This week in class, we looked at Voicethread, a site that lets users post video and audio recordings in the place of traditional text posts. While this may seem at first to be a sort of niche idea, the technology can have great impact, especially in my chosen field, history and social science. The ability to layer audio over videos and images (which can be manipulated live during the recording) makes this a valuable tool for presenting information learned in social science. Whether it's narrating and manipulating supply and demand curves in economics, tracking the process of a bill becoming law in government, or reviewing the complex web of alliances that led to World War I in history, Voicethread is a great tool to produce content of this sort that can be reviewed outside of class time.
One idea that immediately comes to mind is to have students prepare presentations on different events during a given decade. Each group has one event or person to cover, and they have to create a voicethread presentation. Using padlet or another site to collect links to all of the various presentations, student homework could then be to watch other groups' voicethread presentations, possibly responding with recordings of their own, to study for an upcoming test. The specifically multimedia aspect of voicethread, incorporating video recording, audio, and interacting with images, sets it up as a great tool to be used to engage learners of a variety of styles. As time goes on, there's no telling intricate and detailed voicethread presentations could become over time as students become more comfortable with the technology.