VoiceThread is where "group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world...(It) is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents and video and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments." (VoiceThread, 2009).
This site is amazingly easy to navigate and operate! Although, it did take quite some time to upload my photos, and in the end, I had had enough! Then, I decided to browse through other's which gave me some great ideas on how to use this tool in the classroom. During a SOSE lesson on Natural Disasters, the Learning Manager could upload photos of the effect of different disasters and have the students comment on what disaster they think it might be and why. This would also need to incorporate research strategies.
Student collaboration is an important aspect of classroom practice. Marzano & Pickering (1997) argue that when students are given "opportunities to work in groups toward a common goal, when structured appropriately (it) can help students feel accepted by their peers."
VoiceThread recognises the need for privacy and thus have created a spectrum for displaying one's work. It can be accessed by the entire world, or only by a small group. I consider this to be extremely important when dealing with children. VoiceThread also offers and section dedicated to education, where content is restricted for viewing by students and was designed to be "a place for creating and collaborating on digital stories and documentaries." (VoiceThread, 2009).
Many possibilities for using this site in the classroom, just another way to bridge the gap!
Marzano, R.J.; Pickering, D.J.; Arredondo, D.E.; Blackburn, G.L.; Brandt, R.S.; Moffett, C.A.; Paynter, D.E.; Pollock, J.E. & Whisler, J.S. (1997). Dimensions of Learning: Teacher's Manual. Colorado, USA: McREL.
VoiceThread. (2009). K-12 Solutions. [Electronic resource]. (http://voicethread.com/about/k12/). Retrieved 20 August 2009.