Intended Audience: All ages, levels, and skills
Technology Skills Required: Beginner
Ease of Use: Easy to navigate; friendly user-interface; short learning curve to create or participate in a Voicethread.
What is Voicethread?
Voicethread, a cloud-based technology tool allowing for “threading,” or ongoing asynchronous conversations in the cloud, enables users to create, collaborate, and share individual or group projects centered around images, presentations, or videos.
Anyone in the world should be able to access Voicethread as it is cloud-based technology. It is user-friendly and allows for easy sharing in groups or with individuals. Individuals can access voicethread.com to create a free account. Organizations, schools, and universities can purchase the product and integrate it with current learning management systems.
Dependable internet, trustworthy headphones, updated Adobe Flash, and a reliable browser such as Chrome or Firefox are necessary for a positive experience with this tool.
Voicethread has created a library of information to assist the user in navigating the tool while including sample video projects and help tutorials.
Practical Use in the Classroom
Voicethread can be used for a variety of lessons or projects in the classroom, including:
- Peer commenting
- Peer evaluations
- Pronunciation activities
- Speaking assignments and assessments of discourse markers
- Discussion or commenting activities using specific language markers
- Mini-presentations or practice presentations
- Oral grammar practice and assessment
By encouraging collaboration both in and out of classroom, Voicethread proves to be a successful tool in enhancing student engagement. While students actively explore course content, negotiate and construct meaning while commenting, and engage in collaborative, meaningful activities, they are focused on guiding their own learning.
If you’d like to know and see more, please check out our presentation from last year’s TESOL E-Village event: Using Voicethread to Enhance Student Engagement at http://tesoltoronto.weebly.com. Additionally, if you’d like to create your own account and begin your “threading” journey, check out www.voicethread.com.
Summer Peixoto is currently a lecturer and language lab coordinator in the Applied English Center at the University of Kansas. Her special interests include designing and teaching curriculum on using technology to enhance classroom materials and promoting technology to meet the needs of 21st century learners.