VoiceThread is a web 2.0 tool for discussion around media. A VoiceThread consists of a multi-media slide show with images, documents, or videos in the center and offers a platform for viewers to create an avatar and leave comments around the media using voice, text, audio file, or video via a webcam. Even drawing on the media while commenting is supported. What’s a VoiceThread anyway? explains more details.
VoiceThreads are private by default but can be shared by invitation or publicly for viewing and commenting. VoiceThreads can easily be embedded in other websites (except I couldn’t get it to work here).
As a educator you do not need your students to sign up for an account but you can simply create multiple identities for the students which allows you to use this tool for younger students.
Here is how teacher used VoiceThread for illustrated poems with a grade three classroom. In the first comment the student reads his/ her poem and then a public audience comments on their work. This is a great way to engage parents and grandparents or other relatives in their kids’ school work.
I have never used this great tool so far, but want to explore it more. Do you have any ideas on how to?