Paul Desmarais EdTech 522: Online Teaching for Adult Learners

Collaborative Learning & Online Teaching Tools: Voicethread

By Paul Desmarais

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The online teaching tool I chose to examine is Voicethread, which is a commercial application with a limited free trial version for new users. I chose this tool because it is an incredible powerful tool with the potential to change how users, particularly in arenas where visual collabortion is highly desireable, think about and participate in online critiques and portfolio presentations.

There are other online portfolio software packages. Mahara for one, e-Folio for another; but Maraha and its cousins are more useful for creating a transportable, system independent portfolio of work a user or student will maintain over the course of a career or course of study. Voicethread is designed to be collaborative within the structure of  class, group, or program.

Voicethread is a true Web 2.0 application in that no part of the software resides on the client computer. Access is via log in, and all projects are stores online. There is the option, for paying users, to download the finished Voicethreads as Quicktime movies. A handy feature for archiving and use in a DVD or CD based portfolio.

The target audience for this lesson is a university level documentary photojournalism class. These students a junior level students with at least two photography courses completed in order to enroll.