To learn more about the major events of the 1920s, eighth graders came to the library to research a self-selected topic that they would then turn into a VoiceThread. Students could pick topics from a list we created, or they could find a subject on their own. I pulled books and articles from our Gale database to help with their research; we also provided students with a list of websites on the 1920s. While in the library, students filled out a note-taking template that would serve as the framework for their VoiceThread narrative. Many students used their iPad to research their topics. As they took notes and collected images for the project, students were required to cite all sources using MLA formatting.
After two days of compiling information, student went to the computer lab to create the VoiceThread. The initial setup of a VoiceThread is always a little difficult for students. Knowing where to click to add to slides is confusing, but once they get in the flow, it is easy to record the slide show. Our technology coordinator carefully walked them through the steps on their first day in the lab; students could also watch a video that would show them how to create a VoiceThread. Many students chose to use their time with the desktop computers to annotate their slides using Skitch, import the slides into VoiceThread, and finalize their bibliography. Several then used their iPads to record the voice portion at home or during study hall. Students could create the entire VoiceThread using the VoiceThread app on their iPad, but many commented that it is easier to use the desktop version or a combination of both.