Best Uses for Educators in 2015

About VoiceThread

VoiceThread - https://voicethread.com

This is an interactive tool that allows users to create their own presentation, which combines audio, video, visual drawing elements, and text. It is a tool that straddles several categories, including creation and innovation. Depending on how it’s used in class, this tool would even provide opportunities for feedback, reflection, and critical thinking.

VoiceThread is akin to PowerPoint presentations, but it allows for substantially easier setup and gives an opportunity for teachers or students to easily incorporate other media as the presentation plays, such as videos or audio files. Teachers (or presenter students) can even record “doodles” or writing on the slides using the comment feature, which can be helpful when trying to call attention to specific elements of photos or text being displayed. VoiceThread also generates a page of the presentation with a unique url that can be accessed from any device.

This is a web 2.0 product that is appropriate for junior high school and high school students. While elementary school students may benefit from the product, they may lack the production ability to comment on “threads” using video or audio. Students should have this access to make the most out of the product, but they may also interact with the thread using text alone.

Check Out My VoiceThread!

I've created a VoiceThread on my experience as a new Teacher Associate with Citizen Schools to better illustrate how audio, video, comments, and real time drawing can be combined for an engaging presentation.

Check it out: http://voicethread.com/share/7073481/

Students would also be able to comment with their own video, audio, or text on each slide.

Pros and Cons


  • This product can make for a more engaging presentation on most topics
  • For “content review” assignments in advance of a class exam, this product can help provide easy to understand and interactive reference materials so students can study more efficiently
  • There are opportunities for students to get involved directly with the content presented and supply their own audio, video, or text commentary
  • Once the teacher becomes proficient, this product can be easily integrated in lessons throughout the semester


  • While creating a presentation is easy, fully utilizing the video, screen drawing, and audio integration takes practice
  • For the best effect, students must have access to a webcam or device to record audio
  • Some students may be too nervous to use audio or video capabilities

Adding Slides to Your VoiceThread

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Potential Applications

VoiceThread can be used for virtually all subject areas that would ever require the use of a PowerPoint or courses that would benefit from additional visual aid to clarify content.

These are just a few examples of the ways teachers and students can use VoiceThread for the best effect:

  • Math teachers can deconstruct complex geometry problems on a screen and take advantage of VoiceThread’s ability to transpose drawings on images in real time, as the presentation is playing
  • Science teachers can demonstrate how chemicals combine, breaking down the step by step process with images, audio, and real time highlighting
  • English teachers can review a piece of literature, deconstructing themes and raising critical questions for viewers – students can comment on slides to add their thoughts or answer prompts provided in the slide
  • History teachers can present information and challenge students to debate the causes that gave rise to the Civil Rights movement by using the comment feature
  • Sports coaches can include play-by-plays of past games for athletes to review, taking advantage of the ability to draw in real time to highlight spots for improvement – students can also leave suggestions on how to improve their performance
  • Students of any subject can increase their command of audio and video creation, while they develop a presentation that lets them share their subject matter knowledge and engage with other students using comments
How to use Voicethread

Review by Cynthia James