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VoiceThread

By Sally Finley - Posted Nov 6, 2013
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Company: VoiceThread; 888-289-1592; website: voicethread.com.

Price: There are free instructor accounts. A Single Educator License is $79 per year or $15 a month, which includes 50 student accounts. Pricing is available for Single Educator, School License, and District/State License by calling 888-289-1592.

Audience: K–12

Format: VoiceThread is a cloud application so there is no software to install. VoiceThread Mobile works on the iPad,
iPhone, and iPod touch.

System Requirements: For a home computer, a browser needs to be able to accept cookies. For a local Network, a list of URLs is provided for network administrators. An up-to-date version of Adobe Flash is needed. It works in any modern web browser and with almost any internet connection. A network connection is necessary. Wi-Fi is recommended.

 

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

 

Description: VoiceThread is a cloud application that enables the user to create, upload, share, and discuss documents, presentations, images, audio files, and videos. Five options (microphone, webcam, text, phone, and audio-file upload) provide a commenting capacity on VoiceThread slides.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: Subscriptions require a username and password. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: A free educator account gives 3 minutes of phone commenting, five VoiceThreads with up to 50 slides each, and unlimited voice and text comments. VoiceThread uses voice, video, or text.

Users can be added using VoiceThread Manager. Each user receives a custom URL.

VoiceThread can be private as a starting point or public for sharing work. It allows the educator to create student accounts with virtual email addresses.

Local networks can be set up to control what students see when they’re browsing from school.

A Digital Library of projects, created using VoiceThread, serves as a resource for ready-made projects in language arts, mathematics, science, and the visual/performing arts. More than 50 different types of media can be used.

VoiceThread can track and monitor use.

A custom homepage provides a dedicated, customizable website for license holders who create a front page for their Voice-
Thread work. This showcase can be viewed right on the page and can only be edited by VoiceThread Administrators, not visitors to the site.

The user can talk, type, and draw on the screen. Images can be added as well as videos from a camera or photo library. A screen reader can be used and videos can be captioned. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: VoiceThread can be used from any computer and web browser. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: A link to an email address provides support. VoiceThread offers a series of guides with specific details on selected topics. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: VoiceThread is an excellent tool for 21st-century teachers who want an application for teaching, collaborating, and learning. Students can create and share conversations around documents, snapshots, diagrams, and videos. I like the fact that student accounts can be created without students having to provide a real email address.

Anyone can join the discussion from a mobile device. Not all learning comes from books; social experiences foster learning too. The interactive feature of VoiceThread allows users to listen and respond to one another. VoiceThread offers social network opportunities and promotes the students’ right to be social.

I like the dual function of Voice-Thread that allows both teachers and students to create their own projects. Teachers can create interactive class presentations while students prepare projects based on their own interests. VoiceThread promotes student independence and the opportunity to practice responsible online behaviors.

A major limitation of the free account, though, is that users cannot share their VoiceThreads on a secure network or delete old Voice-Threads to make room for new ones. A subscription or license might be a more viable option for educators. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer: Sally Finley is an educational consultant based in Coral Springs, Fla. Email: sallyfinley1@yahoo.com.


 
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