Using VoiceThread in Early Childhood Classrooms

rashiff-2Rena Shifflet spent over thirty years in public education as a classroom teacher and district technology coordinator.  As an assistant professor at Illinois State University, Rena works with preservice elementary education majors and practicing educators. In this post, Rena shares a fantastic tool that is often underutilized in ECE classrooms.

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So what exactly is VoiceThread?

It’s a free web-based tool specially designed to use in educational settings. That means all the work students do with this program is done on a computer or tablet and is saved on the VoiceThread site. VoiceThread is an incredibly versatile tool with the capabilities to include voice, still images, video, and make both written and recorded comments, plus doodling! This is a great technology tool to use in a one computer classroom or on mobile devices. It can work for a wide range of student projects and can even be used as part of a digital portfolio to monitor student growth over the course of the school year. There really is no easy way to describe the possibilities without showing some examples. Mathematics Let’s say that that you were working on developing number sense with your students, anywhere from determining a number to represent a group of objects, to creating and/or solving word problems. In this VoiceThread, students are to tell how many teddy bears they see. Click on the second house icon on the left-hand side. You will not only hear the student talk about how she solved the problem, but she will also show you her work with a VoiceThread technique called doodling. Each of the other icons represents a comment from visitors or the answers from other students. If you notice, comments can be in the form of a voice recording, printed text, or even video. It just depends on the selection made when creating the comment.

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Click here to check this out!

Sharing Their Stories Another great use of this tool is to allow children to talk about their day or other activities they do in their classroom.

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This project was taken from a VoiceThread wiki created by Colette Cassinelli. Some 1st grade students at Arlington Traditional School wrote stories about what they liked to do during the winter. The students’ drawings were uploaded to VoiceThread. Then the program recorded each child as they told about their drawing. While it wasn’t done here, it would be easy for others to comment on the students’ work.

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 RenaVT3Be sure that you click on the “table of contents,” the set of 4 images located directly next to the arrow pointing to the right.   This will show all the pages in this Voice Thread.

RenaVT1 Not only can VoiceThread allow your students to tell about them and their experiences at school, VoiceThread can also be set up for others to share their thoughts with the students.

RenaVT2Click here to check this out!

The uses and projects that can be done with VoiceThread are only limited by your imagination. I hope you find a way to use this fantastic tool and allow your students to share their world with others.

 

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One thought on “Using VoiceThread in Early Childhood Classrooms

  1. […] a class collection. Students can then individually record a narration for their picture. (See this earlier eceteachertalk blog post for more information on Voice […]

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