VoiceThread is a web-based, digital, storytelling application. It is a tool which enables you to create picture or video presentations, to which you can add audible, audiovisual or written comments. It is also possible to add handwritten scribblings (here called doodels) to highlight things in the pictures if applicable. These fades as the presentation goes on, but the fading function can also be turned off.
Once a presentation is published; written, audio or video comments can be left by visitors. This provides an excellent way for teachers to give feedback to students; and of course also for student-to-student feedback. The comment function can also be used to let students present views or knowledge regarding the contents of a specific picture. Example (The Carbon Cycle)
Have a look at this presentation about the planet Saturn by young Jack Brock. Notice how he at the end of the presentation is given written and audial feedback by both his parents and his teachers.
With VoiceThread stories can be created by groups of people and it can also be used as an on-line tool for discussion. It would make an excellent tool for collaboration between school and parent and a very good way of enabling parents to get an insight into their children’s school work.
I can imagine using VoiceThread in language classes for students to create digital presentations; fact or fiction. Though the tool can of course be useful on any occasion where presentations are to be made. What makes it especially interesting for language training is that it, thanks to it’s comment making tool, encourages both communication and collaboration – which is of course what using language is all about.
I feel very excited about using VoiceThread this autumn. I can definitely see myself using it when I do Geography work with year 6, in our work with the continents of the world. I can also imagine myself using it to present assignments to students. This would seem like a very good way of using it, as I can add voice instructions and thereby make instructions audiovisual for students with special needs.
Below are some examples of presentations made with VoiceThread (I have noticed that it sometimes is hard to get back to the blog from the VoiceThread site – two quick double clicks should do it though):
– Voices from around the world
– Story telling (Three Little Pigs). Notice how the comment function is used to narrate characters in the story.
– Book reviews
– History assignment; Vikings travel across the Atlantic
– Handicrafts; Felting
– Biology; Ecosystems
– Maths; Fractions
– Teachers history presentation; Russian Revolution
– Science; Sink or float
– Student presentation; Real life maths
Many more examples to be found here.