VoiceThread is a cloud based web application that allows users to post media such as a document, slide show, video, or photo collection that can be commented on by a community and then converted into a flash-based animation. Comments can be made by microphone, webcam, text, audio file or telephone. Once the user is finished commenting on the media the VoiceThread is converted into a Flash animation including the original media and the commentary.
In addition to a single user, a VoiceThread can be made by a group of users. Users can write (or doodle) on the media while commenting, can utilize multiple identities, and can choose which comments are shown in the slideshow.
Application to All Courses
The application of VoiceThread will be similar in regular, large enrollment, online and hybrid courses. Although the tool is targeted for online projects, the functions of the tool make it useful in all types of courses. Some of the uses and benefits of VoiceThread include:
- Discuss content asynchronously around images, websites, videos, and more.
- Gauge areas in which students are succeeding or in areas in which they may need remediation.
- Hear the student’s tone and enthusiasm level as well as intonations especially useful for language learning.
- Formatively evaluate student speech and comments.
- Replaces static lecture with interactive lecture that both the instructor and student can participate in in an asynchronous time frame.
- Gains the attention and motivates learners who learn by auditory, visual, and kinesthetic means.
- Encourages collaboration among students and instructors.
- Utilize in language classes for language practice, asynchronous conversations, presentations or speeches, storytelling, reflection, and more. Divide students into small groups or pairs to have asynchronous discussions on a topic or create a presentation on a topic in the foreign language.
- Create interactive assignments in which the students can collaborate on a presentation, timeline, report, or more.
- Create debate topics and assign students to a topic or debate point. Utilize a VoiceThread to debate asynchronously and illustrate points using various media.
- Assign students a new topic or a reading and ask them to create a presentation. Have students respond by posing questions, providing additional information or resources, discussing interesting points, and so on.
- VoiceThread Examples: A list of public VoiceThreads on the VoiceThread home page.
- Instructor and students must register on the website: voicethread.com (registration is free) and create an identity. University of Florida instructors and students can contact e-Learning Support Services for information about registering with VoiceThread.
- Use the media upload interface to upload from Flickr, Facebook, a website, or your personal computer.
- Each VoiceThread commentator will be given a unique identifier (usually a thumbnail image) based on the identity that they created.
- Add comments through microphone, audio file, webcam, mobile device, telephone, or keyboard.
- A “doodling” function allows the commentator to mark directly on the media such as to outline an image, underline text, draw circles, and so on.
- Once a VoiceThread comment is made a link to email or embed will be given to the user which can then be emailed, posted to a discussion board, or embedded in a blog or website.
- If the user chooses the VoiceThread can include the option of public comment allowing the public to view the VoiceThread and comment on it as well.
- VoiceThread: The VoiceThread home page.
- Voicethread Training at UF: List of available training classes.
- VoiceThread: e-Learning Support Services Help page on using VoiceThread
Articles – Journal and Academic
- 7 Things You Should Know About VoiceThread: An article from Educause outlining VoiceThread in higher education.
- Digital Storytelling: Strategies Using VoiceThread: Presentation paper from the “Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2009” on using VoiceThread in digital storytelling.
- Engaging Students in Interactive Online Discussions with VoiceThread (an audio/blogging tool): Presentation paper from the “Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2009” on using VoiceThread to improve interactivity in online discussions.
- Viva VoiceThread: Integrating a Web 2.0 Tool in the Additional Language Classroom: Presentation paper from the “Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2009” on using VoiceThread in the language classroom.
- VoiceThread Scholarly Articles: A list of journal articles and studies related to the use of VoiceThread in language courses.
Articles – Blogs, Websites, Wikis
- Using VoiceThread for Digital Conversations: A detailed wiki on the VoiceThread application including educational uses, how to engage students, and how to use the tools.
- VoiceThread – Group Conversations Around Images, Docs and Video: A presentation from the EdTech wiki on how to utilize VoiceThread as a group communication tool in education.
- VoiceThread Digital Library: A database of articles about successful VoiceThread projects.
- VoiceThread Presentations on Teaching & Learning: A list of VoiceThread presentations on faculty development, teaching and learning, and multimedia.
Keep accessibility in mind as you develop course content and build assignments and assessments. Many online tools are not fully accessible, so it’s important to think about how you will make the assignment accessible if requested. The Disability Resource Center and the UF Accessibility page will guide you in making appropriate accommodations. You can also find out more about accessibility at our toolbox page on Accessibility in the Online Classroom.