I used the “free” version of VoiceThread (VT) in my online course this fall, EDU 261 – Teaching, Learning & Technology, and based on that experience, I will definitely use it again. VoiceThread is a popular Web 2.0 tool used to foster learner engagement and increase instructor and student presence in online and hybrid courses. It is basically an online discussion on steroids, but it can also be used to create presentations and tutorials. Learners can add audio comments, video comments, or text comments to VoiceThread slides.
This is the second time I’ve used VoiceThread in this course. The first time VoiceThread was optional, and I only used it a few times during the course. This time I required students to use it as part of their course participation and discussion grade. I created a Voicethread almost every week to share mini lectures/announcements. Then bi-weekly, I required students’ to comment/respond to questions using VoiceThread in lieu of a traditional text-based discussion.
What I liked about teaching with VoiceThread
- Easy to re-record VoiceThread comments compared to other screencast/video recording tools.
- Flexibility for adding comments (text, audio, or video).
- Opportunity to both see and hear student comments
- Basic license free for students and instructor
- Very few technical issues
How I will use VoiceThread differently next time
- Use VoiceThread for ice breaker instead of threaded discussion
- Purchase license for VoiceThread to fully leverage the technology
- Use VoiceThread for Peer Review Assignment
- Share/post student tech projects
- Include Voice Thread discussion requirements on VT slide
- Require everyone to post at least one video VT comment early in the course
In addition to supporting several of the principles of good practice on the slide included in this post, VoiceThread also supports the following UDL principles:
- presenting content in a variety of formats
- keeping learners motivated by offering choices
- providing multiple means of engagement
I was able to teach the entire course using the FREE version of VoiceThread. The free account is available for anyone who is at least 13 years old and has a valid email address. It allows you to create up to 5 VoiceThreads, comment by microphone and text, and share or embed VoiceThreads via a shared link or embed code.
Register for FREE Voicethread account
- Go to http://voicethread.com
- Click “Register” in the top-right corner of the page.
- Fill out and submit the short form.
- Check your email for the confirmation message, and click on the verification link in this message.
Visit the link below to compare the differences between the Free account and the Single License here.
Give it a try!