Here’s another handy Web 2.0 tool to try yourself or with yourstudents: VoiceThread. What is a VoiceThread? It’s a narrated, electronic media album that others can watch and listen to online. To create a VoiceThread, you upload photographs and record an audio narrative to accompany them. Think of it as a digital story-telling application.
In addition to that basic capability, you can insert videos into your album, text commentary, documents, you can doodle on the images you’ve uploaded (John Madden-style), and you can insert images off the web by inserting their urls. This is a very powerful tool and super simpleto use.
When you first visit the site, try their tutorials to get a feel for it. Creating an album is a straightforward few steps of selecting photos, uploading them, and then recording your narration. Most laptops have an internal microphone for recording or you can plug a low-cost microphone into your desktop. Once you’ve created your album, you can share it by emailing the url, embed the VoiceThread in your web page or a blog, or send invitations to people directly from the VoiceThread site. When a friend views your VoiceThread they can leave comments (audio or text).
You can use the free site or you can try the Ed.VoiceThread network – a version of the tool for K-12 educators. Special rates and subscription options allow students and educators to use VoiceThread in a safe, sub-community restricted to just K-12 educators, students andadministrators.
A couple of possible classroom uses: students could use this to create projects/portfolios, multimedia presentations to accompany an experiment or a Science Fair project; teachers could use it to start an online discussion; or a small group could collaboratively share their thoughts on video while watching the VoiceThread. Or maybe a group of students could produce a weekly Science Column (via VoiceThread) for the school’s consumption?