Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | February 2, 2009

Vocaroo, Here’s to You

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.

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Responses

  1. Kathy,

    I’m really excited about this find. We are also working on fluency. A few are working on pausing when they come to a period but are having difficulty hearing their own pauses. I can’t wait to do some recording tomorrow. THANKS! sheryl

  2. Thanks for the heads-up about this service. I was able to record a message much in excess of 15 seconds; hopefully you’ll be able to as well.

  3. […] browsing some blog posts this morning I came across a very interesting idea that Kathy Cassidy has for students to practice reading smoothly (reading fluency) and record and learn from listening […]

  4. I used Vocaroo with my students as well and I loved it! After my students wrote their own stories, I thought it would be meaningful for my students to share their work with others by using their voices instead of the other ways we have shared their work in the past. It was easy to use, students were able to listen to their own voices instantly and I was able to upload their voices to our wiki and each students’ blog without any hassles. I have recommended it to others and I will continue to do so.


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