Articles › English/Lang Arts
7th Grade from Amy Cobb
This is a great example of what a VoiceThread can do when embedded in a blog: foster global conversation. We have to date over 6,000 visitors to our class blog, many are international followers. My thought was to put a VoiceThread in the blog in hopes of attracting some of our visitors to join in our conversation about where we live. It was a totally public VoiceThread that anyone can comment to right from the blog. I recorded the directions and wrote them as well targeting a first time user to VoiceThread. Unfortunately, we didn't get a verbal or written response from anyone outside our classroom as we had hoped, but interestingly enough, we have had over 200 views and counting to the VoiceThread. So, we are getting readers/listeners who just happen to be a bit shy!
I created the VoiceThread and embedded it in our class blog - http://writeoutloud.edublogs.org. (view the April 4, 2009 posting) I explained to my students what the prompt was for the week, showed the VoiceThread, and they took it from there.
My objective and my students' hope was that we would have some of our followers comment to the VoiceThread. We do get many comments to various blog posts I put up, but I thought I would try something different with the VoiceThread idea.
Challenges or setbacks
VoiceThread setup is very easy, and the kids do the rest of the work. There weren't any hard parts, but we were a bit disappointed that no one took the leap and commented to the VoiceThread. On the other hand, we still continue to get response to the VoiceThread as I can tell by the number of times it continues to be viewed, over 200 to date.
Continue to initiate global conversation, even if you don't get a response the first time. The VoiceThread obviously continues to attract others, so I've made some connection at least.
There are many questions you can ask your students to respond to on a VoiceThread that would entertain some dialog and allow others to read on a public blog. For example: What's the best meal you have ever eaten and where? What was the occasion? Anything that sparks imagination you can put on a VoiceThread.