Monday, November 16, 2015

VoiceThread by Heather Linville

VoiceThread is a free interactive collaboration and sharing tool that enables users to add images, documents, videos, and even Power Point slides to which other users can add voice, text, audio files, or video comments. You can post your VoiceThread on your website, save it as an MP3, or use the URL provided to post in D2L. 

The decision to use this particular tool came down to wanting a technology that allowed my students to showcase their In-Depth Country Profile assignment so that their peers could see the presentations and also have the ability to comment.  My students were tasked with researching a country where they might like to some day teach English as a Foreign Language and then creating a slide-like presentation that contained voiceover about that county. I searched for a place for the students to create audio and visual, share with each other, and comment.  That place was VoiceThread. The only stipulation was that the students had to use VoiceThread to build their presentations.  They could create their project using other tools but then had to import that creation into VoiceThread.

What worked best was preparing the students ahead of time for the task. A few weeks before the start of the project, I encouraged the students to create a free VoiceThread account and begin looking at the tutorials provided within the software. This allowed them to explore to the tool and its potential before having to create anything. 

My students enjoyed using this tool and in the process became more aware of image to text to speech balance, annunciation and speed in recording, and a limited file size can be an obstacle. “In my Russian courses we would make multiple language videos for our class that would turn out very nice, and was a fun approach to using the language.  There is even a feature where you can call in to your VoiceThread from your phone. I found that really helpful when the microphone on my old laptop stopped working. The biggest complaint I have is that only one account gets three free videos. Once you want to make a fourth video you either have to pay a fee or start up a whole new account,” Stated Abigail T.

  Here is a VoiceThread student example
Heather Linville

More information about VoiceThread can be found at

Submitted by Dr. Heather Linville, Modern Languages