sharing – way cool and fun!

July 30, 2009

Oh how I have loved this topic.  What more could I ask for, I have been stimulated beyond belief the last couple of days.  The images, the pictures, the music, the creativity…wow!

The first item I tried was voice thread.  It was very easy to sign up.  Just enter all of your information and you are off an running.  The VoiceThread that I made up was a nutrition item.  The first slide I am pretending to be a student going over the nutritional information of a daily meal plan.  Thank you to NutrionData for the nutritional information.   In the second slide, I am giving some thoughts on VoiceThread.

You can see my VoiceThread @ http://voicethread.com/share/571575/

I think VoiceThread could be a valuable tool in the classroom.  It could be used as a teaching tool.  Teachers could develop their own threads to share content with students.  The benefit to this is that students could listen to the material at a later date for studying or refreshing purposes.  The comment feature allows students to interact with the teacher and with each other.  This increased interaction between teacher and student and student and student is very beneficial.  Students can be more social and speak or type their mind about curricular topics.  They may not feel comfortable doing so in a classroom setting.  This gives them more freedom to say what they want to say without the fear of the physical audience that is normally present in the classroom, but is far away on other computers when commenting on threads.  According to Ferriter as cited by Weir (2008), more students participate in a more active way because they feel a sense of safety because they can take their time before answering a question and posting it online.  I really believe that VoiceThread would be a phenomenal way to have special needs students share their voices on classroom discussions.  As I have mentioned before.  The posting of student work online is very rewarding for students and parents alike.  Having work posted online allows for the student to have an audience, a source of comments, and a sense of accomplishment.  Work posted online allows the parents to be more involved in the schooling of their child, which is a benefit.

There is so much that can be done in the classroom using VoiceThread.  In reasearching, I found an article by Brenda Dyck.  Dyck (2008) give a variety of suggestions using VoiceThread.  See http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/columnists/dyck/dyck023.shtml for specific documents.

I came across a VoiceThread about the future classroom and what it might look like.  Here is the VoiceThread – http://voicethread.com/share/42094/.  There was fabulous discussion about approaches to teaching using technology.  This is a fabulous example of how teachers could use VoiceThread amongst themselves to have great debate while engaging in shared learning (an online professional learning community, if you will).

The next item that I practiced with was Animoto.  As you may have seen from my previous post, I made a quick volleyball tryout video.  I was amazed by how easy it was.  By simply uploading the pictures I want to be displayed, changing the orientation, if necessary, and selecting the focal slides, I can make a pretty snazzy video in a very short time.  The only other task I needed to complete was the selecting of a piece of music, either from my computer or from the Animoto provided directory that has music arranged by genre type.  I was impressed with the numerous selections available.  The quality of the music is first rate as well.  It is not some synthesized 80’s music.  Obviously the school could use the site to make some cool welcoming videos or pep rally presentations.  For students, they could use Animoto to highlight events related to a certain topic.  For example, students could take pictures from the internet about a current event (an election, a natural disaster, a sporting event, a cultural event, etc.).  The images along with slides that can have words, the students could make very exciting and educational videos.  Teachers could have assignments to go along with the Animoto creations to further the learning taking place.

On a bit of a side note, Animoto has created Animoto for educators.  By signing up with Animoto and with the promise of sharing what you are doing with Animoto, teachers and their students are given education accounts that allow them to create full movies as opposed to the short movies that a basic account allows.  It is good to see that private businesses are seeing the value of their product in a K-12 setting and not charging an abhorrent price for it.

McPherson (p. 74, 2008) states, “[Animoto] enables visual, aural, and textual learners to quickly create and communicate complex new and powerful stories and messages of a multimodal nature.”  Students are visual learners, part of the MTV age and respond to visual and aural stimulus.  They are engaged by a quick tempo and moving pictures.  Teachers are wise to incorporate this type of technology into their classrooms to assist in engaging students in the classroom.

As teachers, we need to work to gain as much knowledge regarding multimedia tools that are available online.  The tools are becoming much more intuitive and easy to use.  Using this technology does not have a technology barrier to use.  The barrier is determining effective ways to use this in the classroom.  There are numerous blogs, TeacherTube, and YouTube videos that will assist in generating ideas for implementation of multimedia applications into the classroom.

***I did not get an opportunity to write about a newer application called Glogster.  I will try to write a short snippet about it, but not before the blog deadline.***

References:

Dyck, B. (2008). Brenda’s blog, VoiceThred in 2008. Education World. Retrieved July 29, 2009 from http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/columnists/dyck/dyck023.shtml

McPherson, K. (2008). Mashing literacy. Teacher Librarian, 35(5), pg. 73 – 75.  Retrieved July 30, 2009 from Proquest Education Journals.

Weir, L. (2008). VoiceThread extends the classroom with interactive multimedia albums. Edutopia. Retrieved July 30, 2009 from http://www.edutopia.org/voicethread-interactive-multimedia-albums

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5 comments

  1. Hi Dan,

    I really enjoyed exploring Animoto and Voicethread too and can also forsee multiple uses for both tools.

    I was not able to see your Animoto, but will check it again later.

    ~:) Heather


  2. Dan, I enjoyed your play-by-play analysis of calories and nutrients.

    I noticed the Animoto offer to K-12 schools. I wish they would do that for community colleges as well. Perhaps I should check their offer out more closely.

    You’ve given some great futuristic projections for multimedia and education.
    Lori


  3. Hi Dan,
    As another classmate mentioned in her blog, I too can see the application for voicethread in the classroom for students who are extremely uncomfortable sharing with the whole class, as well as special needs students who may need more time to gather their thoughts and then enter them one step-at-a-time.
    Thanks,
    Carol


  4. Dan,

    Thanks for all of the great ideas about using both VoiceThread and Animoto with students.

    You have a very good radio/recording voice (just in case you haven’t been told that before).

    Ruth


  5. Isn’t Animoto one of the easiest tools to use. I can’t believe how much time I have wasted making boring old powerpoints!



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