Friday, August 31, 2012

Love those "Emerging Tools"

I would like to introduce Voicethread as emerging tool.  You have to sign up for it using an email but once you have a teacher account you can add your students to be able to comment and use voice or written responses.  I would consider it an emerging tool because it is relatively new and the teacher determines how it will be used to best incorporate literacy features. I used Voicethread with my second grade students to talk about the book they checked out from the library and why.  This is the link.  It was really interesting how the kids behaved while they were recording their voices and how they behaved listening to themselves.  We started by talking about finding their "Just Right" book.  They had to choose a book, know why they had chosen it and be able to verbalize those reasons.  They partnered to take the pictures and I uploaded them.  Then they set to work telling their reasons.  It was a good project.  One class period and that project helped them turn the corner to choosing a "Just Right" book.  They were finally forced to think about it. Voicethread allows you to upload photos, documents and video.  Almost anything you want.  We didn't use the comment feature but you can assign your students different identities and they are able to write or use their own voice to comment and add content.  You are actually about to have conversation around the media of your choice.  There are a lot of good ideas for using it in education right on the sight.  This is a blog post where a teacher used voicethread with her students to create a digital portfolio.  Awesome!

I'd also like to introduce Storia, Scholastic's free ereader.  All you have to do is download and install the Storia eReading app to the device of your choice. After you've downloaded and launched the free Storia eReading app, you may assign five free ebooks. Storia is set up like shelves of books that you assign names to.  The five free books range in levels but Scholastic has ton of ebooks to choose from if you want to purchase more.  I have Storia on my library netbooks and several of our special services teachers have uploaded it as well.  A really neat feature with the stories is that periodically, as you are reading, a little lightening flash comes up and offers support questions and games for the story thus promoting "thinking about reading".   The stories have audio that can be turned off and on depending on the reading level of the child.  There is also a dictionary attached that will give definitions of words when you double click on them.

Emerging tools are my favorite. 

1 comment:

  1. Lori, I would like to try voicethread. It sounds like a lot of fun. I teach mostly 6 and younger so most of my classroom teaching is phonics based. I think that it would help me as a teacher and my students to hear them reading their story. It would help me when I am making comments on grade cards and it would help my students to hear their own voice. I know that I am surprised when I hear my own voice! So if am I surprised I know my students would be too!