Thursday, September 8, 2011

Student Instructions for VoiceThread: Public Domain - use as you wish!

I am currently serving as an online teaching mentor in @One's online teaching certification program.  Today I spent an hour with a mentee who is refining his online class.  One of the things we talked about was the importance of "clear instructions" when teaching online.  Clear instructions make or break a class.  And taking the extra time to be clear upfront saves you a lot of time in the end, and keeps your students focused on important things -- like learning!

He is integrating VoiceThread into his class but didn't have instructions prepared for his students explaining how to use it.  So I copied my instructions into a PDF and sent them off to him.  Then I started thinking about how many other instructors (and student) could benefit from those instructions.  I once had a professor tell me, "If I could just have all the 'how to' instructions provided for me, I'd be so much more comfortable with using new tools."

So, I pasted the instructions into a document, added a Creative Commons 0 license which "dedicates" (I love that word) it into the public domain.  That means you are free to use them -- one piece, half, the entire thing -- without asking my permission or feeling like you're "taking my stuff."  Ahhh, doesn't that feel good? :)

I have the instructions shared on the Educator Guides tab of my blog and you can grab them from the link below too.  I encourage them to be shared in conjunction with the "How to Participate" guide (which I require attribution for if you use it).

Download the VoiceThread Student Instructions.

Download the How to Participate in a VoiceThread guide. 

What content of your own could you dedicate to the public domain that other educators could benefit from?   If you find this resource helpful, I hope you'll consider giving back and promoting a culture of sharing.
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