How I Use It
One of the ways I used it was for an English assignment. Instead of asking my students to write a persuasive essay (how boring!), I asked them to choose a topic for a persuasive essay and then create a Voicethread project to SHOW visuals that support their argument as well as present facts textually, verbally, or with video to support their position. Their classmates were required to respond to an image (or an entire presentation) textually, verbally, or with video to this student’s Voicethread project with thoughtful comments or questions. (At the 7th grade level the students had to be taught how to write a meaningful comment). The author of the Voicethread was then asked to respond to questions or comments made by their classmates.
For those of you familiar with the SAMR model created by Ruben Pentedura, this activity is considered to be on the Modification level. In other words, with this assignment students are forced to think on a higher level. The technology allows students to significantly redesign the original task and get much more learning out of it.
Voicethread is a unique website on which one can create a presentation or a collection of images and then comment on them with text, or narrate information about the images with voice recordings and video. Once these presentations are shared, the viewer may also comment on them, leave feedback, or ask questions. This can create a dialog between the author and the viewer.
A user of Voicethread can also make use of a few more features. Simple line drawings can be made on the images to point out or highlight a certain aspects of the image. Links to videos and websites can be added to the presentation. Your project is only limited by your imagination. It is easy enough to be used by elementary students and can be used in such a complex manner that university staffs and corporate organizations make use of the tool. Families share vacation photos and teachers create collaborative assignments with Voicethread. There is even a Voicethread presentation on ways to use Voicethread. The user can browse other shared presentations to get ideas for their own projects.
There also is a Voicethread app that can be downloaded to mobile devices.
One feature that is very helpful is that the author of the project can choose to share with the world, or only share with certain users. This is a huge advantage for educators that are concerned with privacy issues. This project can also be done by a small group instead of an individual- especially if your school does not have 1:1 devices.