Social Networking

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QP 12 COLLABORATE: Online Conversations

Build a community, share information, stay in touch

What do we mean by online conversations?

Online conversations are different ways of recording global discussions around many different topics. Using tools like Voicethread, Gabcast and Voxopop people can share ideas, create community and carry on a discussion at different times and from different places!

What is Voicethread?

Here's what Educause had to say about
(Voicethread is) "a tool in which images are sequenced and authors can record audio associated with each slide. The compelling feature of this tool is that once a slide show is published, other people can add narration via text or audio (and now video), so that shows can easily have multiple voices or commentary."

Here's one example of using voicethread for language learning

What is Gabcast? is a podcasting and audio-blogging platform that offers virtual communities, individuals and organizations an easy way to create and distribute audio content. People can record a comment, story, or "episode" using either a touch tone phone or a VOIP connection. VOIP is free, using a phone requires purchasing a certain number of minutes at $0.10/minute. Each episode comes with 60 minutes of record time.

Here's a quick example of how one teacher used gabcast by having her students record radio commercials cell-phone radio commercial

What is Voxopop?'s tag line is "Message boards with real voices". Once people sign-up they can either join a "talkgroup" or start their own by recording a short statement or question to request people's responses. Talkgroups can be open or closed depending on how the starter wants to set it up. Each user can select a picture to represent them and that will show each time they speak.

There are far too many talkgroups to listen to, here's one discussion about typical foods in different countries.

What are some ways to use online conversations?

- Any of these could be used to record or give speaking assessments.
- Voicethread could be used to record and give a presentation and then to solicit feedback.
- Gabcast can be used for online courses as a way to include group discussions.
- Use any of these to start a discussion about human rights or the environment and see what people from different places have to say about the topic.

How do I get started creating online conversations?

Watch Voicethread's introductory video here:
Check out the gabcast overview here:
Explore Voxopop's many talkgroups here:

Do you know of any other online conversation platforms? If so, let us know!