VoiceThread communication tool now available to faculty members

August 11, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- VoiceThread, an online communication and presentation tool, is now available for Penn State faculty to incorporate into their courses to enhance student engagement, discussion and collaboration. A University-wide license of the application, which is available free of charge to the Penn State community, has been obtained by Information Technology Services.

The growing movement toward increased collaboration, group interaction and teamwork within higher education classrooms has fostered the need for more engaging technology resources. VoiceThread allows instructors the ability to tap into this trend, since the asynchronous, Web-based tool facilitates communication not only among students within a class, but in different time zones and geographic locations as well. Classroom uses of the application include introducing course content, demonstrating processes, creating team projects, peer review, group discussion, analysis and reflection.

VoiceThread allows users to quickly and easily create a shared multimedia presentation of images, documents and videos. Visitors to the presentation have the ability to comment on the VoiceThread in the form of voice (via microphone), video (via webcam), phone call, audio file, text or drawing tool. The resulting group conversation may be shared with individuals and/or groups for playback and instruction. The application is designed to be user-friendly and require minimal technical ability.

Faculty who wish to learn more about recent updates and classroom uses of VoiceThread, can attend a free "VoiceThread: Overview" workshop at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Registration begins Aug. 15, at http://its.psu.edu/training/. An additional hands-on "Getting Started with VoiceThread" workshop will be offered on Oct. 26. Group training on-demand is available upon request at http://its.psu.edu/training/ondemand/.

For more information on VoiceThread, including support materials, classroom use cases, and how to sign in to the service, visit http://voicethread.psu.edu/.

New users can find several helpful resources in the "Getting Started" portion of the website, including a "Roadmap to Using VoiceThread," "Best Practices" and "Using Groups," which includes a video demonstration. Once faculty have learned the basics of how to use VoiceThread, they can select the "Design Consulting" link to submit a request for consultation with a learning designer.

Last Updated August 11, 2011