Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ETC_Final Project

Relevant and Innovative Learning Scenarios Planning

In this post I will be sharing my lesson plan for integrating voicethread in the learning environment.

Target Audience

My target audience will be learners of English as a second language. They will be between the ages of 17-30. Mainly from Europe, Central/South America and Asia. The learners will either be 1) General students, who are here for a short period of time or 2) Academic year students attending for 6/9 months.


1. A computer for each student.
2. Internet connection.

Objectives– At the end of this scenario the learner will be able to:

1. Create a collaborative voicethread with their classmates.
2. Share their research and ideas with each other.
3. Critique on what fellow class mates have found.
4. Discuss their thoughts and feelings as a whole class.

Procedure– Steps to the process

Pre-requisites – Ensure that you have created a Voicethread account and template voicethread prepared prior to following the steps below. This can be set-up on a previous activity. Be familiar with how to upload files and where to save them.

➢ Have class as a whole brainstorm a particular topic. For this example I will use the idea of researching the pacific islands.
➢ Elicit the different topics which may be researched e.g. tribes and languages. Have enough topics to be divided up amongst the group
o Spend about 15-20 mins on these two activities.
➢ Divide the subtopics between the group.
➢ Give the group 10-15 minutes to decide on the areas of research and roles.
➢ Bring the class back and direct them to the voicethread link.
➢ Over a course of a week students will research their given topic.
➢ Check with students how the research is going and ensure they are adding content to the voicethread.
o Ensure that any files, which are to be added to the voicethread, are PDF’s, DOCs or JPGs.
➢ At the end of the week direct them to the link and user log in details.
➢ Give the students 5-10mins to upload any final findings to the voicethread.
➢ Once this has been done, play the discussion.
➢ Each learner must add at least 5 comments to the voicethread. Ideally a comment on each slide.
➢ At the end of the voicethread, ask the students to answer the following questions
o Name 2 things which you learnt.
o What were you most surprised about?
o What is your overall impression of the voicethread and why?

Web 2.0 Tool

The tool to be used is Voicethread. This is a collaborative multimedia slideshow tool. Voicethread is web based and it allows users to upload different media. Users can then comment on the media via voice, text or drawing.

• Social Participation/Social Learning–The way social learning and participation will take place in this environment is that students will be able to:

➢ Seek out information on their own terms.
➢ Share information with a group.
➢ Talk about what they have found.
➢ Share their learning experience.
➢ Respond to each other’s comments on the slides.

• Making Connections

In a previous lesson the group was asked to give a presentation on different regions of the world. They then gave a presentation. In this whole class collaborative project, they will be refining their collaborative skills. The learners will also be using pre taught vocabulary and colloquial terminology.

• Create/Produce

The product to be shared is a completed voicethread where all the participants have left the required 3 comments. This will then be shared in the voicethread community as well as posted onto the learner’s individual blog.

• Assessment

➢ Review the voicethread and ensure that each student has left 3 relevant comments.
➢ Review the feedback left at the end of the voicethread.

• Reflection

Learner’s reflections

• Learners will be able to reflect on their experience by posting on their personal blog. The following questions are suggested.
• What was the best thing about using Voicethread?
• What was the worst thing about using Voicethread?
• Would you use it again?
• What would you use it for?

Teacher’s Reflection

• Take the opportunity to reflect on the overall process, suggested questions:

• Evaluate the success of the RILS use the critique left on the student’s blog.
• Review the implementation and make any reflective changes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BP7_One minute Voicethread video

After exploring the possibilities of using Voicethread, the last deliverable for this assignment was to create a 1minute pitch video for the tool. Here is mine below. . .

PE5_Voicethread Continued

After spending some time in Voicethread and thinking about how I could use this in class, I came up with the following ideas. One could use voice thread to do collaborative research, collaborative critique on a movie and even a photo slide show sharing experience. I decided to create a voicethread about a Japanese book called The Boy Who Drew Cats. I found it in the NY Public Library gallery. I chose this as it would allow me to do reading comprehension exercises with my ESL learners as well as critique on the artwork and story content itself.

I had a few hiccups getting the voice thread together. I wasn’t sure about which order the slides went in when I selected it from the gallery.  Another challenge I came across was that it took me a a while to figure out how to create multiple identities and get the identities collaborating on the same voicethread. Luckily the support of voicethread is amazing. The tutorials are really helpful and easy to navigate.

In the end though, it is really simple and easy to use. Being able to watch the collaborative comments as a movie was really enjoyable.  I really look forward to be able to use this in class and really use it collaboratively. I would make sure that proper directions are given to the students so that time isn't wasted on trying to create an identity or trying to draw on the screen. This could be done in a previous class.

Other good functionalities were being able to moderate the comments before they were published or not if you decide. One can also add comments to individual slides and the voicethread as a whole. The examples of how voicethread can be used are diverse and transcend all groups and environments. Here is a link to my first voice thread. Get Involved!


In this post I will be sharing my practical experience and a new Web 2.0 tool named Voicethread. 

After watching the tutorial I was rather excited to get started, it looked like a super efficient product to use and I jumped right in. The initial signup is easy, due to the use of flash it takes a little while to navigate efficiently around the program. I did have initial reservations as to how I could implement this in class as one of the feedback comments was that they didn’t want to sign up to all these platforms. Luckily with Voicethread, you can create multiple identities under the same account.

What does this mean? Take for example the following scenario. A group of students get together and do research, rather than wasting time on creating an individual log in for each student, you can use the generic login for the class. Once logged in, you can create multiple identities under the same user. In case you were wondering, learners can still personalize their identity by adding a picture and a name.

The different media that can be uploaded is phenomenal I was really impressed by the New York Public Library's Digital Gallery. Being able to view through all this amazing art is definitely an amazing tool to be utilized in the classroom.  You can also add input from facebook, flickr and even your other voicethreads. I experimented with using input from the NY Public Library gallery. I did have to watch some tutorials to figure out how to doodle on the screen (drawing on the media playing). Luckily the tutorial voicethreads allow you to practice the directions right then and there. 

BP6_Rosetta's typing tool

Ah another wonderful new tool discovered! EDMT cohort Rosetta Cash shares this wonderful review about I wont spill the beans here, follow the link.

BP5_Shawn and Wiki

Here is a link to my fellow class mate Shawn McKeown. He ever so nicely did this great piece on using Wiki in the learning environment.


The Web 2.0 product I would like to review this week is Voicethread. Voicethread is this wonderful collaborative tool. It can be used in a variety of ways. Essentially Voicethread is a collaborative multimedia slideshow. So how does Voicethread work?

First, create the Voicethread, this is done very easily by following the prompts on the screen. You can upload images, documents and even videos straight from your computer or your Facebook account.
 While the Voicethread plays, collaborators can pause the video and leave comments. Now the kind of comments you can leave are what make this tool special! You can leave a voice comment through a microphone, text boxes, audio files and even telephone. Collaborators are also free to edit and delete their comments at any time. 

One of my favourite features is the doodling option. Doodling allows you to draw on the media which is currently being shown. I like this tool since sometimes it can be challenging to accurately describe what precise part of an image you might be critiquing, for example.
Voicethread can also be embedded into a variety of platforms and you can export it as a widescreen movie with comments and all. This would be wonderful as a reflection tool and even a presentation of sorts. 

Lastly, Voicethread also gives you great privacy controls. You can choose to moderate the comments left, decide who to share your Voicethread with as well as have multiple identities which eliminates the issue of having to sign-up if your just using the platform as a one off. Voicethread is a wonderful application that gives you an immense amount of flexibility all without having to download any software. Check it out for yourself!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


The last installment of my week 2 practical experience. All in all it has been a pleasurable one.
After changing my settings and setting up my learning environment my Lynda experience was a lot more enjoyable.  I completed the course and got my certificate of completion (fancy).

Overall I learnt a lot of good little tips and was able to personalise my iMovie tutorial videos to fit my level of experience more.  I would have liked it if Garrick Chow (the instructor) had a little tips and tricks tutorial. I am a big advocate of work-flow optimization and I feel that more of that could have been addressed in the tutorial. Also in practice the iMovie, audio marker functionality is not as smooth as made out to be in the tutorial. I had a few lags when I was putting together my piece simply because I didn't follow the laid out order. 

If possible I highly suggest having a second screen to watch as you follow along in the application in the other screen. It makes for a much more interactive experience. Before, I would have to revisit the application, then the tutorial a few times to access the correct tool menus and such.


Huzzah! A miracle has happened!! I just found out about changing the speed preferences on thanks to my fellow student Rick. I was on the verge of throwing the machine out the window! Ok not really but I was getting annoyed. 

This wonderful little feature allows me to watch the videos at up to double the speed! This is fantastic as I can still get my skimming experience, pause, take notes and continue at my leisure. A sigh of joy and relief. As I had mentioned in the previous post I was finding it challenging sitting through the videos. This was exasperated due to the speed of the tutorials. Low and behold had already resolved this issue with the use of Quicktime when watching the tutorial.

This is fairly easy to do and doesn’t disrupt the work flow. Also I managed to get an external monitor so now I have 2 screens to work from. This makes the Lynda experience even more enjoyable as I can watch the tutorial on 1 screen and follow along in the application on the other.

Now I’m well into the meat and gravy of the tutorials, I am totally loving the beat markers facility on the program when syncing music and pictures. Garrick Chow continues to deliver a nice fluid tutorial and even shares a good workflow to follow. If it hadn’t been for the ability to turn on advanced features I may have thrown in the towel. I have made peace with my issue of not having the freedom of Final Cut Pro at my finger tips.


In this Practical Experience assignment we had was to complete the iMovie 11 training on Lynda is an amazing tutorial site, which I highly recommend for everyone. It covers tutorials from beginner to advanced levels, from Adobe Pro applications to Windows 7.

When I first looked at the tutorial my initial thoughts were "do I really have to sit through all of this?" It was hard for me to follow the linear fashion, as I normally jump from video to video, picking out the bits I like.  This wasn’t the only reason though.

Having used iMovie already, going over the basics was challenging, I just wanted to skip over the parts I already knew how to do but I just kept telling myself I would learn something new, which I did.

So far the instructor, Garrick Chow, has done a really good job of running you through it, though maybe a little too well for people who have a bit of experience with the program.  Already I have a page full of notes and some nice little tricks like enabling the advance options, under my belt.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Discovering Web 2.0 Tools

For this blog post I will be discussing the use of a Web 2.0 tool called is an online music engine based on a massive collection of Music Profiles uploaded by other users. Each music profile belongs to somebody, and describes his or her taste in music. uses the user music profiles to make personalized recommendations and generate custom radio stations for each person.

The reason why I use is that it allows me to promote the music I like with the push of one button. It can also be synced up to iTunes to create a playlist, which allows me to advertise, as an artist, and share a playlist to an audience. Not to mention it introduces me to new artists and music. You can also find out where they would be playing next. can also boost sales as it generates a link once the track is liked by another user to where my music would be available to be bought.

For example, if my track is on my profile and it turns up on someone else’s playlist, when the press love, they will then be directed to the Amazon or iTunes store for example. It can also become part of an automated stream for SEO content, timely content and real time streaming, always available music.

Lastly, Poptooco can be linked to Poptooco is a mobile application that allows you to share your playlist with other people in the area via your iPhone or other compatible mobile device.

To summarise, is uber easy to use, you get to listen to music you like and be exposed to new music. Try it! You might like it.


For this 3rd blog post, I was asked to modify and take screen shots of my iGoggle page.