My Voice Thread Assignment Reflection In this project, the focus was on relating a lesson created using voicethread with

UDL Principle II: Providing Multiple Means of Action and Expression. In my reflection, I will share my opinion of how the use of voicethread to create this lesson achieves the objectives in each of the three guidelines (4, 5 and 6). Guideline 4 calls for a lesson to provide options for physical action. According to the guideline, properly designed curricular material should provide seamless interface with common assistive technologies such as voice activated switches or expanded keyboards. Voicethread as an application has neither of these features. Individuals with motor disabilities will still face the same difficulties navigating voicethread as they would any other application (checkpoint 4.2). Voicethread also does not offer extensive keyboard commands for mouse actions (checkpoint 4.3). What voicethread does offer is an alternative means of response and composition (checkpoint 4.1). One can upload different types of media onto voicethread such as images, audio files or video files. Once uploaded, one can further individualize and customize these media items by commenting on them in various ways. These responses can be made by phone, by typing in a body of text or by recording an audio message using a microphone or combination of a web cam and microphone (video message). With regards to Guideline 5, voicethread is useful as it gives users the opportunity to express themselves in different ways. As mentioned above, one can choose to comment on and contribute to voicethreads by typing, making a phone call and having the message recorded or creating either a voice or video recording using the capabilities of one¶s computer. What I feel voicethread is weak at is not in providing sufficient support or scaffolding to assist new users in learning how to use the various media options but in where

these can be found on the website. The supports in terms of video tutorials are not easily available and require users to make several mouse clicks before finding what they need. Once found, the material is user friendly and informative (checkpoint 5.3). In being relatively easy to use, voicethread however (at least the free version) sacrifices functionality such as that which is called for in checkpoint 5.2. There is no word prediction, spell check or conceptmapping tool in voicethread. While voicethread does reasonably well in addressing guidelines 4 and 5, it does not do as well as bookbuilder in addressing guideline 6. There are no mentors as in bookbuilder. Voicethread also does not allow goal setting. Although one can argue that the tutorials provide good examples that are also available under µideas for using voicethread¶, these are not explicit. As the creator of my voicethread lesson, I feel that for a free application that is platform neutral, voicethread is a great tool. It has fewer barriers than many applications currently on the market. It is easy to use and has an extensive help menu which would work a lot better if better positioned on the website for new users to capitalize on. Besides being aligned to the principles of UDL, voicethread also connects well to the fundamentals of 21 century learning in promoting collaboration and near instant feedback.

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