Through out this technology I have been taking for my teaching degree I have learned a lot about implementing technology into the classroom I hope to have soon. Children are so involved in, and drawn to, technology and the connections they can form from it.
One of the things that I had never heard of is a VoiceThread in which you create a page with a question for your students to answer, a thought provoking one that can get different answers from different students. Then you have your students comment by video, microphone, or typing a response and they can see others responses. With this type of technology it is especially helpful with ESL students who may have some reservations about speaking in front of a class. With a VoiceThread students will be able to practice their verbal skills and get the same classroom community feel without the nerves and stress of a face to face interaction. Although students will still have to communicate within the school setting, this could be the extra help some quieter students need to be noticed by their teachers and be accepted as a part of the class team.
Their are two Voicethreads that I have participated in that I think give a very good example of its usefulness in the classroom. One was made by a fellow classmate of mine, Wen Guo, entitled Healthy Diet in which she gives her students a scenario. In the scenario the man, Jon, is suffering from high cholesterol and she is asking her students to consider the effects of fast food and give some advice to Jon to become a healthier person. This specific lesson could have a huge impact on students in our society since obesity is such an epidemic now. It will get students to discuss and think about ways in which to become a healthier person and teaching children how to be and eat healthy is very important. It gives kids a creative way to think and voice their opinions.
Another great voice thread is, again, by a fellow classmate names Alyssa Boron posted as a spanish review. In this case she is posting the lesson as a way for students to practice their vocabulary and verbal skills outside of the classroom. I think this is a great way to give students the opportunity to practice speaking at home. Giving a student a homework assignment like this in which they are actually able to be verbal will better build vocabulary and give students a fun and entertaining way to get their homework done.
No matter how a VoiceThread is used I highly suggest you DO use it in a classroom. Let your students get their creativity out while still being able to assess their skills and knowledge set. Be creative and give it a voice!