Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Using Voicethread for Professional Development

Professional Development has moved towards virtual platforms such as Adobe Connect as a cost-saving measure.  School Boards, quite simply, cannot afford to release teachers as often as might be warranted. 
A viable alternative for collaboration and sharing can be the use of Voicethread.  Voicethread provides a medium whereby participants can share ideas, as well as provide feedback; in a more personalized approach.

There are many ideas already out there for using Voicethread for PD.  Check out the Support Resource available for reference.  Kristen Swansen co-created a Voicethread about using Twitter in Education.  There is a Wiki for Education, created by Colette Cassinelli which has many examples of this as well--this collaborative Wiki is a great place to share your own ideas as well.
I have used Voicethread in two different ways for Professional Development:
  •  sharing lessons planned 
  • collecting feedback

Sharing Lessons

When a group of educators got together to share the resources we had created, we did so at the end of the year which meant that many teachers couldn't attend. 
When sharing, have the teacher speak into a microphone and thus record the ideas in the teacher's own voice.  Then, when the link is shared, particpants feel like they were there.
Here is an example of what that looks like: 
PLC Sharing

Getting Feedback

Teachers are so busy!  For this reason, asking teachers for feedback on our Professional Learning Cycle happened virtually.  Teachers could record their ideas, observations, and wonderings from the comfort of their own workroom.
Here's an example of what that looks like:
PLC Feedback

If you are interested in the PLC model, here's an example of what that looks like in our Board:  Prezi

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