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Using etools for distance learning. 438 post #1

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Since I first posted this blog in 2007, VoiceThread has expanded its power to give students a voice for all to hear.

Since I first posted this blog in 2007, VoiceThread has expanded its power to give students a voice for all to hear.

In my soul, I am a writer and I am a teacher and sometimes I have been a teacher of writing. Because I am a teacher and writer, I was afraid, at first, of technology. I saw it as having a power to undermine the beauty of langauge and world of books, two things I love.  And I worried about technology being misused as a mechanistic replacement of the act and art of teaching. But for a long time, now, I’ve appreciated the power of technology as it enlivens and enrichens langauge, stretching the reach of the written word and giving words lives they otherwise may not have had.

I encountered a site today that clearly does all of this. Voicethread incorporates teaching and technology through words and graphics that are author centered, but socially networked.  Although Voicethread provides its own tutorials, a blog on Voicethread offers an engaging mental model of what Voicethread is and can do. Publishing on the site is free and the process is guided by a gentle easy-going voice. It took me about ten minutes to set up my site and though I haven’t yet added audio, when I get it done, I’ll invite you to share in my photo album.

Voicethread can be a powerful etool to engage students in language and communication through its combined powers of pictures and instant communication. Not only can it be an expression of students’ personal lives, therein lies powerful opportunities for them to share experiences that connect to academic and life learning.

Retrospect posted July 16, 2013:

I am so heartened by all that VoiceThread has done to make images and voices accessible for sharing and reflection. I am also somewhat amazed…I read posts by those who are just discovering VoiceThread…forever reminding me how many new people come to the world of the internet everyday and how awed they must be at what it offers.

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