Monthly Archives: October 2011

Web 2.0 Resources: A Student Perspective

One only has to take a few steps onto campus before seeing students engaged with the latest technologies.  Just last week, I saw a student sitting by the memorial statue of Uncle Bud, talking on his cellphone while occupied with his laptop.   Students are using computer technology now more than ever before, but is there transference into the classroom?  I took to the sidewalks of Harding’s campus last Friday, amidst the festivities of Homecoming 2011 and found a student eager to share her use of technology in her classes.  

Bravo to the faculty, who both eagerly and apprehensively integrate technology into their courses. Your investment of time and energy will help prepare students for the global 21st century.    It is great to be at Harding!    



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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


VoiceThread: A Collaborative Experience

VoiceThread: A Collaborative Experience

 Have you typed, texted, tweeted, blogged, emailed or responded to a discussion board using text today?  Somehow, did you feel you didn’t accurately communicate what you wanted to express?  In an on-line learning environment, text alone can limit effective student communication and engagement.   VoiceThread is a collaborative multimedia slideshow that allows participants to hold a conversation around images, video, and numerous varieties of documents.  Participants can navigate through the slides and leave comments on each slide. This can be done 5 different ways: microphone, telephone, text, audio file (MP3/WAV), and webcam. 

What I like about this Web 2.0 communication tool is that it is a Cloud Application that functions in any Web browser and it is easy to use.  The collaborative nature of this tool allows multiple participants to work with it at once, where they can leave their thoughts, comments, reflections, and suggestions in an asynchronous environment.  Collaborative environments like VoiceThread erode the barriers of time and space and extend learning beyond the classroom.  VoiceThread can be embedded into any website and offers a Moodle filter plugin, as well as iPod compatible exports.

Whether you teach in an on-line environment or face-to-face, VoiceThread allows you to extend learning beyond your classroom.  To begin, go to , create an account and start viewing tutorials provided on the site to help you develop your first VoiceThread.  Next, create a VoiceThread, invite your students to participate and wait for them to leave a comment.   Comment moderation is a feature that allows you to censor the comments that are left on your VoiceThread.  Think of a VoiceThread as a “group audio blog.”



Implications for Education:

The 2009 Horizon Report K-12 Edition states A growing emphasis on collaboration in education — and an increasing recognition that collaboration is the norm in many modern workplaces — has led more teachers to seek tools to facilitate group interaction and teamwork in their classes.” VoiceThread is an attractive tool to educators because it is easy to use and provides an effective collaborative learning environment. 

Possible Classroom Applications:

·         Try using a VoiceThread in place of your discussion board or forum. 

·         Have students upload a presentation, paper, video assignment, art work, or music composition to receive peer and outside critique of their work.

·         Upload students’ recorded speeches or student teaching for peer review.

·         Use VoiceThread as an icebreaker activity to have members of your on-line course introduce themselves to one another.

·         Upload your lecture to a VoiceThread and have students leave their comments.  Discussion in VoiceThread is attached to the lecture itself, allowing you to use the same lecture in upcoming semesters.  Future students can benefit from past students comments. 


Research on VoiceThread:

· is a Cloud              &nbs

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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Uncategorized


Web 2.0 Resources and You

Every year a new list of the most current Web 2.0 resources is published by technology specialists and journals.  Are you still scratching your head and asking yourself, what is Web 2.0?  Web 2.0 is a newer breed of web pages that provides the user the ability to collaborate and share information on-line.  Web 2.0 pages are not static HTML sites but dynamic web pages that allow you to do more than retrieve information.  Today we will visit the following Web 2.0 resource sites: Quietube and QR Codes


Have you ever searched on-line for a YouTube video to accompany your lesson, but stopped short because of the distractions of advertisements and uncensored comments.  Quietube  ( is a free button that you drag to your browser’s bookmarks bar for comment free and advertising free YouTube viewing.  This application also works on the following video sites: BBC iPlayer, Viddler, and Vimeo. 


QR Codes and QR Generators  


QR Codes or Quick Response Codes are visible on everything from movie posters, e-mails, business cards to t-shirts.  QR codes are two-dimensional codes that contain data of web pages, text, and phone numbers.  QR codes can be scanned by a camera on any smart phone.  First you will need to download the appropriate QR application to your smart phone.  After downloading the QR app, click on the QR app and take a picture of a QR code with your smart phone.  Once you take a picture of the QR code you will be connected to text, a phone number, image, video, or a web site associated with the QR code.   For more information on how to integrate QR codes in higher education download the QR application for your phone and take a picture of the QR code above and begin your adventure today.

A few ways to begin incorporating QR codes into you courses:

  •  Add a QR code to word-processor documents for students to check their answers
  •  Post a QR code in your classroom that will give students access to class handout
  •  Implement clicker-type applications, such as polls by projecting on-screen multiple choice QR codes
  •  Add QR codes to presentations with links to videos or additional web resources
  •  Convert podcast to QR codes for easy access from smart phones

To create QR codes you will need a QR code generator.  The Internet is replete with QR code generators.  You can generate a code for ULR, text, phone number, SMS, or e-mail

The following are free QR Code Generators:

After you create your code you can save the image to insert into documents or presentations. In addition, you can copy the embed code to embed into your blog, web site, or social media accounts.   Access to web sites and digital media is a scan away with your Smart Phone QR application.

Hope these Web 2.0 tools will help you enjoy a quieter visit to YouTube and quicker access to web sites with you Smart Phone. 

Follow us on Twitter at @HULearnTech

Later in the week we will have a guest blog about their experience with technology integration.

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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized