Thoughts and Resources on Teaching and Learning using VoiceThread

VoiceThread is an annotation tool that allow people to mark up/tag/comment on a video file, image, presentations, word documents, or other types of media. If you want to learn more on how to use VoiceThread check out their demo. VoiceThread comments can be video, audio, text, and the tool includes a doodling tool (a la John Madden for those of you who remember Monday Night Football in the good old days).
Some call VoiceThread a presentation tool. Although that may be true, it offers much more. Generally speaking, it provides an opportunity for discussion/conversations about some artifact (whether it be created by the instructor, one or more of the students, or some third party).
One critical feature of Voice thread, through comments and the doodling tool, is that you can draw people’s attention to important aspects of a piece of media. There are several possible instructional uses of VoiceThread. In my opinion one of the most powerful is to use VoiceThread as a feedback tool. Allow students to post their work and the instructor can use the tool to offer specific feedback. There are limitations, but it is potentially powerful. Additionally, it can be a way to allow students to offer peer feedback. The tool could also be used to train students to provide each other more effective feedback through common judgement sessions, etc.
There are more, but a great source for some really creative ideas is Tom Barrett’s presentation in which he offers “17 Interesting Ways to Use VoiceThread in the Classroom.” These are very creative ideas (but I am not sure why he hasn’t posted these slides on VoiceThread for people to comment on, but maybe I just didn’t know where to look). Michelle Pacansky-Brock also has some good ideas on instructional uses of VoiceThread (see links to her work below). She also created a VoiceThread Educator’s Guide, which is a valuable resource!
Here are some additional resources if you are interesting in reading more:

There are many other video annotation tools (some with some similar features) here are some web-based free tools:

For information on a few other tools (including some desk top applications) see: If you know of other tools, have some other ideas, have used VoiceThread (successfully or otherwise), or just have something you want to say on the subject, please comment below…
(originally posted on my Posterous blog January, 2010)