I’m always looking—looking for new tools that will help primary children to improve their communication skills. So when a few people in my Twitter network tweeted about a tool called Vocaroo, I knew it was a keeper.
Vocaroo’s website says, “Vocaroo is a shiny new service for sending voice messages across the interwebs.” It allows you to record your voice, play it back to listen, and then provides you with a url or the html to embed an icon into a webpage or blog.
I have had my students do podcasting before using Audacity, and then uploaded the mp3’s to space on our school board’s server, but although I was unable to edit the recording, using Vocaroo was much easier and less time consuming.
Since reading fluency is one of the objectives in our language arts curriculum, I decided to start there. In my class we call fluency “reading smoothly”. Last week I had my students each write about their reading and then we recorded each of them reading a couple of pages and posted it in the article. One of my students wrote, “I can read smoovly. And dis is what it meeings it meeings you dot stop you dis ceep on going. “ Translation: “I can read smoothly. And this is what it means. It means you don’t stop you just keep on going.” Having a recording of their voices gave my students the opportunity to hear what they sound like when they are reading—to hear whether their reading really is smooth or not.
Vocaroo’s FAQ says that you can record as long as you want, but we found that it would only record for about 15 seconds. This may have been because the computer, because I tried it again tonight and was able to easily get 30 seconds of recording.
It is difficult for many primary students to express themselves using text, but most are comfortable using their voice. I think this tool will have to stay in my teaching aresenal.
Note: I CANNOT get a Vocaroo icon to embed in this blogpost, but you can see one here.