The technology VoiceThread is a free, online multi-media slideshow that can be used to hold documents, images and videos (VoiceThread, 2009). Using this program is simple. Once a user has uploaded the files that they want to present, he or she can then add comments in a variety of ways including via the use of voice, text, audio and video. When your VoiceThread is complete, you are given the option to share what you have created with friends, family, colleagues and students. They are then given the opportunity to record their own comments, which I believe is one of the best features. In effect, this allows the user to have a group conversation with people from all over the world. This relates directly to Siemens’ theory, as the VoiceThread begins with the individual before developing into a connected support network (Siemens, 2004). VoiceThread allows the creator to have control over whether other users can edit, view or comment on the uploaded slideshow and for this reason it is safe for use in an educational context (Learning Place, 2009)
VoiceThread’s ability to engage students is achieved by encouraging personal expression as well as the opportunity to collaborate with both their peers and teacher – as an educator you can view class collaboration, the feedback that has been given and ensure that appropriate ‘netiquette’ is being adhered to at all times – one of the joys of an interconnected computer program. When experimenting with this technology I decided to create a short digital story that followed my experience of skydiving. In this presentation I included all the pictures, starting with those of me putting my parachute on, right through to those depicting my landing on the beach. Comments were provided throughout about what was happening and my thoughts and feelings at the time. I thought that using VoiceThread for students to create their own digital story would be a very engaging activity and would be very effective in gathering an idea of their thoughts and understandings about a particular theme.
Overall, I found Voicethread to be an exceptional social and educational tool, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. This technology is so simple and offers an engaging, authentic and worthwhile task for students to complete. It is definitely a technology I will endeavour to use in the classroom.
An excellent example of how this technology could be used in education can be found by clicking on the following link: http://voicethread.com/#q.b398089.i2104944
I have also attached some useful links I have come across and would recommend them to anyone who has further queries with this particular technology.
Tutorial - http://www.technogogy.org.uk/voicethread.html
Resource for use of VoiceThread in education -http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/Resources
Bacer, K. (2009). UTILIZING AUDITORY AND VISUAL TOOLS TO ENGAGE THE 21stCENTURY eLEARNER. Citing computer references. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the Digital Age. Citing computer references. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivesm.htm
The State of Queensland (Department of Education and Training) 2009. The Learning Place: VoiceThread Pilot. Citing computer references. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from http://education.qld.gov.au/learningplace/communication/voicethread/about.html
VoiceThread. (2009). VoiceThread. Citing computer references. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from http://voicethread.com/about/