Website review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2017

VoiceThread

Easily collaborate and create with voice, video, or image

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 58 reviews
Privacy rating
87%| Pass Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
K–12
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration

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5 images

Pros: Versatility is off the charts; kids can put together multimedia projects that integrate image, voice, text, and much more.

Cons: Bandwidth can be a problem if an entire class is working at the same time.

Bottom Line: A powerful tool for kids to create, collaborate, and share all kinds of multimedia.

With a paid educator license, you can create student accounts, limit access to social media sites, set up a distinct website address for class projects, customize the class page, and more.

Once you or your students choose to create a new project, the site walks you through the process of uploading or importing images and videos. Kids can use the microphone to add in voice, or they can use a phone-in option if they don't have audio recording capabilities. If you have access, a webcam can also be used to add video narration to project pages. At the bottom of the page, you can choose options regarding privacy, sharing, moderating comments, embedding, and more. Parents would love to see their kids' progress on a VoiceThread page, and you can work VoiceThread into nearly any curriculum.

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VoiceThread provides students of all ages a website (and Chrome app) platform to create and share media projects that can incorporate video, image, voice, and even drawings. One of its most valuable assets: allowing for collaboration opportunities as well as audio or video feedback from readers and viewers.

Kids create digital stories by uploading docs, images, and videos and then add commentary in the form of text, audio, or video. VoiceThread supports over 50 types of media, so if kids want to upload a slide presentation or a webcam video, it's easily hosted here. If they choose, students can open their projects to comments from classmates or to all VoiceThread members, creating a community experience with voice. To comment on another's project, kids simply select the Comment button and respond via text, voice recording, or video (yes, even the comments are multimedia!).

It's a natural fit for a range of student presentations and projects, such as explaining research, demonstrating understanding of a math operation, or retelling a story with original artwork. Some teachers use VoiceThread as part of a digital portfolio to track student growth over time. Kids might also enjoy using it as a collaborative creation tool; with the commenting feature, each group member could add his or her own analysis of a document, image, or video. Kids can make their projects public or private, add them to the public gallery, and share a project's unique URL via email. In addition, an embed option allows users to share projects on a classroom website with ease.

Overall Rating

Engagement
Kids can quickly learn how to use VoiceThread for projects, and the ability to add images, text, and voice (in the form of audio or video) is a powerful motivator.
Pedagogy
A great option for teachers seeking to encourage multimedia projects. The variety of communication options (audio, video, text) helps kids engage in multiple forms of expression.
Support
Videos and tutorials help students and teachers learn to use the site and provide teachers guidance on navigating the educator tools.

Common Sense reviewer
Debbie Gorrell Educator

Community Rating

(See all 58 reviews) (58 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Shari M. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
The "thread" that keeps going!
Voice Thread is an excellent tool for both teacher and student and avatars make it fun! Lessons can be prepared in advance with voice over which permits multiple views for clarification or the absent student. It is also an easy way to incorporate art and/or primary sources into lessons. As always, privacy can be a concern.
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Users cannot interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Profile information is not shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
Users can control their information through privacy settings.
Users can create or upload content.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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