These are student book reviews created using the program Voicethread. Voicethread is a Web-based digital-storytelling application that allows users to share their stories through audio, images, videos or text. Stories can be shared publically or kept private. Once shared, listeners have 5 different options for commenting on the stories: (1) vocally by microphone, (2) vocally by telephone, (3) by text, (4) an audio file or (5) a video with a webcam. Educators can sign up for a free educator account.VoiceThread can be embedded in blogs and Web sites.

I found Voicethread to be a great classroom tool. It is very user-friendly. Our first task was to create individual avatars to upload into our thread.There are a number of free avatar creation programs on the web that you can chose from. I used YahooAvatars because my students had previously created gmail accounts and could sign in using their own accounts. Click on the word document below for the student instruction sheet. It contains instructions for creating a YahooAvatar and uploading the image to Voicethread.

If you wish to use these instructions your first step would be to create a Voicethread educator account and then create your own thread. The tutorial is very quick and informative. I would suggest you then create your own avatar and upload it to your thread. I did a quick class demo (using a smartboard) to show Voicethread, our class thread, and the instructions for creating an avatar. Students then paired with a buddy and went to a computer lab to create and upload their avatars. Pairing students meant they could help one another but it also ensured that they did not spend too much time decorating their avatar. Recording book reviews into our thread was very easy; we used a laptop and a headset microphone. Students could privately record and play their book reviews; student voice and fluency were self-regulated. If they were not happy with the recording they could delete the audio and start fresh. Students could create an avatar or record their book review at home or from another location.

Posted by Jillian W

This was made using Photopeach. Photopeach is a web-based program that allows you to create slideshows from your photos.
It was simple to use and embed into this wiki. A slideshow is a great way to record an event but also an excellent way to thank guest speakers.
I think students could do amazing things with Photopeach !
  • free
  • user-friendly--upload photos and then click and drag
  • creators can type captions on the slides
  • slideshows can be private or public
  • slideshows can be embedded into class blogs or wikis
  • photos can be uploaded from a computer, Flickr, Facebook or Picasa
  • music can be selected from the site or uploaded from Youtube videos
  • viewers can comment on slideshows

Posted by Jillian W

Create your own video slideshow at

Delilah created this using Animoto after reading Joy Kogawa's, Obasan for her English 12 distance education course (June 2010).
Animoto is a web-based program that allows users to create videos from photos, video clips and music. Animoto is very similar to a movie trailer--you can put your photos or videos to music. Educators can sign up for a free account but you can also pay a small fee to create longer length videos or add your own music.

Posted by Jillian

A QR Code business card in less than 5 minutes !
This is the QR code that I placed on a business card to direct workshop participants to this wiki. It was created by using the website QR Code Stuff . It is a free service that allows you to create a qr code and print or email that code. Users can also subscribe which then allows greater options.
I created a very simple business card in less than 5 minutes by using a free card website. I typed in my name, pertinent contact information and uploaded my saved qr code image as my Logo. I previewed my card, was satisfied and then printed 12 cards per page on cardstock paper. The hardest part will be using a rotary cutter to cut the cards out :) You can do this a number of other ways but this was effortless.

A QR Code (it stands for "Quick Response") is a mobile phone readable barcode. If you have a smart phone with a camera on it, you have the scanner necessary to scan QR codes.
For your phone to be able to read QR Codes you will need to download and install QR Code barcode reading software. This page provides many site options for downloading software for smartphone users.
How do they work? The phone takes a picture of the QR code and then converts it into text format. The application interprets the code and then displays any links, text and images that the creator wanted you to see. QR codes can contain URLs, text,phone numbers or videos.

I am going to create a free and simple business card for September that has a QR code directing students and parents to my class blog. I think my students will be very receptive to this idea--they can easily subscribe to the blog, post comments and check for class assignments using their cell phone. It is also going to be a great twist for Parent-Teacher nights :)
Posted by Jillian W