Thursday, September 13, 2012

How to Doodle in VoiceThread Mobile & Why it Matters

VT Mobile. Bridge image by Glam.
I'm currently teaching my Building Online Social Media class and I'm seeing a big increase in the number of faculty using iPads.  In the class, faculty are introduced to a number of tools, one of them being VoiceThread.  VoiceThread provides users with the option to access content created with the tool via a regular web browser or through a free mobile app (to accommodate the flash "gap" experienced by iPhone and iPad users -- although an Android app is in development too).  For users who are blind or have cognitive disorders that are supported by a more linear flow of content, VoiceThread Universal provides yet another alternative to the content (note: a VoiceThread must first be "Shared" with a user directly before it is available to him/her through VoiceThread Universal but that's the only necessary step).

For those of you who read my blog, you are familiar with the fact that I am a passionate advocate for emerging technologies that support non-traditional learners.  I get very excited when I envision a future of inclusive learning environments in which all of our students can learn together in community and feel good about what they bring to the table, rather than feeling poorly for about how they don't measure up to the status quo.  You can read more about my views on this topic in my new book, Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies.  I believe mobile learning and emerging technologies in general are pathways to mainstreaming the adoption of Universal Design for Learning.

In my current class, I have a few students who had some hiccups understanding how to locate the Doodle function in the VoiceThread mobile app.  Rather than sharing those instructions just with them, I thought I'd post them here so everyone could learn from them. 


Why is Doodling on a Mobile Device important to educators?  

Using the raw gesture of the human hand to control the actions on a mobile device is proving to open a world of new dazzling cognitive leaps for individuals with particular learning differences.  Beyond that, however, giving students the option to Doodle on slide while they are responding to a discussion prompt or having them demonstrate how to work through the rest of a problem set are ways to engage the psychomotor cognitive domain in an online learning environment that nearly always left dormant.  


What is the Doodle feature?

The Doodle feature gives users the ability to draw on a slide while leaving a voice or video comment on an iPhone or iPad (if you are using VoiceThread on a full web browser, the Doodle feature also works with text commenting). 

Step 1:

Click the "Plus Sign" to comment.


Step 2:

Select the microphone or webcam icon to leave a voice or video comment.  The Doodle feature is not included with text commenting on VoiceThread mobile.

Step 3:

The red flashing light indicates that you are now recording!  Click on the white dot to the right to activate the Doodle feature.

Step 4:

A vertical palette of colors will expand.  Tap a color in the palette to select it.

Step 5:

Doodle away with your finger! The marks will begin to fade after a few seconds.

Step 5:

Click Save.

For More Help

For more help with VoiceThread mobile, please explore the great resources in the VoiceThread Mobile Support Site.

How Are You Using It?

Are you using VoiceThread mobile with your students?  If so, drop us a comment here and let us know how!
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