A reading of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's "Junkman's Obbligato" taken from his collection "A Coney Island of the Mind"
Above is my first attempt at using VoiceThread as a medium for visually depicting story-telling with images found on Flickr. Admittedly, my "dramatic" reading isn't so great at times, but still. . . Ferlinghetti was amazing. Also, I believe you can see this VoiceThread at this web address.
During the process of arranging this set of images, at first I simply wanted to find pictures focused on the natural beauty in the United States, but as one of my favorite American tourist traps is Carhenge, I had to include more images of American waste. This includes relics of a past not too distant, whose original purpose was that of leisure or practicality, until gradually those things are replaced by new, sometimes inferior, technologies. As autumn begins here in Minnesota, the spirit of the season surely encouraged many of the images here. And the choice of reading Ferlinghetti's work seems to be an apt metaphor for what inspired me to collect this images as one text. This may be the story of us all, leaving past things in the hope of a brighter future. The only problem is that when we decide to leave something behind, we're adding waste to our world.
Considering how I might encourage students to use similar programs in their own writing, or creation of their own digital literature, the first step of creating a model of what's the technology's capabilities is complete. Undoubtedly, this would be a good way for them to enhance autobiographical texts and other creative writing exercises. This could also be used as a way to create a "how to" video, which instructs people how to perform a given task. VoiceThread texts can also be used as an alternative text to other texts the students' write in a class. For instance, they can use VoiceThread as a means of reflecting on previous work that they've done for other classes. Also, the creation of a rubric for such a task would be relatively straight-forward. Expectations might include continuity of ideas; fluid organization; references where applicable; the inclusion of both voice and text functions; and a clear purpose for the text's existence.