Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Two Teaching Ideas for Using Screencasting with VoiceThread

One of the most powerful but least used features of VoiceThread is its ability to play video, uploaded as central media (compared to a video comment recorded with a webcam).  I'd love to see a collection of "teaching ideas" that explore the variety of ways videos can be used to support student learning with VoiceThread.  I find that most instructors immediately want to link to YouTube videos (not created by them) but this isn't an option, as the videos in a VoiceThread must be either uploaded from your computer or you must identify a url that points directly to the hosted video file (this means the url must end in the video file extension type and YouTube videos are not direct links to the hosted files).

I like to encourage faculty to think about ways to use screencasting to create their own instructional videos and upload them into a VoiceThread.  Below, you will see two examples of how this approach could be applied (of course, there are many more!).

Idea #1: Instructional Activity
Share link: http://voicethread.com/share/2915637/

Students complete this VoiceThread activity after reading a chapter in their book and viewing a small collection of YouTube videos that augment the topics from the textbook.  Within this VoiceThread, there are three types of slides:
  1. Directions: how to, grading information, criteria, etc.
  2. Video: A 7-minute instructional video (Slide 5) which I recorded using Screenflow (a Mac-only   screencasting software).
  3. Interactive Slides:  these slides contain prompts to which students respond.




Idea #2: Asynchronous Office Hours or Group Tutor Spaces
Share link: http://voicethread.com/share/2953545/


This VoiceThread was made using three web-based tools (all of which can be used for free, by the way).  First, the online whiteboard demo'd in the video is Scribblar.com and the video that I recorded and uploaded into the VoiceThread was made using Screencast-o-matic.  As I explain in the video, I preset the screen recording size in Screencast-o-matic to 600x450, as that is the precise aspect ratio of the VoiceThread player.  While it condenses my whiteboard space, the end result is a small file size which allows me to create a longer video!  (Keep in mind, if you have a free VoiceThread account, each individual file you upload into your VoiceThread will be limited to 25 MB.  If you have a PRO account (which is provided with most premium accounts including site wide and department licenses), that file size increases to 100 MB.)

Take a peek and feel free to leave a comment in the VoiceThread.  I encourage you to leave a voice or video comment and play the video as you're commenting.  Few people realize that you can actually capture your playback of the video as you record a comment in a VoiceThread --- and that includes using the Doodle tool!  Give it a try!



Do you have another idea for how you could use screencasting in a VoiceThread to support teaching and learning? Let's hear it ... or better yet, please share a link to an example!
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