Meaningful Meanderings

Chris Mark's Blogfolio

Voice Thread – a Great Community Tool July 21, 2010

Out of all the assignments and Web 2.0 tools studied so far in IT 860, I thought this one had the most potential. I had never used Voice Thread before and was not quite sure as to what to expect. Voice Thread is a digital story telling program an article I read referred to it as a “group audio blog”. Voice thread allows users to upload PowerPoint presentation, pictures and videos and narrate this content by adding audio comments or text comments. Others are then invited to the Voice Thread where they can see and hear the content and also add comments through voice, text or doodling on the image. The required assignment involved uploading at least 10 slides from a presentation and adding voice to them through the comment feature. It was quite easy to do. The only problem I had was that my PowerPoint slides lost some of their formatting in the conversion process. Some of my text became larger and some text moved on my slide. I had to keep going back and changing my slide so that it would look right after Voice Thread converted it. Other than this “glitch” it was fine. I did my presentation on a project I did my Organizational Behavior class this summer. I found the narration to go smoothly. It was fun to listen to and read the various comments left my classmates on my slides. It was also interesting to listen to their presentation and leave comments for them. We have a class with very diverse interests. The URL to my Voice Thread is:

 http://voicethread.com/share/1240739

I think there is a lot of potential for educators using this Web 2.0 tool. The Voice Thread site itself has a Library section with many examples of things teachers can do with this technology. Most of the examples were geared toward the K-12 group, but there were a few examples of use in higher education. I am designing my Introduction to Human Resource class to be online in spring of 2011 and could see where I can use Voice Thread. I am trying to come up with ways to make the online class more personal rather than the strict use of a course management system such as Blackboard. Since I won’t be seeing my students face-to-face I want to give them a sense of who I am and share some of the experience I have had in the Human Resource field. This would be a great means to do this. I can narrate a PowerPoint and ask questions and have them comment. I could show a short video and get their reactions to the content. As I design the course I think I can come up with several unique ways to integrate into my class to gain a sense of presence and community. Overall I think this is one the best tools and look forward to using it soon.

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3 Responses to “Voice Thread – a Great Community Tool”

  1. tdedeaux Says:

    I had the same problems with my VoiceThread presentation. Apparently, Madelon avoided those problems by turning her PowerPoint into .jpgs before she uploaded it. I wish I’d thought of that.

    I think your Introduction to Human Resources students will really like the powerpoint-based discussions. I know I’d prefer them to Blackboard anyday.

  2. bh39440 Says:

    Chris,
    I am a fan of VoiceThread but I wish they would allow a larger free account than 3 threads. I need more than this just to make a presentation on the tool during our opening school session for faculty. Oh well, guess I’ll have to dig deep into my budget. I liked your presentation very much.
    Bobby Hinton

  3. Donna Says:

    I also like VoiceThreads. My favorite feature was leaving comments in five ways. Voice adds so much value to slides. I also plan to use VoiceThreads in my classes. Like Bobby, I just wish there were more threads allowed.


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