(Since Google Labs’ City Tours was canned, Woices is a great replacement for creating audio stories to coincide with places/video tours.)
Synopsis: To begin, users must login or create a user account. But, don’t worry–it’s free! Since it does not have an education side of the site that helps teachers create multiple student accounts, students will have to create their own accounts (for younger grades, parents or teachers can do it for the students). The overlying concept is that you can create a “walk” around any locations within a city. Then, users can create an audio guide to narrate the walk. The site was taking a long time to load when I used it, so that is something to take into consideration when working with young students (or even older ones).
When you login, you are directed to your “you” page or your home page. Here, you can see your profile as well as all of your audio guides and activities Under your “you” tab, you can adjust your account settings and your privacy. To create a “walk,” simply click on the Create button and select “create a new walk” (if you just wanted to record over an existing walk, you would select the “record a new echo” option. When creating a walk, you will be asked to give it a title and a description. Next, you must select the locations of your story. Finally, you will add the “echoes” or audio recordings for those locations. Therefore, you will need a headset. You can add as many echoes as you want to your “walk.” To create an echo to go with your walk, you must select “record an echo” from the “Create” button. Then, you can return to your walk and drag in the echoes.
When done, students are able to comment on other walks as well.
According to Woices, you are able to:
- Record your own echoes
- Expand the echosphere with you own echoes
- Comment and rate other echoes
- Tag your favorite echoes
- Create walks from your echoes
- Create groups with your peers
- Become an echo star
And, that’s all there is to it!
Integration: With this app, students and teachers can create tours (audio and visual) about locations in any city in the world. Therefore, students can research a specific location (history, art, literature, music, food, etc.) and narrate a walk around the city, telling viewers about the history, art, literature, music, food, etc. of each place in the city that they direct the tour. Students or teachers may also think of an existing journey or pilgrimage and narrate it. If students are researching Columbus’ or Magellan’s voyages, they can map it out and then, record the audio (whatever they have researched about the voyage) to coincide with the tour. This adds a real life application to research.Students can add real places to the stories they tell. Students can even tell their life stories of where they got to where they are now or where they will be going and how they will get there.
You can also “Explore” the “map” to find other walks that others have created and listen to them. This creates a digital community that is bound by sound bites. Teachers can also create groups so the walks can be shared among certain class periods.