Uh oh, I just realized that I never blogged about presentation tools! Not for lack of trying them out, let me assure you.
I used VoiceThread with a fifth grade class as part of their immigration research project. Their teacher required them to write a letter to an imaginary friend or family member left behind in the “Old Country.” In an attempt to integrate technology I suggested that we have the kids use VoiceThread to create digital postcards. The teacher wasn’t willing to give up the letter writing assignment but gave me permission to go ahead with the VoiceThread project.
Thankfully, I had a library practicum student at the time which helped move the project along a little faster. My issues were not with VoiceThread, rather with the amount of time the project required when I only saw the class for 30 minutes once a week. The kids were interested and engaged in the beginning, but by the time it was done, they had NO interest in viewing and commenting on one another’s projects. (Neither did I, honestly.) One of things that makes VT different from other presentation tools is the ability for users to record comments, and we really never got to that. I was pleased with how the project turned out, but without that interactive piece, they weren’t much more than power point shows. I would definitely use VT again, but only with the active support and involvement of the classroom teacher.
I can see a lot of potential for Jing. The first thought that came to mind was creating a tutorial for borrowing ebooks from the our library. The trick with that is finding time to do it when no one will come in and interrupt your recording! I was playing with Jing at home and my teenage son thoroughly enjoyed yelling curse words whenever I was recording. He seems to have a sixth sense for knowing when I’m getting ready to play again.
My other thought for Jing was to use it as an assessment tool. I’m thinking I could give the kids a question to research and have them record their thoughts as they go through the search process. We have netbooks with built in microphones in my building, so the technology is available. I’m just not sure I want to watch 25-75 videos….