I’ve tried to present blogging as that teacher’s tool for getting the kids writing or discussing meaningful events. So, I’d better throw in more of the tools that enhance the blogging experience if I’m to keep this blog meaningful as well.

One of the tools that I’ve introduced to my teachers is Voicethread. This mostly-free resource is an excellent way to get students connecting visual learning to written or spoken feedback. Voicethreads are picture sets to which users can add their voice/text to, creating a community dialog. Take for instance the following Voicethread made by a Kindergarten class. This is VT that has young students creating a script for an ABC book and recording it. What a nice product to follow-up the usual ABC book created in early childhood classes

I really like this Fourth Grade VT that has students giving book study reports. Notice that there are different opinions being expressed about the same book sometimes.

One great thing about Voicethreads is that other people can leave comments. I’ve seen students posting short reports as a Voicethread with other students asking questions or elaborating on the topic. With the visual nature of these media shows, students often generate lots of ideas through their sharing. Reluctant writers can then take the collection of ideas and more easily create a written response.

One of my favorite collections of Voicethreads comes from the Mathcasts 500 Project. The site is a collection of math concepts being explained by students K-7 organized by math skill. Another math VT is one of my favorites, not just because the teacher is an acclaimed Discovery Education Network member, or because they used my math problem, but because they did a great job of using Voicethread to capture their problem-solving skills. Check out Martha Thornburg’s Mathlincs.

Again, your blog may just be the place where you embed your Voicethread, but what a great audio/visual writing prompting tool! I’m really not one who likes recreating the wheel so, visit Mr. Jarrett’s Voicethread training wiki. It will get your account setup and you off and running. Thanks Mr. Jarrett!

Now, wouldn’t this post have been just super cool if it embedded the Voicethreads?  Well, yeah!  Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t allow it. Edublogs.org is now allowing Flash code within the post, which means Edublogs allows Voicethreads.

I’ll leave you with an enormous collection of Voicethreads. This wiki is even bigger than what appears on the page. Everything from Flat Stanley to Fifth Grade Number Sense is collected here. Browse through and find your own inspiration.

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