Sunday, November 8, 2009


Life can be one glorious open road or it can be filled with pot holes, breakdowns and car wrecks. This week has been a mix of smooth sailing and complete gridlock.

Multi media sites allow a person to create, view or comment on computer based programs that engage many of the senses. Sites like Voicethread and Animoto are web based programs that allow people to not only create multi media but to share it bringing people together through posting, commenting and the feedback process. Voicethread allows a person to “collect multiple voices and viewpoints in a single media package” (Friedman, Adam and Lee, John., 2009, pg. 5). This package can use various digital mediums like photos, word documents, video clips and other digital artifacts (Wilson, Brad. 2008). Voicethread has sometimes been referred to as an “audioblog” (Wilson, 2008). Animoto allows a person to make video from either still photos or from video clips. To this video you can add text and music.What kind of a journey are you having?


I began this week heading out on the open road with the wind in my hair feeling great about the world. I started with a tour of the sites in the trailfire left by Joanne. I was familiar with Animoto and with Voicethread after seeing a presentation about them at a conference I had just attended. However, I had never used either program. After seeing the demonstrations at the conference and watching the trailfire I felt confident that I could conquer both of these programs. Once again what seemed easy was more challenging and frustration prevailed. The journey was far from the simple Sunday drive I had envisioned.

I started creating my video on Animoto by selecting the pictures I was going to use. I downloaded them to my computer and then to the Animoto program. Finding the images and exporting them was easy. All I had to do was follow step one on the Animoto site. It was step two that was challenging. Trying to find appropriate music on a website that was not copyright restricted and free was hard. Once I finally found something my computer would not let it download. After sitting in complete gridlock for two hours later I gave up and came back to it two days later. After enlisting the help of my daughter, (a technology native) I was able to get the music downloaded and move on to step three. At the right you will see the link to my video.

The Voicethread was easy to construct. I had just done a lesson with my grade 3’s on foreground, midground and background in a composition. I found a picture that illustrated the concept and then asked two students (with parent permission) to comment on it. I had one type her comments and the other record hers. Smooth highway driving here!!!!!!!!


Using multi media in my personal life would be like sharing a roadmap of all of our travels with an interactive piece at each stop on the map. I would use multi media in many of the same ways as I described the use of Videosharing in a post earlier in this blog. To me Animoto is very similar to Windows MusicMaker which is the program I used in my Videosharing project. I could also use Animoto to prepare a presentation for a wedding, anniversary or as a keepsake of a memory such as my granddaughters first steps.

I can think of many times I could Voicethread to preserve memories or share greetings. I could use Voicethread as a digital storytelling medium (Wilson, 2008) to capture many different people’s perception or stories of one moment in time such a vacation, wedding or family event. Voicethread could also be used to send greetings or messages to friends or relatives.

Now that I have experienced how easy it is to navigate these highways I am ready for more driving adventure.


Multi media use in schools could range from smooth highway driving to avoiding pot holes or complete gridlock and car wrecks depending on the teacher and the students using this tool. Multi Media sites would be a way for schools to share information about their school, augment curriculum, engage students in creative ways to demonstrate knowledge, increase student participation (Wilson, 2008) and share professional development. In order for these activities to flow smoothly schools and teachers need the proper technology and the in-servicing to use these tools effectively.

There are many advantages to using a program like Animoto. This interactive web based program builds creativity and collaboration amongst the students and staff. Creating and sharing Muti media programs like Animoto could be used to celebrate teams, events, activities, groups, etc. As well, Animoto would be a way to capture snapshots of time for nostalgic purposes. These creative and collaborative expressions would be seen as a progressive and unique way to showcase the technology use of the school as well as the school itself. Multi media presentations like Animoto could be used to showcase aspects of the school at PT Interviews, Meet the Teacher, or it could be used as a marketing tool in the community.

Voicethread could be used in the school to enhance student engagement, promote collaboration and develop higher order thinking skills. Voicethread could be used as a story starter, to record student’s perceptions and ideas, for digital storytelling, to celebrate events or activities, to assess understanding of something visual or to enhance the discussion of a concept.

The potholes or cons of using multi media like Animoto or Voicethread are having the necessary hardware, software, teacher training and time. Another possible pothole is FOIP. With the restrictions placed upon the schools by the FOIP legislation we have to be very careful how we use student images both inside and outside of the school.

No matter where, how or by whom multi media is used the access to free Internet software makes the use of multi media an easy, breezy ride down the highway of learning!!!


Friedman, Adam. Lee, John. As retrieved on Nov. 3, 2009 from

Wilson, Brad. As retrieved on Nov. 3, 2009 from