Voyages With VoiceThread - Using VoiceThread in the Classroom

2009 ULearn Presentation

Need to set up a VoiceThread account? Follow the link below for instructions.

Setting Up a VoiceThread Account

Setting Up a Voice Thread Account - Fo...

VoiceThread Features, Tips and Tricks.


A sample VoiceThread.

My son and I created this VoiceThread to show some of the things you can do with a VoiceThread.

Photos you can use to try out VoiceThread.
Click Here

VoiceThread Help Manuals for Educators

Teachers can either choose to sign up for an account through VoiceThread or through ed.VoiceThread. Signing up through VoiceThread requires teachers to create a VoiceThread account first of all. Then when you sign in click the "Go Pro" button and then the "K-12 Educators Click Here" button. You'll need to use your school email address to verify that you are an educator. Once this is done you are entitled to 10GB storage, unlimited VoiceThreads & video comments and access to all the features. Joining ed.VoiceThread gives you all this, plus a little bit more. ed.VoiceThread involves a one off fee of $10.00 US. This then allows you to participate in the K-12 only network and gives you 3 minutes of phone recording time (although that seems to work with US phones only). It also means you can create a class or School account which means the children have their own account and can create their own VoiceThreads. A class account is $60 US for 1 year and a school account is $1 US per user with a minimum of 200 users.

VoiceThread is really easy to use. There are several tutorials available online to help you figure out how to do most things.

You can upload any of the following file types to your VoiceThread: picture files, pdf, Word documents, Powerpoint & video. At this stage you can't embed third party html so things like Glogster can't be embedded directly into your VoiceThread. You can take a screen shot though and simply upload it as a picture file.

You can upload pictures, documents and video from your computer, from Flickr, from Facebook, from, your other VoiceThreads or from a specific URL. You can also set the level of privacy on your VoiceThread - Private, Public with no comments allowed or public with comments allowed. You can also decide whether comment moderation is on or off. Comment moderation means no comments will appear on your VoiceThread until you approve them.

You can also place hyperlinks on each page of your VoiceThread so people can explore other information/links relevant to your VoiceThread.

When it comes to commenting you don't actually need to belong to ed.VoiceThread in order for each child to have their own comment identity. From your main account you simply add identities. You can have as many as you need - just remember they are linked to your account so you might not want to use a different password/account for your own things and create a teacher/class account for school. Either that or you are the only one who can log into the account, but once that's done the kids can manage from there. Having said that, being in charge of logging in means no one logs on away from school to cause mischief.

I get my children to draw their own avatars in Paint (or a similar drawing programme) at the beginning of the year and use these to individualise their identities. Or you could go to an online avatar creator and have them create one there.

You can leave comments in a variety of ways: voice recording, video (using in built or usb video camera), type in text, upload a previously saved audio comment from your desktop, use the pen tool while in record or type modes, or if you're in the US you can leave a comment via your phone.

The pen tool is really quite useful and allows you to write or draw directly onto the VoiceThread while you comment. It appears a a little pencil shaped icon and you can change the pen colour by clicking on the little flower shaped icon that is near the record button. If you click in the middle of the flower shaped icon it stops your drawing from fading away. Your writing/drawing is only visible while your comment is playing so it won't spoil the over all appearance of the VoiceThread.

Make sure you have a good microphone available for children to use. Teach them to speak slowly and clearly and to position themselves so they are close enough to the microphone to be picked up at a good volume, but not so close that their voices crackle and spit.

If you can teach your class to be quiet for recording when a particular signal is given then this makes life a lot easier. Otherwise, you'll need to find a quiet location for children to record or you pick up all the background noise. When we're using the laptops I just have a group at a time work out in the corridor where I can keep an eye on them, while they can record in relative peace and quiet.

You can leave your VoiceThreads at the VoiceThread site and share the link with others, or you can embed it in places such as blogs and wikis.

Examples of VoiceThread From My Class

Ideas For Using VoiceThread in Your Classroom

There are so many possibilities and every time I browse through the ever increasing list of VoiceThreads created by others I find more. Listed below are just some of the ideas I've tried, seen, thought of, heard of,etc. If you can think of any others to add just let me know and I'll add them to the list. This list is really just a start point to jump start your thinking.
  • Gather children's prior knowledge before beginning a new topic/writing genre/Maths unit, etc. Revisit the VoiceThread after the unit is completed and have children add their new thoughts and ideas - instant assessment.
  • Create/make something e.g technology project, toast, art work; and photograph all the steps in the process. Place the photos in a VoiceThread and have the children narrate the steps taken.
  • Have the children plan their VoiceThread in advance. Get them to research their information (if required), write a script and story board their layout. If they can take/draw the pictures then even better! Think about creating video footage and adding that in to. Then put it all together. Great for sharing poems, narratives, plays,scientific reports and explanations, etc.
  • Goal Setting - one page per child (or one VoiceThread per child if you prefer) with their voice recording of their goals for the term. Revisit at the end of term for the children to add how they think they went. Teachers and parents could add their thoughts too. Remember you can control who gets to see it and who gets to comment on it at any time.
  • Use pictures as story starters/poetry prompts/setting ideas, etc. Have the children add their story starters, completed stories, poetry responses, descriptive adjectives, setting descriptions, etc. Take it up a level and have others offer constructive feedback to the authors. Remember the children need to be scaffolded through the appropriate way to give useful feedback.
  • Create a VoiceThread of children's art work. Have the artist explain what they were trying to achieve, why they made the choices they did, what they found easy, hard, etc. Have peers (and the teacher) give constructive feedback about the art work. (Or any other work really it's all up to you).
  • Poetry competition/ speech competition time - video children delivering their presentations (or just upload a photo/drawing if you'd prefer and have them voice record their presentation). Have their peers provide feedback.
  • Set up a real dialogue between children (and parents, teachers, the principal...). Get the children to present their thoughts and opinions about a topic, piece of work, picture, video, etc. Or they could present their research findings for a class project. Or they could post their ideas on how to solve a particular Maths problem. Invite others to ask questions (this could be done through out the VoiceThread or you could create a special "Question Time" page near the end. The child/ren then need to respond to the questions left by their VoiceThread viewers. This could lead to more questions and so on.
  • Try any of these things already mentioned but add in the extra dimension of a buddy class either from your school, nationally or globally.
  • Create a global project where classes from all over the world can contribute e.g. What do you eat for lunch? Describe a day in the life of a 9 year old at your school, etc. There are already some great collaborative VoiceThreads out there. Take a look and see what you can find.
  • Use the pen tool and have the children show how they/their group would go about solving a Maths problem. Record their thought processes at the same time.
  • Create VoiceThreads to practise spelling, basic facts, learning another language, etc. I've seen a really neat VoiceThread where the teacher has recorded the word she wants the children to spell and left a time delay for them to spell it in before it moves on to the next slide showing the correct spelling of the word.

Example of VoiceThreads From Some of Our Collaborative Projects

Presentation from ULearn 08.
Voice Thread
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: voicethread ulearn08)

Links to Other VoiceThread Ideas and Examples

The following slide show was created by Suzie Vesper. Thanks for letting me include it here Suzie.
Voicethread Examples in Education
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: ict k12)

VoiceThread for Education Wiki
The VoiceThread Ning
Allanah King - Bling For Your Blog Adding VoiceThread