VoiceThread VoiceThread is an interactive collaboration and sharing tool  that enables users to  add images, documents, and videos, and to which other users can add voice, text, audio file, or video comments. You can post your VoiceThread on your website or save it to an MP3 or DVD. VoiceThread allows those with hearing impairments to collaborate through webcam commenting and sign language.     

What’s VoiceThread quotes Brenda Dyck, moderator of MiddleTalk, a listserv sponsored by the National Middle School Association, who says "teachers and students are using VoiceThread as a storytelling tool, a deep thinking tool, a research tool, an expository communication tool, and even an assessment tool."

VoiceThread provides an educator’s version, which allows for privacy controls. A single educator license is free and class and district memberships are reasonable. You can choose to publish your VoiceThread so that only you and those you designate can view it, so no comments are allowed, or so comments are allowed but moderated by you before being made visible to others. You can choose whether to allow your VoiceThread to be available through public browsing. You can look at examples of how other educators are using VoiceThread on its digital library or browse Ideas for using VoiceThread, a collection of 143 examples from the library.

How to use VoiceThread

25 Interesting Ways* to use VoiceThread in the Classroom (*and tips) is a VoiceThread offering ideas for lessons on problem solving, collaboration on artwork, video discussions, revision/review, playwriting, poetry, and more.

VoiceThread - Group conversations around images, docs and video from edtech Vision describes the steps in creating a VoiceThread:

Step 1 – Pre-plan

Step 2 -- Prepare content

Step 3 – Prepare narration

Step 4 – Upload contents

Step 5 – Add comments

Step 6 – Evaluation/assessment

This site includes resources and a sample VoiceThread to practice your chosen method of commenting. There are suggestions for developing VoiceThreads for literacy development, skills practice, critical commentary or debate, collaborative projects, and showcasing and evaluating work. This site is a companion to the VoiceThread 4 Education wiki where you will find:

  • Samples submitted by teachers of VoiceThread projects made by their students
  • VoiceThreads used in professional development
  • Resources, including other websites that contain VoiceThread examples
  • Best practices--tips and ideas of how to best implement VoiceThread in your curriculum
  • Subject area ideas and examples of those ideas.

    Introduction to Using VoiceThread is a Radford University Educational Technology Tutorial video on YouTube that walks you step by step through creating an account, uploading a thread, and placing comments.  

    You can find more suggestions for implementing VoiceThread in your classroom at VoiceThread for Online Teaching and Learning: practical design strategies and student perspectives, a VoiceThread that looks at formative assessments, student input, and student survey results. You can join in the conversation by following college educator and an advocate for online learning Michelle Pacansky-Brock on her blog, MPB Reflections 21st Century Teaching & Learning. Pacansky-Brock writes, “I discovered VoiceThread and felt elated about the ability to construct online conversations in voice around visual media -- rather than using text to talk about text (which doesn't jive when you're teaching art history). A lot was shifting for me and I was about to embark upon a complete reinvention of my teaching and my students' learning -- first online and then face-to-face.”

    Using VoiceThread for Digital Conversations is an outline from soup to nuts of issues related to using VoiceThread:

    There are also examples of VoiceThreads, sample handouts, dos and don’ts, teacher tips, sources for images, and information on citing images.

    Resources from Temple University’s Using VoiceThread for Media Literacy Education include a tip sheet on getting started and a sample lesson plan called Old Spice Gets “Swagger” - Analyzing Advertising and Masculinity using VoiceThread. It  also links to Seven things you should know about VoiceThread, which describes

    1. What it is
    2. Who is using it
    3. How it works
    4. Why it is significant
    5. The downsides
    6. Where is it going?
    7. What are the implications for teaching and learning?

    Collaboration

    To get an idea of how a single VoiceThread can be used for collaboration and with different media, take a look at the demo on Wiley Coyote. You’ll see varying comments, from adults and children, via video and text, some with sound and “doodling.”

    VoiceThread Extends the Classroom with Interactive Multimedia Albums describes one teacher’s experience on the value of using VoiceThread to extend the classroom and for creating engaging digital discussions. You can link to the classroom handouts and an example of classroom collaboration at Using VoiceThread for Collaborative Thought.

    Using VoiceThread to Give Students a Voice Outside the Classroom discusses the use of VoiceThread as a way for students to interact online through prompts by any means other than text.

    VoiceThread Capturing and Sharing Student Voice With an Online Twist from Education World lists some examples including an art project, a tellecollaborative project on book reports, a self-evaluation, and a study of ancient cities VoiceThread.

    Examples of classroom VoiceThreads

    Patricia Bruder, president of Linchpin Solutions LLC, consults for the Educational Information and Resource Center (EIRC) located at the South Jersey Tech Park at Rowan University, Mullica Hill. EIRC is a public agency specializing in education-related programs and services for teachers, parents, schools, communities, and non-profit organizations throughout New Jersey. Learn more about EIRC at   www.eirc.org or call 856-582-7000. Contact Patricia Bruder at linchpinsolutions@gmail.com .