Voicethread is a multimedia slide presentation which features the advantage of being collaborative! This free Web 2.0 application allows people from all over the world to be part of a group that shares, creates, and comments by uploading text, images, slideshows, videos and allowing others to comment via text messages, recorded audio either by microphone or telephone, audio file or webcams. Other features include, the ability to use a drawing tool called “doodle” which allows you to highlight as you record comments, the ability to have others comment using multiple identities, the ability to zoom in and out of images and control the viewing pace ( not unlike Prezi), and the ability to download and export to other websites for comments.
Potential uses for Voicethread in the classsroom are as an instructional medium and as an assessment tool. Students often miss classes for prolonged periods of time due to athletics, travel, and illness. This would be a quick way for the instructor to upload key concepts which students can check regardless of where they may be – if they have web access, they can be part of the class. This is also a great way to entice students to do homework by posting the assignment on a Voicethread and allowing them to interact in a thoughtful and focused way. Finally, Voicethread has tremendous potential as a vehicle for students to collaborate as a group or work as individuals to share with the group their understanding of curriculum concepts, thus functioning as an assessment tool.
Grouped with two of my fellow classmates (we three girls, aka “the weird sisters”), we decided to do a quick Voicethread targeted for students as an awareness on bullying. We uploaded Powerpoint slides, and experimented with the comment tools. We even uploaded a video with a culminating activity for the students. To see how Voicethread looks and works, click on the link below – sign in and comment!