This evening I was at the "Teachers Teaching Teachers" podcast recording. They were interviewing the gentlemen responsible for the VoiceThread web site. It was interesting to hear their take on their project.
What I took away was that it is first and foremost a great tool when you want to get feedback from other people. I am having the seventh graders create VoiceThreads to support the Copyright, Fair Use, and Plagiarism wiki. Some of the kids have a sentence that is not exactly on target. I was thinking the I would have them re-record those sentences. Now I'm thinking that I should leave it the way it is and let contributors around the world leave comments about how it should be improved/ changed to reflect better information.
The students have several complete. It's slow going since I don't want to send them all over the building to quiet places like I did with the eighth grade podcasts. I just put a table outside my classroom door and during computer class I can keep an eye on the entire group (now working on a PowerPoint) while one group at a time records the VoiceThread. This way, I'm still available to the VoiceThread creators.
It's funny. I left the recording/chat because I was so tired. As I was falling asleep, I realized I didn't wash the boy's uniforms for tomorrow. Now here I sit and type while I wait for the washing machine to stop. Oh well.
Tomorrow, I'm going to create an intro slide that requests input from the world on each VoiceThread. I also have to put a message out on the classroom20 ning to request podcast reviewers. This is too much fun.
Where does the power of a network come in to all this? That's right, that was the title. While I was listening, the group really pushed the idea of tags and it sounds like that is coming. I also got a heads up on the ability to include video and the coming feature of downloading a VoiceThread. This is all very exciting and would be entirely impossible without having a network of great people pull it all together!