As I mentioned in my “Beginnings” series of posts, I want to share this African experience with all of you as it unfolds. The primary way I intend to do this is to use is VoiceThreads that will be embedded or linked within this blog. This is a web-based technology that I was introduced to last fall by our Director of the Teaching Commons. It allows you to upload media (images, powerpoint slides, video, etc.) and add comments to each and saves this all as a slide show. The comments can be text (typed in a bubble) or audio (via microphone on your computer) and what is really neat is that the VoiceThread can be interactive and collaborative- those who view it can upload their own comments which are saved and enhance the slide show. The best way to see what I’m talking about it to view one. You can click the link for VoiceThread and check out the website by going to the Browse button. You will find tutorial videos as well as lots of slide shows created by normal people that are open for public viewing. I decided to try this technology out by creating one for my Infectious Disease lecture on gastrointestinal illnesses. Click on this link for my VoiceThread called Waterbourne Illnesses. Viewing this link will also give you insight into the work of Busoga Trust America (BTA), the non-profit organization I am partnering with who provides wells and sanitation to rural Masindi. Within one of the slides is a link to a brief humorous video that is used to educate children about the importance of hygiene- please click on it. Then you can peruse the comments of some of the students in my class. This is what will be possible when I create a VoiceThread with my trip photos. Another benefit to VoiceThread is that I will be able to capture my thoughts on an audio recorder on my iPhone at the time I take the picture. This can then be uploaded with the images and incorporated into the slide show.
Coming soon will be an experiment to test this technology out in real time, as I hope it will be possible while in Africa. I am going to do a VoiceThread capturing a day in my life. I will attempt to take one photo per hour and record audio on my iPhone and then upload all of this to post within the blog. This will help me get a realistic idea of how much time this will really take, if my iPhone audio quality is adequate and if the technology works as it should, and how easy or hard it will be for me to speak my thoughts as they occur. Stay tuned….