Inspired by the K-7 Mathcasts 500 Project, I worked with my kids this weekend creating some mathcasts using VoiceThread. I think it is great to hear them explain their thinking as they solve math problems, even if these involve just basic arithmetic. Of course in 2nd and 4th grades, respectively, “basic arithmetic” IS a major focus of their formal mathematics curriculum in school. I have decided to help them start their own digital learning portfolios using xtimeline. We are going to link blog posts, digital stories, and other digital learning objects they create to their own xtimeline to archive for themselves and their teachers (present and future) their learning journeys. Many of those objects are already linked on our family learning blog, but we’ll link this chronologically with xtimeline. I think this type of personal digital learning portfolio could become a “best practice” for both home schoolers as well as students enrolled in formal public and private schools.

My older daughter wrote a report about President Bill Clinton today, and I helped her create a VoiceThread with her report text. (Students in her class drew names of former Presidents out of a hat to determine who they were assigned.)

I love VoiceThread, and I love working with my own children as well as other students to help them express their ideas with multimedia. The $25 I spent on a VoiceThread Pro account (since I don’t currently have an educator email address to qualify for a free account) is probably the best money I’ve ever spent on a web-based service or tool.

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  • http://school20.siglersite.com James Sigler

    Great job to both Alexander and Sarah! I loved hearing their cute little voices explain what they know. What a great a idea to use xtimeline to create a digital portfolio. I’m going to have to try this out, myself.

  • http://suzieslinks.com Suzie Vesper

    Great examples of VoiceThreads. I have also had a good play on xtimeline. I love the fact that you can embed media into each point on the timeline though it didn’t always seem to load that media in timeline view very well. I will continue to explore this tool so thanks for that.

  • http://lraines.wordpress.com Lisa Raines

    Wes! This is awesome! I am new to Voice Thread and love the practical applications you show here. I think these will inspire my teachers when I show them how to use it. I have one question about how you recorded the math problem solving. Did you use a particular kind of software or encoder to record them writing out the problems? Thank you!

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