I am a big fan of Voicethread for use in education. Not just because Voicethread gives educators free accounts, but because now they have added a "telephone" option for commenting and controlling the Voicethread presentation. It is so easy, see the tutorial here. Besides commenting via phone, you can also use your cell phone as a remote control with Voicethread and navigate through the slides. One classroom application I can see would be to project your Voicethread on the classroom screen/wall. Next, have Voicethread call your cell phone (yes they call you), and then you can walk around the classroom, navigate the slides, and have different students record a comment (using your cell phone) as you circulate throughout the room. It definitely gives more mobility to the teacher managing the classroom.
The positives of telephone commenting:
1) Voicethread calls you! So you can be on a landline or cell phone to call in your comments and it does not cost you anything! This is great for students who do not have a cell phone.
2) Easy, automated directions as soon as you pick up the phone.
3) If you are in a nocisy classroom, students can record on their cell phones outside of the classroom noise (even for homework).
4) No need to worry about having external microphones for PCs (since many do not come with a built-in mic).
The negatives of telephone commenting:
1) You do have a limited calling time for recording (non-education accounts are limited to 3 minutes).
2) Since you have to type in your number and it is an immediate call, students do have to have some sort of Internet access at home/outside of school to do this for homework.
Well there are already lots of wonderful examples of Voicethread being used for educational purposes. So I thought I would go ahead a link to a few of my favorites.
1) Mathcasts and Social Studies reports, Wes Fryer highlights some excellent examples of Mathcasting and Social Studies reports with Voicethread.
2) Digital Storytelling, here is a storybook on "before" and "after" the hurricane in New Orleans.
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