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Teachers Teaching Teachers #235 - Learn about new features on VoiceThread with Steve Muth, Ben Papell, and Katie Beck - 02.09.11

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  • Length: 64:03 minutes (14.66 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 32Kbps (CBR)

Steve Muth on M5 - A new feature on VoiceThread from Paul Allison on Vimeo.

We first started talking with Steve Muth and Ben Papell three-and-a-half years ago (Participation is the Most Important Part! TTT77 - 10.31.07). It's always a delight to have them on Teachers Teaching Teachers because they are both such great listeners! Over the years, they have demonstrated how important teachers' voices are to them in the development of VoiceThread.

Steve and Ben are back on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, along with VoiceThread's Community Director Katie Beck. This was their 10th visit to our show.

The folks at VoiceThread had a "big feature release" to talk about, M/5 Commenting. This is how they describe it:

A new version of VoiceThread allows people to not only comment/draw/manipulate media but to also browse entire collections of media while making a single unbroken comment. These M/5 Comments will feel a bit like screencast only they’re much smaller in file size than a video, and more importantly they are delivered to your audience in a richly interactive space. There isn’t a new button and there are no instruction or training to use. You are now simply free to navigate from image > to video > to document > to presentation slide> or any of 50 different media types without breaking your narrative comment.

If you want to practice making an M/5 Comment you can do so on this Thread here which has a varied collection of media types: We think this feature is a logical evolutionary step towards VT's goal of allowing someone to simply, but fully and richly, express themselves in an asynchronous conversation. (Version 5.0 will be a hologram;)

 So they talk about M/5 Commenting, but it was just nice to catch up with them. If you use VoiceThread with your students (or would like to) please listen to this podcast, and give Ben, Steve and some feedback on the new VoiceThread features. They always take good notes!

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

20:47:06 mcarls: I think I'm in here.  Will Steve and Ben be starting in about 14 minutes?  Have to get kids to bed.
20:48:15 DaveC: Curiosity piqued!
20:48:17 mcarls: Assuming we'll just be able to listen, eh?
20:50:07 Paul Allison:
20:50:22 Paul Allison: A wonderful VoiceThread!
20:50:47 Paul Allison: Hi all... We'll start in about 10 minutes.
20:51:32 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Will audio be on ETTA or ustream?
20:52:27 SusanEttenheim: hi everyone ... ett a
20:52:30 SusanEttenheim: in a few!
20:54:48 mcarls: @kd9sr  I'm hoping we can at least hear the audio from here, correct?
20:56:06 PeggyG: Hi everyone! Excited for tonight's conversation about Voicethread!
20:58:08 SusanEttenheim: hi martha - what's your skype again?
20:58:17 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): @mcarls click one of the three audio icons under the ETT A in teh upper right of the screen.
20:58:46 Martha: fireshadow246
20:58:58 PeggyG: hope you don't have any streaming issues tonight! the server was down earlier today for 21st Century Learning but was restored this afternoon
20:59:41 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Looks like it is still down
21:00:26 SusanEttenheim: hi all  can you hear ok?
21:00:31 PeggyG: stream hasn't started yet
21:00:36 SusanEttenheim: we should be starting now
21:00:38 Katie: Sounds good to me!
21:00:43 PeggyG: terrific!
21:00:45 SusanEttenheim: it looks to me as though we're broadcasting now?
21:00:46 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): Yep. have sound
21:00:48 SusanEttenheim: great!
21:00:54 PeggyG: audio is good for me :-)
21:00:59 cstanley: Hi, Peggy. Thanks for the tweet. I wouldn't have know about this otherwise. I was just reviewing Voice Thread this afternoon getting ready for a project with our Mandarin Chinese teacher and her classes.
21:01:01 mcarls: @kd9sr  Thanks, trying to open now for audio
21:01:35 PeggyG: so glad you could make it Carolyn :-)
21:01:39 mcarls: Great can hear now.
21:01:44 PeggyG: exciting new features coming :-)
21:02:18 cstanley: I almost forgot to click on the speaker icon for sound. No wonder I wasn't hearing anything.
21:02:24 cstanley: Hi, Susan.
21:02:31 SusanEttenheim: hi everyone!
21:02:39 SusanEttenheim: could you please introduce yourselves!
21:02:49 SusanEttenheim: I'm at ERHS - high school in NYC!
21:03:02 SusanEttenheim: please introduce yourself - where and what do you teach?
21:03:04 cstanley: Hi, I'm a middle school technology integration teacher from CT.
21:03:17 PeggyG: sure! I'm a long-time Voicethread fan! retired elementary principal and university pre-service instructor in Phoenix AZ
21:03:36 jvirant: Joe Virant - Katy ISD - west of Houston, TX. K-12 tech integration specialist, avid VT user/evangelist
21:03:37 SusanEttenheim: welcome cstanley! and peggyg!
21:03:39 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): I'm a college junior & mid-life career changer in Indiana.
21:03:39 PeggyG: I smiled when I saw Paul's tweet about "co-conspirators" :-)
21:03:47 SusanEttenheim: welcome scott!
21:03:53 SusanEttenheim: have you joined us before?
21:03:53 mcarls: CA BOCES Ed Tech Integrator for various schools in Western New York.  In particular Hinsdale and Randolph and we purchase VT Pro version for anyone interested
21:03:58 cstanley: I think Voice Thread is great.
21:04:02 SusanEttenheim: hi mcarls welcome to you too!
21:04:13 mcarls: Hello Susan
21:04:15 Paul Allison:
21:04:16 cstanley: What friends from Maine, Susan -Chery and Bob and Alice?
21:04:24 SusanEttenheim: of course!
21:04:26 cstanley: Cheryl
21:04:29 Steve Muth: Yes, I think it was them!
21:04:35 SusanEttenheim: absolutely!
21:04:36 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): I've been here before.  I usually listen to the podcast recording during my commute
21:04:49 SusanEttenheim: great that you could join us scott!
21:04:50 mcarls: Will try to pay attention, but Duke game is starting!?!?
21:04:55 cstanley: They are wonderful - got me started in this whole webinar, webcast, conversation thing.
21:04:59 PeggyG: Scott is a long-time EdTechTalk participant! Always love it when he's in the room!
21:05:21 PeggyG: Martha always has such great insights to share as a student!
21:05:57 Scott Shelhart (@kd9sr): :D Thanks Peggy.  Good to see you again.
21:06:01 mcarls: Was this the link they mentioned?
21:06:08 SusanEttenheim: yes
21:06:27 PeggyG: yes mcarls-he mentioned a specific voicethread on that site. maybe we can get the link?
21:06:31 Paul Allison:
21:06:38 Paul Allison:
21:07:00 PeggyG: thanks Paul
21:07:06 mcarls: Thanks Paul, found this one as well about crows:
21:07:44 PeggyG: now that's service!!!!
21:08:43 SusanEttenheim: hi ram welcome - what and where do you teach?
21:09:00 SusanEttenheim: hi jvirant - welcome! what and where do you teach?
21:09:13 cstanley: Isn't it amazing how CEO's of these wonderful applications really connect with interested folks. The CEO of corkboard responded to a query of mine and actually went on to make corkboard work with IE - previously only worked worked with Firefox or Chrome, I think.
21:09:45 ram: hi, I work in the school administration and with ICT-related projects in Norway
21:10:01 PeggyG: yes Carolyn! those are the tools I keep going back to because they are so willing to listen to teachers and incorporate their feedback. Voicethread is a prime example!
21:10:05 SusanEttenheim: welcome!
21:10:09 jvirant: @Susan I posted earlier but I think it flew by!  Here's my quick bio again:
21:10:27 cstanley: Cool!
21:10:31 SusanEttenheim: oh sorry! yes please do post it again
21:10:48 jvirant: Joe Virant - Katy ISD (west of Houston, TX) K-12 technology integration specialist, avid VT user/evangelist
21:10:56 SusanEttenheim: ahh welcome!
21:11:17 SusanEttenheim: ram - what time is it there now?
21:11:26 ram: 1 am
21:11:29 jvirant: Thanks--it's chilly down here tonight in Houston!
21:11:34 PeggyG: I remember when people used to say Voicethread? never heard of it and now it's a common household tool! I can't imagine life without voicethread!
21:11:42 SusanEttenheim: ah glad you're up ram!
21:11:48 SusanEttenheim: have you used VoiceThread?
21:11:58 PeggyG: wow ram!! what dedication!! welcome!
21:12:00 SusanEttenheim: so true peggy!
21:12:05 ram: no, interested in hearing more about it
21:12:15 ram: thanks
21:12:22 SusanEttenheim: The concept is a way to have a conversation around an image.
21:12:33 SusanEttenheim: which actually isn't that easy to do!
21:12:38 ram: I see
21:13:18 PeggyG: it will definitely continue to be touted and used in education!! such a natural fit!
21:13:41 cstanley: I really like the controls given to teachers. Voice Thread has one of the easiest ways to moderate comments - ability to turn them off and on right in the Voice Thread without having to deal with multiple emails and approvals.
21:13:56 PeggyG: good point Carolyn!
21:14:24 mcarls: @cstanley  I do as well.  They listen to the comment before it goes up.
21:14:42 PeggyG: ooohhh a billion small things? :-)
21:15:30 Paul Allison:
21:15:48 PeggyG: wow! that's an incredible feature!
21:16:18 PeggyG: like a built-in screencast with opportunity to interact and comment--true collaboration!
21:16:29 SusanEttenheim: really cool!
21:16:39 Katie: Talk about "presense."  ;-)
21:17:00 PeggyG: this is so exciting!!!!
21:17:19 PeggyG: feel free!!!
21:17:35 Ben: Ha!  Thanks!!!
21:17:47 Katie: oh, no - I mean the feature really gives viewers a feeling of presense.  :-D
21:17:50 mcarls: It will make it less chopped up and more free flowing
21:18:32 mcarls: Paul thanks for link:
21:18:36 PeggyG: the flow of it is going to be incredible! like a real conversation
21:18:40 cstanley: I love to hear presenters dogs barking in the background.
21:19:17 cstanley: Alice Barr always has her dogs "telling" her it's time to end the webcast and take them out.
21:19:58 PeggyG: that's really funny Paul!
21:20:26 PeggyG: this is truly revolutionary!
21:21:04 jvirant: Yes...the UI is extremely clean.  Kinder kids aren't intimidated.
21:21:23 PeggyG: that is really sensitive development and much appreciated by educators
21:21:32 jvirant: And HS seniors don't think it's lame
21:21:33 jvirant: haha
21:21:59 PeggyG: I know what you mean about Skype 5.0 on a Mac. Still trying to find things!
21:22:22 cstanley: It will be nice if we can use VT just as we always have - and not need to use the feature.
21:22:38 mcarls: I actually thought on Tuesday that was a computer glitch with the 2nd graders!
21:22:40 Steve Muth:
21:22:57 cstanley: What is an m5 comment?
21:23:49 SusanEttenheim: oops my firefox crashed!
21:24:07 PeggyG: I'm so grateful that you continue to offer a free K-12 educator account!
21:24:10 Steve Muth: it's a 'multi-modal/multi-channel/multi-media comment :)
21:24:31 PeggyG: mm-mc-mm :-)
21:24:46 cstanley: Please don't pull the rug out from under educators the way Ning did.
21:25:15 cstanley: I can't wait to try this.
21:25:29 PeggyG: is there a time limit on a single voice thread with this new feature?
21:25:31 Steve Muth: we shall not!
21:25:46 cstanley: @Steve -thanks so very much!
21:26:31 Steve Muth: still 10 min per comment but we'll be upping that to 1 hour pretty soon
21:26:44 PeggyG: wonderful!!
21:26:51 mcarls: Very neat.  Just tried it out to comment on multiple pictures and even the beginning of a video I had.  Great to know, thanks.
21:27:15 SusanEttenheim: wow that's great steve!
21:27:25 mcarls: Could be nice to upload PPT slides and each kid could move through and comment on each one.
21:27:47 SusanEttenheim: hi slabert welcome!
21:27:53 SusanEttenheim: where and what do you teach?
21:28:05 PeggyG: it's really hard to stay engaged with a VT that is full of long text comments
21:28:18 Paul Allison: Anybody want to join Ben and Steve and Katie via Skype?
21:28:18 slabert: I'm an elementary LMS and tech coordinator in Arkansas.
21:28:32 SusanEttenheim: welcome!
21:28:49 cstanley: @Peggy - that's what I wanted to say - excessive length was a concern of mine - but I didn't know how to say it.
21:28:52 SusanEttenheim: who would like to skype in?
21:29:19 cstanley: It's even hard to stay engaged with extended voice comments.
21:29:40 cstanley: I do like the fact that you don't have to listen to all the comments but can click around and sample.
21:30:04 Steve Muth: it's really true, I've often thought that we should create a 'babble-prevention' feature ;)
21:30:25 Steve Muth: a countdown timer?
21:30:39 SusanEttenheim: ram do you see my message - I just sent a separate not to you..
21:31:03 PeggyG: VT really encourages affective connections with personal, emotional responses and thinking--much deeper than just adding captions to a picture or a description
21:31:12 PeggyG: :-)
21:32:30 PeggyG: entirely different kind of experience to take a class in VT that goes much deeper than PPTs
21:33:35 PeggyG: I haven't tried in awhile, but is there still an issue where the colored drawings fade after you add them?
21:33:51 PeggyG: using the drawing tool
21:33:57 Steve Muth: you can set them to stay permanently
21:34:05 Steve Muth: for the length of your comment
21:34:09 PeggyG: thanks Steve
21:34:20 Steve Muth: just click the white circle in the middle of the color pallete
21:34:40 PeggyG: aha! so people just need to know they should do that
21:34:54 Steve Muth: we should make that a little clearer!
21:35:03 cstanley: I made a experimental Voice Thread to introduce my colleagues to the tool before we did the Chinese New Year voice thread collaborative project for our Mandarin teacher who connected kids from two sister middle schools. It was a simple one about my mother-in-law (whom we lost last April) and her kitties. I thought I'd share it if anyone is interested.
21:35:11 PeggyG: I used to see that a lot on the MathCasts when students were trying to show the way they solved the problem
21:35:21 mcarls: Great way to showcase their photography or artwork and to get comments from others.
21:35:26 PeggyG: thanks Carolyn
21:36:17 mcarls: @PeggyG  I show how simple it is to do MathCasts by just uploading a ? or 2 on a Word doc.  And show the MathCast team.  Easy review to get shy-er kids to comment
21:36:44 PeggyG: I can't access that VT Carolyn. I'm not a Pro Educator but have a paid VT account.
21:37:03 PeggyG: that's a terrific idea mcarls!!
21:37:11 cstanley: @Peggy - oh, maybe I made it private. I'll check the settings.
21:37:23 PeggyG: thanks
21:38:17 cstanley: See if this works. I copied the link to share:
21:38:18 PeggyG: how wonderful to have someone from Norway joining us tonight!!
21:38:46 PeggyG: no that link doesn't work for me either. sorry
21:39:24 Katie:
21:40:02 mcarls: @PeggyG  Had my 1st grade son make VT of his artwork one weekend to show the grandparents and uncles.  He kept trying to sell them, though, when commenting.... Entrepreneurial I guess!?!?
21:40:06 PeggyG: I think using VT can have some of the same issues people have using PPT. if they only use it to present information, give reports showing different images and don't use it for interaction and conversation, it won't be effective
21:40:28 PeggyG: keep an eye on him mcarls!!! definitely entrepreneurial!
21:40:32 mcarls: Great way to review, but also as a pre-test when starting a unit to see what they know.
21:40:57 cstanley: @Katie - will the link you put in work for Peggy? I copied the share link, but it's not working for Peggy within this chat, at least.
21:41:11 Katie: yes - it should work for non-Ed.VT members.
21:41:37 PeggyG: I'm logged in but get an error message when I try to go to your site Carolyn
21:42:13 cstanley: I'll try sending it to your gmail, Peggy.
21:42:31 PeggyG: says "sorry, only Pro Educators or educators part of a Class or School Subscription can create content on Ed.VoiceThread."
21:43:17 PeggyG: hooray! I was able to get Katie's link to open for me. Thanks!
21:43:38 Katie: great! :D
21:44:50 cstanley: great!:D
21:45:16 PeggyG: I helped a university faculty colleague create a VT to simulate a Governing Board experience for her students that was very effective. But the video of the meeting they were to observe was very long so we had to send them to an external link. But their responses and observations were captured on the VT.
21:45:54 cstanley: That became a bit of a problem with the Chinese New Year Project - very repetitive.
21:46:15 cstanley: I'm trying to figure out how to make it better this year.
21:46:30 PeggyG: threaded comments--is that something that may be coming on VT?
21:47:07 PeggyG: yes!!!! Bill Ferriter! He's the special guest on Classroom 2.0 LIVE this coming Saturday :-)
21:47:14 cstanley: I haven't heard of him before.
21:47:19 PeggyG: 12:00noon EST
21:47:23 SusanEttenheim: haha trying to catch his attention right now...
21:47:28 SusanEttenheim: must be busy
21:47:36 Steve Muth:
21:47:38 PeggyG: yes he is very busy this week :-)
21:47:46 SusanEttenheim: thanks steve
21:48:29 Katie: @Peggy - The threaded commenting question goes back to Steve's "how do we keep it simple" development priority.  We get a lot of requests, but haven't figured out how to make it really clear and simple around the VoiceThread.
21:48:29 cstanley: Thanks for the resource. Maybe I can get some ideas for fixing the project.
21:48:30 PeggyG: what a critical point! not commenting because you HAVE to but because you have something to say
21:49:49 PeggyG: Bill Ferriter's blog
21:49:59 SusanEttenheim: thanks peggy!
21:51:47 PeggyG: Bill is going to be sharing some of his projects that he writes about in his new book in the show on Saturday: Teaching the iGeneration -tons of free downloads
21:52:25 PeggyG: I definitely understand and agree with keeping it simple Katie! :-)
21:53:27 Katie: Have you seen the re-ordering feature?  This allows VT editors to place comments in a discussion...not quite the same, but it can help.  :-)
21:53:29 PeggyG: what a great idea to subscribe to other voicethreads! I know you can add other VTs to your own VTs
21:54:00 PeggyG: no I didn't know about that Katie!! that sounds very helpful!!
21:54:25 Katie: One of those "quiet" features Ben mentioned.  ;-)
21:54:46 PeggyG: it saves us from having to start over in re-creating the comment
21:55:10 jvirant: When things get hard--reminds me of the Papert coinage "hard fun":
21:55:15 SusanEttenheim: Katie how would we learn more about that?
21:55:33 Katie: The link I sent goes to a tutorial--can you get to it?
21:55:38 Katie:
21:55:58 PeggyG: I can't wait to watch that tutorial! just saw the beginning and know it's going to be a big help!
21:56:28 Katie: Here's the text explanation;
21:57:01 PeggyG: excellent! thanks!
21:57:51 PeggyG: do you still find many schools who are reluctant to unblock Voicethread? it seems like the educator account should have addressed those concerns
21:58:01 cstanley: @Susan - just had to say good-by to my kids who came over for dinner. Will this recording be posted somewhat soon?
21:58:06 mcarls: Great to hear about M5 and ideas shared tonight.  Thanks. Mark
21:58:15 PeggyG: good night Carolyn
21:59:00 cstanley: I'm still here, Peggy. They are leaving.
21:59:10 PeggyG: oh ok :-)
21:59:40 PeggyG: Classroom 2.0 LIVE
21:59:49 cstanley: This has been absolutely fascinating - so timely.
22:00:11 PeggyG: this coming Saturday-12:00noon EST-
22:00:13 SusanEttenheim: yes - posted at and
22:00:16 cstanley: I spent last Saturday noontime with Classroom 2.0 - looks like it will be two weeks in a row,.
22:00:20 Ben: Thanks so much!
22:01:11 cstanley: I have forgotten about that ability to move comments around and delete ones that don't add to the VT. It's a wonderful feature.
22:01:20 PeggyG: what's the best way to introduce/feature VT in a 50 minute online webinar? focus on good student/teacher examples and not how to subscribe, etc?
22:01:58 PeggyG: such a good point!!! first comments are setting the tone for all of the rest of the comments
22:02:19 PeggyG: please tell us more!!!
22:02:43 PeggyG: no!!! I didn't know that!!
22:02:47 cstanley: No, I did NOT know that!
22:03:07 PeggyG: Katie-do you have a link for that tip?
22:03:22 jvirant: Ahh...that's new to me. I knew about the playback option, but I didn't know how to actually download. Excellent!
22:03:58 PeggyG: incredible!!
22:05:47 PeggyG: we can do that now??? copy comments?
22:06:20 PeggyG: that would be awesome Susan!! do it :-)
22:07:00 Katie: @Peggy - I think that's something we need to add to our How-To document!  :-)  It's briefly described here:
22:07:16 PeggyG: I agree! I was looking for it there :-)
22:07:16 cstanley: That is the perrenial problem - teachers are soooo busy.
22:07:46 cstanley: Hi, Alice - nice to hear your voice. How are things at Yarmouth High School?
22:08:19 PeggyG: you will definitely want to hear the recording Alice!!! what an exciting night!
22:09:06 SusanEttenheim: thanks for stopping by alice!
22:09:17 PeggyG: yes Martha! sincere, authentic comments! if anyone can do it, you can!
22:09:27 PeggyG: noon
22:09:36 PeggyG: and it will be recorded too if you can't make it
22:09:57 PeggyG: show is in Elluminate so you'll get to see examples and tour his projects and book :-)
22:10:00 cstanley: This was a very energizing program. Thanks so much to the VT developers for creating such a wonderful product to enhance the educational environment.
22:10:02 Steve Muth: Goodnight all!
22:10:14 PeggyG: thank you Voicethread team!!! you are so inspiring!
22:10:22 cstanley: I listened to TedX - with Adora. It was cool.
22:10:32 PeggyG: thank you all! good night!
22:10:32 jvirant: good night--thanks!
22:10:35 cstanley: Night