How I Use It
When I teach the environment (11th grade Spanish), I have my students spend 2-3 weeks with their cell phone cameras, taking impromptu pictures of things that are either helping or harming the environment. This encourages awareness in the moment, in real life settings. I then have the students upload the pictures to voice thread, with an accompanying story, description, or dialogue about what they saw, how it is helpful/harmful, and what can be done instead. I also used it at a more basic level with my 10th grade students who were asked to critique pieces of art from 4 different styles (hence, the thread aspect).
I found Voicethread easy to use once students were exposed to it. In order for it to be free, there is a 5 slide maximum, after which time you are unable to expand the thread. Some students had trouble uploading the sound clips, while others didn't follow directions and did not make the thread "public" so I would be able to access it. It was my first experience with this site, so I have a list of things to adjust and fix for next year. It was especially useful for visual learners and students who struggle with writing - it gives them an alternative to writing an essay or a story. For foreign language teachers, it's a great way to incorporate more meaningful dialogue and speaking in the target language. Rather than just look at a generic picture and describe it, my students took ownership of the assignment by choosing the pictures that were personal to them and meant something to them.
Most of my students were able to navigate the site easily and enjoyed the alternative way of doing the assignment, so I definitely will use it again. My more advanced students made use of the optional "pen" that can be used to draw arrows and circle things in the picture. I definitely would suggest doing a trial run before using it in the classroom to avoid any frustrating hang-ups, such as forgetting to make the thread available to the teacher. I just wish it were priced more reasonably. :(