Giving students a voice in visual literacy with Voice Thread

09/14/2013 4:29 PM | Elizabeth Ramos (Administrator)

       Examining primary sources and evaluating data is an important skill in history. This skill is also explicitly addressed in the Common Core State Standards across the grade levels. Teachers are called upon to engage students in historical inquiry. Often times students are weary of speaking in class. Additionally, more schools are gaining access to technology and looking for ways to leverage their devices in meaningful ways. Voice Thread is a collaborative conversation tool to foster inquiry with text and visuals.

       Voice Thread is easy to use and provides versatility. They have included a vast number of images one may select from their media options. Teachers can also upload images, insert a video, or convert a PPT for students to engage with. A teacher may insert part of a primary source text, image, or chart into a PPT and type a question(s) for student analysis/reflection. If using a PPT, the teacher/user must first convert the file into a JPEG. Students have found the tool engaging. There are a variety of response options available. A student may type a response, circle part of the image of text with the writing tool, use the writing tool to focus on part of the image and type a response, text a response, or record a video response. Students must create an account for free using an email address before they can post. Once a teacher has created a Voice Thread, they may share with with the students via email, sharing a link in class, or they may embed the voice thread on a website. It is also available as an app.

       The following instructions walk you through creating a Voice Thread, including how to convert a PPT to use it in the program.

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