10 Ways to Use VoiceThread


Looking to rev up discussions and collaboration between students asynchronously?   VoiceThread brings visual and aural elements together in a way that gives learners the feel of a face-to-face discussion.   Well-over 60 universities (and growing!) have incorporated VoiceThread into their curriculum for good reason.

So, what is a VoiceThread?  As explained on their website

“A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to leave comments in 5 ways- using voice (with a mic or phone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam).  Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.  Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities and pick which comments are shown through moderation.  VoiceThreads can even be embedded on websites and exported to MP3 players or DVD’s as archival movies.  With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world.  All with no software to install.”

Click on this image for a video intro by Simply Speaking:

VoiceThread Link

Click for a VoiceThread demo

Here are 10 ways I suggest using VoiceThread in your traditional or online course:

  1. Link to a short video clip.  Students comment, review, & post their thoughts via text, recording using a mic, webcam, audio file, or phone
  2. Use VoiceThread as an icebreaker for students to get to know each other
  3. An activity for a history class would be to have students comment in “character” of someone from the studied text
  4. Teach a language:  import a video in that language and have students comment verbally or write notes in that language
  5. Analyze historical resources
  6. Upload a photo for discussion
  7. Listen to a presentation by a guest speaker (or student).  Students follow at their own pace, browse the presentation, and leave questions for that speaker to answer
  8. Put students into small groups to solve a problem or discuss a project/topic
  9. Use the “doodle” tool to write ideas on the whiteboard and brainstorm an activity
  10. Integrate/embed VoiceThread into your online course

Try it here!  Post  your comments using the various tools such as the webcam, texting, phone, or built-in microphone (you may have to create a free account first): 


VoiceThread exammple

Add your comments to this VoiceThread!

Privacy is a concern for most educators.  VoiceThread addresses those issues here, by stating  “Every VoiceThread begins as completely private. You must choose with whom you wish to share it, whether that is 1 person, 10 people, or with the whole world.”  I found the security of VoiceThread to be much like the security settings of a YouTube video; however, there are more security options with the subscription versions than with the free versions. The links I’ve provided here will give you great ideas for how to use VoiceThread.   If you have used VoiceThread and would like to share your thoughts, please leave a comment!

Links to more VoiceThread ideas:

“What is a VoiceThread”- short intro:
Great web page with several examples of how other educators have used VoiceThread:   
New York Public Library’s use of VoiceThread (click on the 1st Voicethread in upper left):
VoiceThread Blog:  A wealth of information, worth a look to see what’s new with VoiceThread: