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VoiceThread & Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

Link to Voice Thread: Achievement Gap Among Students with Disabililties and ESOL


                                 Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

In this week’s learning resources we explored the Social Learning Theory and Connectivism as they relate to acquiring knowledge. By premise, the Social Learning Theory is based on the belief that learning takes place by observing and modeling the interactions of people or things in his or her surroundings and environment. According to well-known psychologist Albert Bandura, “learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do (Bandura, 1977)”. While Connectivism is based around the idea that there is an abundance of knowledge and information that is readily available, and this knowledge has to be transferred onto some sort of network in order to be deciphered and understood. However, networks are rich and highly complex; therefore it may take a multitude of people to gather meaning and understanding.  Social learning has always been present in education, but with recent development in technologies, it has expanded the opportunities and capabilities of how this can take place in and out of the classroom. A few of these technologies include VoiceThread, wikis, blogs, and  video conferencing.

     VoiceThread allow students to upload images, text, audio, and video to a website that people can view, as well as share their thoughts. “VoiceThread is a powerful application because of its ease of use, and  its ability to extend across the curriculum (Laureate, 2011)”. I too, found VoiceThread to be very user friendly as compared to other similar technologies.

    Wikis and blogs are similar in that they allow for collaboration and discussion of different topics and issues beyond the classroom walls. Blogs allow students to share their insights, and receive feedback from a community of people. Students can agree or disagree on issues and topics, but the most important factor is that critical thinking is taking place in these debates. Wikis work in the same manner. However, they allow a larger group to collaborate on projects at the same time. Wikis are a way to gather, organize, and summarize an abundance of information in one place, which can also be viewed and commented on by others if desired.

    Another rather new technology to education is video conferencing. In the past, the cost of video conferencing was more than many school systems budget could spare. Recently however, “rapid advances in network infrastructure and bandwidth in our schools have made this approach more feasible than ever (Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. 2012, p.80-81)”. Software such as Skype and FaceTime allows students to interact and collaborate over the Internet or phone, but also provides a visual. This is a very powerful tool in my own classroom because most of my middle school students need a visual in order to conceptualize ideas and concepts. As these technologies become cheaper and affordable, their use will only increase as tools for collaboration in education.




Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Retrieved from   


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011b). Program nine: Connectivism as a learning theory  

      [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from


Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that  

       works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.







About dericow11

Educator, life-long learner....

2 responses to “VoiceThread & Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

  1. I also found the voice thread easy to use and fun. I shared my voice thread with a few of my classes and they seemed very intrigued. I think it would be a great tool for the art room. We could do a cooperative learning experience with a specific artist for each group member, and then share them with the group. The jigsaw strategy would be an excellent choice for this type of lesson. Orey stated the best way to learn content is by teaching it. By doing this, the learner will develop a deeper understanding of the content. This method is powerful because it creates individual responsibility for specific content.

  2. dericow11

    I agree that one of the best ways to learn content is to teach it. I usually have students do this with certain topics that are difficult for many of my students to understand. I usually call these students “experts”, and they seem to lavish in having this title. They are more proud of the title they are given, while I am more excited by the information they are providing to their peers. I can certainly see you using this program in art. I am just wondering if your school or district will have to purchase a certain number of licenses in order for you to have full access or management of the software.

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