The future depends on what we do in the present. - Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carrying out the GAME plan (app 3)

The learning approach that I plan to take in order to master my GAME plan is to do research using technology, tap into colleague experience and knowledge, compare various Web 2.0 applications that create the same outcomes, and do some experimenting with these new Web 2.0 tools to learn “first hand” how efficient and user friendly they are.

In my initial GAME plan post, I stated that my first goal would be to learn how to use a Web 2.0 tool called Voicethread as a collaborative and reflection tool in the classroom. As a Universal Design (Cennamo, et. al., 2009, p116) technology tool, a Voicethread can be used to present student artifacts when students have a hard time standing up in front of the class, or students can use the audio feature to record themselves if they have difficulty writing.

The Resources that I will need to carry out my plan are as follows:

• Visiting and reading the information I find there about the application, as well as watching “how to” video tutorials.
• Browsing pre-existing Voicethreads to get ideas on how them.
• Research reviews about Voicethread on educator networking sites.
• Ask colleagues if they have used, or are using Voicethread in their classrooms, and have them help me to get started using the application.

Additional information that I will need are:
• Whether or not students have signed media permission forms to be able to post work out on the web.
• Find out if there is a school subscription for this application already.

Steps that I have been able to take so far include the following:
• I have used the internet to research and read about Voicethread.
• I have watched video tutorials from the website.
• I have signed up for a year long educator account subscription.
• I have set up class groups and student accounts.
• Read reviews about Voicethread on professional networking sites.

The learning strategy for the second half of my GAME plan is to get experience using a wiki as a classroom tool. With this tool, a teacher would be able to offer more choices (UDL: Universal Design) to students in the type of method they could choose from to demonstrate and support their learning such as solving a problem as a group, journaling, viewing tutorials, creating tutorials, and collaborating. (Cennamo, et. al., 2009, p58)

The resources I will need to carry out this part of the plan are:

• Finding out who in my school district is using a wiki, and ask to meet with them to gather knowledge and suggestions.
• Use the internet to locate pre-existing classroom wiki’s and study how they are set up and how they are used.
• Compare and contrast the various web hosting wiki sites to see if one might be better than another.

Additional information I will need is:

• To make sure that all students have a media permission form prior to using a class wiki.
• Locating a classroom teacher willing to partner up so our classes could collaborate realtime.

Steps I have been able to take so far include:

• Browsing the internet for classroom wiki’s to see how they are being used in classrooms all over the world.
• I have also located a teacher from a local district school, and sent out an invitation to create a joint wiki between our two schools as a trial. As of this post, I have not heard back from the teacher yet.


Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom Use: A Standards-Based Approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning


  1. Marcella,

    Have you been able to find any teachers with wiki's to use as an example? I think it would be very beneficial for me to find examples that have ideas on how to use a wiki to best fit a classroom. I also think it would be great to put together a joint wiki so students can see the collaboration. Also, as a teacher it would be great to get more ideas other than just your own for your first wiki.

    What grade and subject do you teach?

    Jenna Enevoldsen

  2. Marcella,

    Voicethreads are a great tool to use in the classroom and they are applicable to many different learning styles. I would also like to suggest Jingo; this is a site offering software and how-to’s on screen casting. Screen casting would be another great way for some of your less than eager to share students to present information.

    I also wanted to make a suggestion to you about your parental permission forms. In our district parents have to sign a form stating that their child has permission to use the computers and our school network. Additionally, they must sign a form either giving or denying permission for their students to be published on the web. This would apply to your students creating voicethreads. Make sure you cover all of your bases when it comes to your students utilizing the internet in school. Good luck with your projects, they will be great! Hope this has helped some.


  3. Marcella,

    Great work looking into Voicethread. I was not aware they had an educator account. I am curious as to what the educator account gives you. Is it the ability to create classroom groups or is that given with the free service?

    I want to echo Allison's suggestion to try Jing, also. Screencasting is a great way not just for your students to show information, but for teachers like us to give personalized tutorials!


  4. Marcella,

    What types of assignments do you plan on doing with Voice Thread? The tool has many different possibilities. To introduce Voice Thread to your students, you could create one yourself that explains the different options they have when it comes to using the tool. One of the positives of Voice Thread is when the students respond to each other, they can choose between leaving a recording or a written response. This allows for the students to use their strengths and preferences when using the tool.


  5. Response to Dan,

    The educator account costs $60 a year (I gave in and paid it). You can either publish your thread publically or you can set them up securely (only you and your students can view them no one else). It also allows you to create up to 100 threads.

    The free account does not let you create groups I don't think, and you can only crate 3 threads. That was not enough for me. Using the application for the first time was a little "gauche" but will get better with practice.