Voicethread make Powerpoints more powerful!
September 11, 2009
Actually, YOU have to make your PowerPoints more powerful - technology can’t necessarily do that. Take a look at Presentation Zen for great tips, tricks and advice. However! if you’re an avid PowerPoint presenter that email’s .PPT files to students and colleagues, and you’ve never used VoiceThread, prepare for a delightful paradigm shift! VoiceThread.com is a free (and quite useful) web application that will allow you to stream your PowerPoint slides online AND integrate an interactive discussion around your presentation content. One key benefit that faculty will love is the ability to add an audio narration to each slide. This narrative could include more information such as a story, additional context, or relevant examples, etc. There’s even a ‘doodle’ tool that will allow you draw on the slide as you’re emphasizing your points!
Once these initial elements have been mastered, you’ll notice that VoiceThread also opens up a plurality of opportunities for interactive discourse and community participation from students (or the Internet at large!).
Take a look at the following VoiceThread concerning the issue of “Saving Darfur”. You’ll notice how a multi-modal conversations (or threaded voices) have taken place around these political illustrations. Commenters can posit their feedback via text and audio and video recordings. I personally prefer video comments, but you have to have a web-cam on your computer to do this. If you dont have a web-cam or microphone, you can also call a phone number to leave feedback on a VoiceThread. It will record your audio over the phone, and append it to the presentation over the web! Amazing!
For more great information about Using Voicethread for interactive discourse and dialogue, feel free to take a look at Bill Ferriter wiki on what VoiceThread is and how you can use it in your courses.