Wednesday, August 19, 2009

VoiceThread and the Engagement Theory

Nervously I entered this site expecting a whole lot of confusion and frustration. I could not have been more wrong. The site was easy to navigate, upload images, record voice and embed the link into by blog. Again I am pleasantly surprised. The following link is to a voicethread called Antarctica. I have chosen to use a still image and provide a voice commentary to engage the students. I am a lost Emperor Penguin in Antarctica. The students need to find out which regions my family are likely to be, how big I will get when I grow up and what foods should I be eating. The students are then required to construct their own voicethread and record their findings so the I can hear them back in Antarctica.

I would have loved doing something so engaging at school, the concepts of the engagement theory fit nicely into this technology (Kearsley & Sneiderman 1999):

Relate - Related to real world topics and information relating directly to the lost Emperor Penguin

Create - Create a voice thread containing required information including the possible location of the lost penguins parents etc

Donate - 'Share your voice thread on the site so that the penguin and others can see your researched results.

VoiceThread is a web based communications network which provides the use of collaborative multimedia slideshows that hold images, docs and videos (VoiceThread, 2007). The use of voice thread for classroom tasks not only provides engagement, this program allows connectivsm (Siemens, 2004) through friends, students, and teachers having the ability to record comments about their creations. This would be a perfect medium for teachers to provide warm and cool feedback on assessment tasks as students are more likely to listen to these comments due to the engaging nature they are presented. I am genuinely excited about the possibilities of this technology and its applications in the classroom.


Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B., (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from

Siemens, G. (2004). Citing computer references. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from

VoiceThread. (2007). About VoiceThread. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

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