Using VoiceThread for Field Trip Reflections
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Austin Fleischer.
One of the biggest challenges with technology in education today is trying to navigate through the enormous amount of apps and websites that are available. I have been fortunate enough to work in a district that is one to one with technology. This has allowed me to explore a large variety of apps and create a list that we call our Core Tools. VoiceThread is one of our core tools that we use inside my classroom on a regular basis.
Our Core Tools allow us to create and collaborate with each other. VoiceThread has the unique ability to do both. It is as simple as you creating a question for the students and they can answer it using their voice, video, or text. The students answer the question on their own then you can listen to it later. All of the students’ answers are kept together and with a click of a button they play one after another. It is an easy way to check for understanding of a topic from all subject areas.
One way that I have used VoiceThread in my classroom is after our field trip to the City of Fairview Park. The students had an opportunity to visit all the departments of City Hall as part of our local government unit. After the field trip I created a VoiceThread and asked them what their favorite part of City Hall was or one new thing that they learned. I was even able to attach a photo from the field trip that the students could see as they answered the question. Once all the students responded to the question we listened to each other’s answers as a class. This was a great way to reflect back on our field trip and have a discussion about what we learned and saw.
After we listened to each other’s answers it was just a few clicks to email your entire VoiceThread or share it to Twitter.
My favorite part about VoiceThread is it allows you freedom to use it in many different areas inside the classroom. I tend to use it a lot for my students’ morning work or at the end of a lesson as a quick assessment. It also allows students who tend to not raise their hand to have a voice without being nervous about speaking in front of a whole classroom. The students can edit their comments if they do not like how it sounds the first time. If VoiceThread is not one of your Core Tools I highly recommend that you make it one.
About the author
Austin has been been an elementary school teacher for the past 7 years and has always found ways to use technology to enhance my students’ learning. When he started teaching he would bring his own projector and iPad into the classroom. Currently, Austin work in the Fairview Park City Schools which is One to One with devices at all grade levels. Follow him on twitter @apfleischer and check out some of the amazing things his students have been able to create!