voicethread, re-reviewing

it’s been EXACTLY 3 years since i last chanced upon voicethread (VT), and now there arises a chance that i can possibly work more closely with the tool and conduct a research around it.

but before proceeding further, it’s important to me to (re)explore VT on it’s features and functionalities so as to inform the guide that we need to provide students, especially the potential pitfalls.

1. unicode / simplified chinese character support
back then, unicode is not supported within the commenting feature. now it’s working, comments can be keyed in in Chinese

2. import doc type
this is an extension of the unicode support problem. in terms of document file types, DOC, DOCX, PDF are ok. but when chinese characters are typed within, the level of compatibility is different. microsoft word doc gives on average 1 MISSING chinese character for every 6 characters; word docX gives on average 1 for every 2. VT is not to be blamed here, it is micro$oft’s propietary doc format specification causing the problem. when PDF import is used, it gives perfect rendition. so now we all know who’s truly supporting a more open standard. my experimentation goes here.

3a. no. of VTs for free accts
in a zero budget project, we’ll be asking students to create their own VT accts. however, each FREE acct can only produce three (3) VTs. this could pose a serious limitation if students are expected to produce numerous assignments over time.

3b. no. of VTs for
if more than 3 VTs’ to be created, the K-12 Class subscription will allow up to 100 students to be enrolled, enabling them to create up to 50 VTs each. the subscription stands at USD60/year.

that’s all for now, will add more discoveries as i go along (:

3 Replies to “voicethread, re-reviewing”

  1. Hi YH,

    Glad you started this re-review. I just read my comment 3 years ago. Time flies. Haha.

    Anyway I decided to sign up for the K-12 Class subscription this year and has just started using with my P6. The problem with free account is a few pupils tend to delete others’ VTs accidentally (or purposely :p). Also sense of ownership and you mentioned, ability to create VTs are lacking.

    Administration is quite easy. I simply import a .csv file containing pupils’ particulars and all accounts are created within seconds. I’m still trying out the admin functions. Although I must admit Vocaroo is gaining popularity with my school teachers after I shared with them. To some teachers, VT seems to be much more complicated compared to Vocaroo :p

    I think there are 3 challenges I faced. First 2 are old problems. Pupils are not aware of audio recording settings in their home computers even though almost all laptops have built-in microphones. Pupils struggled with Chinese input at home, hence VT comments are usually in English.

    The last challenge and perhaps the biggest one is how to sustain the interest of using VT and making it more relevant to pupils’ learning. Till now I have been using VT mainly for oracy practice. I tried to get pupils to share reflections and do projects and presentations using VT but response was lurk warm. I guess I have to revisit Tom Barrett’s ‘Interesting Ways’ (https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dhn2vcv5_245f2nkv3g3)

    I will continue to explore better ways to use VT in teaching and learning. I hope VT will complement the upcoming MT oracy portal 🙂

    1. yes yes, time not just flew but rocketed away without our realisation! thanks for sharing those tips. i think it will come in most useful with my upcoming work with the teachers. will keep you posted of our learning as well, cheers (:

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