Articles › Professional Development
Language from Carla Arena
This VoiceThread shows an example of teacher trainers using the technology they plan to use with their learners. It's their self-expression and the understanding the power of VoiceThread to give voice to our stories.
Benefits to educators
- Educators learn to use technology to heighten their students' learning experience.
- Educators are empowered by the project and understand the feeling of empowerment that students will experience.
- Educators see how changing the means and approach to storytelling can impact on the final outcome in terms of learning, understanding more about ourselves, sharing our stories with others.
It was easy to set up the VoiceThread and encourage the teacher trainers to add their voices. The "A Day in the Life of an Educator" was part of an online session for Brazilian educators. They had already seen other examples of stories in VoiceThread before recording their own. They had a week to choose or think of a story and record their own. After recording their stories and listening to each other, they were able to get the same idea from their first recording and develop their own storyboards and re-record it using images and re-telling the story in a more visual way. Though they could choose among 50 tools suggested on the wiki set up by Alan Levine - http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/StoryTools, most of them preferred to stick to VoiceThread. The result of what the educators produced can be seen at - http://webtools4educators.pbwiki.com/Digital_Storytelling.
The motivation behind this VoiceThread project was to inspire ideas for variation among the educators for their future classes. They tried out digital storytelling first, then reflected upon it, and ultimately found their own unique ways to tell their stories as they were empowered and given a sense of accomplishment by their VoiceThread experience. They now feel ready to take it to another level, trying it out with their own students! I expected teacher-trainers to play with VoiceThread, understand how it worked and learn about its features to make an informed use with their students. The objectives of the activity were totally expanded as teacher trainers really went beyond and truly expressed themselves. Not only is it important for [educators] to learn about technology, but to understand how empowering it could be.
Challenges or setbacks
The educators' feedback was that they found it difficult, at first, to find the right tone to the message they wanted to convey. Once they overcame the initial dislike for their own voices, they really enjoyed and profited from the digital storytelling experience.
Before creating the final VoiceThread, allow participants to test what you want them to accomplish and let them play around with VoiceThread to find their unique voices and stories.