Wednesday, March 9
10:15 AM-11:15 AM

Voicethread as a Good Tool to Motivate ELLs and Much More

Roundtable ID: 31802
  1. Omran Akasha
    Washington State University

Abstract: The purpose of this workshop is to help K-12 teachers to understand some useful techniques in using the Voicethread web 2.0 in and out of the classroom. It is also designed to give K-12 teachers good skills that will allow them to use the Voicethread confidently with their students. In addition, teachers will be able to practice, negotiate with others, and end up with good activities that enable them to have full understanding of this application and how it can be used as a powerful and motivating tool to help students in the learning process. Although the main focus of this workshop is on teaching English as a second language (ESL), all teachers can benefit from attending this workshop and then apply it to their specific classes.


1. Provide the participants techniques and strategies with using the Voicethread application to improve and encourage students to develop their language skills. 2. Learn the important components that technology should have in order to be applied with success. 3. Provide the participant experience with using the Voicethread application in the classroom. 4. Encourage sharing of positive and negative experiences by participants regarding their teaching with technology. 5. Deep understanding of the Voicethread pros and cons in the classroom. 6. Allow the participants to practice and create some activities that have focus on engaging and motivating the students. 7. Allow the participant to evaluate the Voicethread in terms of helping the English language learners. 8. Explore whether the Voicethread application is helpful in learning the language. 9. Allow the participants to engage in authentic tasks and make them taste the powerful features of the Voicethread.

Topical Outline

• Introduction to the participants and the workshop (30 minutes) How technology can help students to engage in authentic tasks? This question with more focus on engagement and motivation will be highlighted in using the application. There will be detailed discussions about the eight conditions of using CALL tasks in education according to Egbert and Hanson-Smith (2007). • What is Voicethread? (40 minutes) The participants will work in groups to examine the application and look closely to the main components and how they can use them. This will include, but not limited to, clear explanations to the following: 1. How to register for a Voicethread account 2. How to add files to the account 3. How to make a slideshow online 4. How to share the Voicethread with others online 5. How to add comments (audio, text, phone) 6. How to upload prerecording audio 7. How to publish the creating task into other web space such as wiki 8. Examine good examples of K-12 students • Warm-up activities (40 minutes) After giving the participants basic knowledge of using the Voicethread, there will be some warm-up activities to practice, discuss, and argue about the application. • Group Project Activity (50 minutes) ? Creating digital stories. ? Creating an interesting and large project bearing in mind the eight conditions mentioned earlier. • Evaluation (10 minutes) Participants will be directed to participate in the online survey. The survey consists of a set of multiple choice questions and one open ended question. This survey will be available in a link that will be showed to the participants at the end of the workshop. The survey will be available on a page designed for this purpose. This will tell us whether the workshop was useful. It will also tell us the problems, if any, that may appear as part of the working process. Voicethread will also be highlighted to see whether it can be a good tool in the classroom.


This workshop is designed to help K-12 teachers to understand some techniques in using the Voicetread application in the classroom. All teachers who have some interest in using technology in the classroom can participate in this workshop. If teachers, however, have no interest they may need to consider their students needs. In this case, all teachers are welcome to attend this fun and interesting workshop to develop their understanding and learn new skills. We only need an internet connection in the site and then some laptops will be helpful to allow the participants to work in groups. However, it is highly recommended that teachers may have their own laptops during the workshop to practice in their own machine. The participant at least should know the basic computer knowledge such as using the keyboard.

Experience Level



Omran Akasha is a PhD student in Language and Literacy Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Washington State University. He holds a Masters degree in Computing from the University of Bradford and a Master degree in Translation from the University of Salford, UK. His Bachelor of Arts was in English Teaching from the University of Sebha, Libya. He also worked as an EFL teacher at the university for several years. At the university, he taught different courses such as writing, reading, listening, and oral skills. His main interest is CALL & EFL. Akasha has a great interest in engaging students through 21st century; therefore, he participated in different conferences and published some papers related to teaching with technology. NCCE Conference in Seattle March 2010 ? Joy Egbert and Omaran Akasha, HyuanGyuan Lee, Nadia Nsir, Jiashian Su. The Best of the Net for ESL. Accepted paper at International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching ? Egbert, J., Akasha, O., Huff, L., Lee, H. (accepted). Moving forward: Anecdotes and evidence guiding the next generation of CALL. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching. Review language teaching software published at The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language ? Akasha, O. (2010). Review Active Reading Software. TESL-EJ, 14(1).
No presider for this session.


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