Infrastructure

Threaded Discussions

September 10, 2008 1 min read

An online program gives students multiple ways to collaborate and show their work.

The latest hot tech tool for teachers is one that practically screams “project-based learning.”

VoiceThread is a presentation program that allows users to post and share slideshows using a variety of media, including photographs, videos, drawings, or documents, while providing their own audio or text narrative. Another highlight: The application lets other participants—think: students—comment on and interact with slides, using audio, text, and even a doodling tool.

The site has a specific network for educators, called Ed.VoiceThread, that provides a secure environment for students. Through their teachers, students can use VoiceThread to work independently or in collaboration to create or comment on presentations.

Online Presentation Tools

VoiceThread lets users share and comment on slideshows, using a variety of media.

Yackpack is an audio networking service that enables teachers to hold virtual class discussions.

Slideshare provides an environment to create and share slides of images and text.

The company says that teachers are drawn to the program’s adaptability and range. “For teachers, we provide a single tool that can be used for many, many purposes, so they don’t need to use five different applications,” Steve Muth, VoiceThread co-founder, said. “The exact same VoiceThread tool is being used for kindergarten narratives, group book reviews, … language tools, asynchronous mathcasts, and general analysis and discussion.”

Muth added that the company has heard from many special education teachers who say their students enjoy using VoiceThread because it allows them to present their ideas more creatively and clearly than in traditional media.

William Ferriter, a 6th grade social studies teacher in Cary, N.C., recently used VoiceThread to engage his class in a conversation on the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. The students looked at slides of political cartoons on the topic and offered analysis and opinion—and lots of back-and-forth.

“VoiceThread has been nothing short of the most important digital tool that I use in my tech-driven classroom primarily because it provides my students with opportunities to interact in ongoing conversations about school-related content beyond the classroom,” Ferriter said by e-mail.

—Vicki Kriz

A version of this article appeared in the September 10, 2008 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook

Events

School & District Management Live Event Education Week Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Infrastructure 'Big Burden' for Schools Trying to Give Kids Internet Access
A year into the pandemic, millions of students remain without internet because of financial hurdles and logistical difficulties.
5 min read
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework after her virtual school hours while her brother Isias Esquivel sits in front of the computer, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at their residence in Chicago's predominantly Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood.
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework after her virtual school hours while her brother Isias Esquivel sits in front of the computer, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at their residence in Chicago's predominantly Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood.
Shafkat Anowar/AP
Infrastructure Q&A How to Expand Home Internet Connectivity for K-12 Students Over the Long Haul
One Florida district is mapping its region and prioritizing communities with the greatest economic needs for home internet access.
6 min read
This "heat map" generated by GIS technology uses progressively darker colors to illustrate the areas of Palm Beach County with the highest concentrations of families who lack home internet access.
This "heat map" generated by GIS technology uses progressively darker colors to illustrate the areas of Palm Beach County with the highest concentrations of families who lack home internet access.
Courtesy of Donna Goldstein
Infrastructure The Big Pandemic Tech Challenge: Reliable, High-Quality Internet Experiences for All
Simply providing a student with a device and internet connection at home isn’t enough to ensure high-quality online learning.
12 min read
A team of people build a path across the digital divide.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty
Infrastructure Half of Districts Lack Connectivity Needed for Widespread Videoconferencing, Device Usage
Two-thirds of America's public school students attend schools that may not provide enough bandwidth for life after COVID-19.
3 min read
.
iStock/Getty