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Vocaroo tryout

July 4, 2010

When I read Ian James’s blog entry on TEFLTecher titled In the News (Part 2) , I got an idea for something I wanted to try. The blog entry explains how to build a lesson using several online applications, but the one that struck as most useful in my situation was Vocaroo.

I have been trying to get my teachers to have the students record video for communication classes, but I haven’t had success in doing it myself. We have Audacity installed on our lab computers, but I had not come up with a plan for making use of voice recordings. However, with the post on Vocaroo, I decided I needed to do something, so I worked it into my summer B class. For this communication class, the students will record 4 assignments, which I labeled journals, to be done during the six weeks.

I introduced Vocaroo to the class in class though without actually recording anything because I did not have a microphone for the computer that was in the classroom. To make up for that deficiency, I made short video tutorial to explain how to use Vocaroo. I modeled the video after the video on TeflTecher on using Slinkset. I made the first assignment due this coming week and used Google Sites to construct a website for the Vocaroo assigments. This was my first time using Google Sites, but after some fumbling around I came up with a serviceable website.

I decided for the first assignment, I would have them read either a short story or a poem to get them used to recording without have to think of something to say.

One of my more tech savvy students who has an iPhone pointed out he could make the recording on his phone, so I agreed to accept files recorded on a phone. In hindsight, I wonder whether this was a wise decision since it will make posting the recordings for everyone more difficult, but I can put the recordings on and link from there. If I get a little braver, I will put the links on Wallwisher which I learned about through TEFLTecher and Sean Banville’s Blog.

In looking for short readings, I found a site that offered 365 ESL Short Readings, and I linked to 3 readings on that site. This is a site that I want to use in the future with my low intermediate reading class because it offers stories with audio recordings. I can’t believe I missed this site before when I was looking for things for my low intermediate students to read.

Now, I have to wait and see what will happen with this activity. It is something I have wanted to do for some time and Vocaroo makes it so easy that I think even the technology challenged students will be able to do it.

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