Monday, February 1, 2010

VoiceThread - Video Conversations

A number of colleagues have been very successful using Jing to connect with their students. Here's a link to our earlier post on using Jing in the classroom. Jing takes those static text-based discussions we have in our online classes and turns them into dynamic videos that share and convey so much more information than we've been able to using email, text messaging, or discussion forums. Bob McGovern -from the English Department - has even been successful at getting his students to peer-review each others work using Jing. One limitation of Jing is that this is an asynchronous conversation - I record a Jing and send to a student; the student records a Jing response; and the process continues back and forth.

Here's a new tool - VoiceThread - that supercharges that conversation. You can upload images or video and begin a conversation by commenting on the content. You send a link or message to students and/or colleagues and they comment. Commenting can take many forms, including a telephone call, video from a webcam, audio from a microphone, text-based comments, and uploaded audio.

Imagine the potential uses. Marie Maber in Art could post images of important works and have students comment. In the English Department, students could comment on a sample paragraph or peer-review each others work. How can you use it in your discipline?

Here's a brief little VoiceThread that I created. In a matter of a couple minutes, I was able to select and upload a half dozen images from my computer and record the accompanying narration with my built-in microphone. Feel free to create a VoiceThread account and add your own comments!

Here's a brief VoiceThread explaining VoiceThread (strangely self-referential):

and another explaining how to create your own VoiceThread in 1 minute:

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