Monday, March 5, 2012

Not to Be Missed: What Makes VoiceThread Unique

VoiceThread has features that other online digital story sites are missing. It is a highly collaborate site that invites viewers to post text or audio comments alongside of images that the presenter has entered. In fact, the site can easily be used to enter images created by any and all students in a class or group. In that way, the site encourages collaborative authorship. However, the authorship extends further once the images are uploaded as any guest to a site with permission can edit the presentation and add text or auditory comments. Many have noted the best feature of VoiceThread is the ease of adding auditory comments, creating a soundtrack in effect.

What is a VoiceThread?  Check this introduction video.

Looking for samples of ways VoiceThread has been used in a variety of classrooms, K-12? This wiki, VoiceThread4Education is an excellent source. Samples are sorted by grade level.

VoiceThread is an excellent tool to promote the 4 C’s: Communication, Commenting, Creativity, and Collaboration. I am including a link to access from a wiki a Slide Show (use arrow keys to advance through the show) that outlines these four features and also includes  links to specific VoiceThreads that illustrate each concept.

Once you access the wiki, VoiceThread4Education, note the side links to access VoiceThreads by grade level and to meet other needs.

Here is a list and links to some of the model VoiceThreads you will find on the wiki. In addition, the links will take you to the teacher tips about the VoiceThread, and once there, you can scroll down the page, where you will find links to specific VoiceThreads. Once you open a VoiceThread, go through each screen, clicking on the audio and comment buttons, and then use the arrow key to continue to the next frame in the presentation. Be sure to have speakers on!

The listed VoiceThreads below are categorized by the feature they exemplify: commenting, collaboration, commenting, or creativity, though all VoiceThreads are likely to integrate all four features in some way. Check the wiki, VoiceThread4Education, often for additions, and if you create with your students a model VoiceThread, be sure to add it to the wiki.

Other Examples shared
Thank you to Colette Cassinelli for sharing this excellent information at the June 2011 International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) Conference.


  1. This was a great site to explain digital story telling. I wasn't clear on what it was, but this site gave great examples. I think this is a great tool to catch students attention and keep them interested. My own kids were in the room while I was watching some of them, and they kept running over to see what was going on. They want to watch more!

  2. While I've heard of Voice Thread before, I didn't exactly understand its purpose or function...Now, I can't wait to try it out! I see great potential in using this platform to generate student portfolios (who doesn't love sharing a piece of art/short writing sample and accompanying it with a verbal reflection!) and using it as an opportunity to start conversations among students and parents. How neat would it be to post a photo of a daily classroom activity, and invite parents to comment through text, voice, or video!? I'm thinking the kiddos would LOVE it, and the parents would revel at getting a peak into their children's learning! I, also, watched the first graders talking about their favorite books...what a great way to integrate listening/ speaking and story elements! Brilliant!

  3. I find myself returning to this post again as I contemplate which platform I'd like to select for my final literacy project. My kiddos and I are about to embark on a poetry unit, so I think VoiceThread may be a powerful tool for us to share our poems and illustrations with fellow classmates, parents, and teachers. Again, I appreciate that this application facilitates meaningful conversation which extends learning past the stage of basic production. I'll be exploring additional VoiceThread examples that situate poetry with this tool :)