You CAN Hear Me Now

Earlier this week, I posted about video tools that are great for online collaboration. Now here are two that I really like for voice collaboration and feedback. In online and blended courses, it is really hard to give written feedback to students in great detail, especially if the class is large. Sometimes I think classroom teachers don’t realize just how often those small, simple interactions with a student in class make a difference. Until I tried to communicate only online in mostly asynchronous interactions did I realize just how important clear, detailed, specific feedback is…and how time consuming it is if done well.

Enter a few tools that can make life a bit easier, more interactive, and are more efficient by using your voice, instead of writing all the time.

Why I like it: One of our Digital Learning facilitators (@arringham) has 90+ kiddos in his online PBL astronomy class and uses this tool quickly to give oral feedback, directions, messages, and clarification about concepts to his learners. It is easy to record your voice in the tool or upload your file from the computer/ Then simply share with a URL link. Easy peasy. You can also embed it in a website if you’d like in the event you have one for your class.

Drawbacks: It is still in Beta. And it is not a permanent storage space, so you just have to remember to download really important messages if you want them. The message won’t be there forever.

Why I like it: Many educators use this tool already. But why I like it for blended and online classes is that it can supplement any class discussion, allow for collaboration via video and/or voice, and give faces and voices to the learners in your class that you may never get to see face to face. Upload files, comment on them, leave feedback, or present final products of projects all in one tool.

Drawbacks: The free version doesn’t get you much. This is one instance where I think it is actually worth the money to get the educator license. It also takes a little training of your users to understand how to use the tool to its full capability, but then you are good to go.

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