Today I’ve been playing around with voiceThread and Frappr. I’m looking at various tools that I can use for course introductions. Most of the online courses I’ve been in or seen have used a discussion forum for introduction.
I find this a sad substitute for a face to face meeting. In a classroom environment everyone gets to see each other and hear each others voice. In a discussion forum you MAY get to see the other person’s face, but that depends on what picture they have uploaded as their avatar.
And since I’ve mentioned avatars…I’ll just have a little rant. From a learning perspective I think it’s very important to see the person you are connecting with…so PLEASE upload a photo of yourself not of your dog, a cartoon character or other silly picture! They may be amusing, but they do not help you form “connections” or rapport with others in an online environment. 🙂
With Frappr you can see them and see where in the world they come from. So it’s a nice tool but I like voiceThread better. With voiceThread the person commenting can choose the tool they are most comfortable with or have access to. Video, audio or text and they can also annotate the picture that you upload. I still haven’t got around to buying a webcam yet (but it is on my list of things to do). So currently my preferred method is audio. I have uploaded a photo of myself, so when you visit the voiceThread you get to both see and hear me. Nearly as good as meeting in person 🙂
So…please feel free to try them out for yourself and let me know what you think.
voiceThread World Map – Introduce yourself
Frappr World Map – put yourself on the map
(note: anonymous visitors will not be displayed – your need to enter your first name as well as your location)