My voice represents me. When I record my voice and listen to the audio file, I am given an alternative view of my-self. How I sound to others is not always the way I think I sound. Over the past few weeks I’ve explored the options of adding my voice to digital spaces, not always with the expected results. I am a reluctant writer, but when I read my work aloud, I hear the errors, omissions, or misunderstandings that come from word choice. I am now consistently using this read aloud technique to edit and enhance the self reflection of my writing.
This inquiry into adding voice to the written word started with a blog post titled Faithful Listening by Jonathan Sircy. This article piqued my interest since it was a novel way of ‘reading’ student assignments, evaluating work and looking at personal bias in assessment. I thought about the importance of voice and choice in writing (Six +1 Traits), and the impact reading out loud has for students (World Read Aloud Day).
This led to my first attempt at adding my voice to a blog post (Stories to Bank On), using a snowball microphone and recording with Audacity. I exported the file in mp3 format and then uploaded to Audioboom with the hope of embedding the digital file into my blog post.
My second attempt worked the same way, but this time I also uploaded the audio file to Sound Cloud which allowed me to embed the sound file directly onto my blog post (Agent of Change in Six Feet of Snow). This was a step closer to what I wanted to achieve. Providing a reader with the option of hearing the blog post ensures that reading the written text will no longer be the barrier. Text readers will to the job, but my voice will add the richness of emphasis, pacing, and personalization to the reading experience.
This past week, in the SOOC4Learning course that I am working on, we were asked to look at apps that would extend and enhance how we represent materials for our students. I chose to look at Adobe Voice since I was not aware of the functionalities in this app. I found some examples (see references below) and examined the affordances that Adobe Voice can add to my writing. In this way, I hoped to gain an additional tool to provide voice and choice for my students.
There were several challenges to overcome – writing a script, finding the images to go with the text, recording a fluid and seamless reading of the script, and managing the file once completed. For students with difficulties in oral communication this tool would not be an easy one to use. While Audacity allows for cutting and clipping out errors as material is read, Adobe voice allows for short, brief passages that can be recorded and replaced. Sharing options are limited and downloading the file is not an option.
This experience extended my awareness of another tool available for students to add their voice to their reading and writing. Adobe Voice provides a clear and compelling recording with all the functionality of robust audio recording tools. While Adobe Voice will remain in my digital tool collection, it may not be the ‘go-to’ option when creating personal audio files.
Wylie, Jonathan. (May 8, 2014). The new Adobe voice: Digital storytelling with style. [online blog post] http://jonathanwylie.com/2014/05/08/the-new-adobe-voice-digital-storytelling-with-style/
Cook, Vicki. EDL584. (?) http://voice.adobe.com/v/5VCjtK_9rtF