Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is Why I Let My Woice Be Heard #edtech

No, there is no typo there.  I meant Woice.  And I'll get to that in just a minute.  But, I want to give you some background about why tonight's post will be about the website Woices.  Earlier today a member of my PLN (and hopefully yours as well), Jason Schrage, A.K.A @oswego98 sent the following question via Twitter: "Hey  - Is there a way to record geo-tagged audio clips while out on an adventure?" Always curious what Jason is up to (he's a very creative outside the box kind of guy), I took a look at @everytrail.  Turns out it's a mobile app that allows you to write guides and review hiking trails you have done. Pretty Cool!  That got me thinking about a similar Web 2.0 app that I had talked about earlier in the year and that seemed to get a lot of people excited.  The problem is I couldn't remember the name of the site.  I searched my social bookmarks, my twitter feed and then my blog (certainly I had posted about it there). Nothing! It was on the tip of my tongue, I could see it's pink page and new it started with a w - but the name escaped me and the site was lost to me forever.  This is why I try to blog whenever I think I find something useful (and why you should too).  I know I can always search and find what I'm looking for because if I've written about it, it's more likely to stay in the memory bank.

Eventually it hit me that there was one last place to look, a Web 2.0 presentation I had given last year at ICE. Bam, there it was Woices, a very simple yet powerful Web 2.0 crowdsourced concept.  On the service it's a mashup between Google Maps and a podcast host.  You are able to record up to 10 minute "echos" using either the web based application or a mobile device (IOS and Android - gotta love anything cross platform) and lay them over a Google map.  But where Woices becomes amazingly powerful is in the ability connect a series of "echos" into a walking tour (e.g., your neighborhood, a tourist destination, the local zoo or museum) or historical events (e.g., maybe your students create podcasts and route Lewis and Clark's travels or battle's of historical significance during the Civil War).  These echos can be listened to on the web or downloaded as MP3s to a listening device.  Best of all, when your done - You can embed the Woices  project into your site, wiki or blog.  The one below is one of my personal favorites.  I'm a huge fan of going to zoos and the 8 minutes of this walk can give me a quick escape without having to leave my house!  I'm actually thinking of trying something similar except for the local golf course (maybe recording tips for each hole).  I must apologize for the parenthesis tonight, sometimes my inner woice just gets the best of me and I need to use them to break my thought process. :-)
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