VoiceThread - Blog http://ed.voicethread.com/ The VoiceThread Blog. Copyright 2014 VoiceThread Thu, 18 Dec 14 07:25:56 -0500 http://ed.voicethread.com/image/voicethread_rss.gif VoiceThread http://ed.voicethread.com/ Announcing VoiceThread Mobile 2011-10-20 12:45:49 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20111020/ The VT team is proud to announce VoiceThread Mobile! The App is now available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Developing a mobile app was something our users have been asking about for quite a while, and after nearly a year of development, we are happy to deliver on that promise. Did we mention it's free to download?

VoiceThread Mobile is integrated seamlessly with the flash-based web application you've come to know and love, and the versatility and simplicity you expect is now mobile and touch-driven. Create and collaborate with anyone you choose; anytime, anywhere, now with even greater flexibility in how you collaborate outside of the classroom or boardroom.

For existing accounts, sign-in using the same credentials as you do online - the App is a free add-on to your current subscription! For new users, creating a new account is simple and free. Within minutes, discover the intuitive and flexible uses of this "equal-participation" collaboration platform. We even have a designated Mobile support area to help with any questions.

Improvements and enhancements planned for updates in the near future will bring VoiceThread Mobile even closer to the experience you've come to love, but it's truly inspiring to see what people are already saying!

Download the VoiceThread mobile app from the Apple App Store and leave a review. We look forward to hearing your feedback!

Read about other features of VoiceThread Mobile and things people have said about the App below.

posted on October 20th, 2011 by Katie ]]>
VoiceThread Impacts Teaching and Learning 2011-09-13 14:51:01 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110913/ We're very excited to join Deb Frazier, an elementary-school educator, as she shares her experience and best practices in her first of a series of posts around VoiceThread. She says, "…VoiceThread has been an amazing tool in our classroom; extending classroom walls, time and learning!"

Her first entry addresses online identities:

Step One ~ Create Student Avatars
To teach the importance of computer safety we do not link picture with name.

Read more of her post.

Deb describes herself in 160 characters as "...Mom, wife, educator, children's book lover, learner, curious about authentic tech in the classroom… [and a] new member of the blogging community, Primary Perspective."

Follow Deb at her Blog or on Twitter: @frazierde

posted on September 13th, 2011 by Ben ]]>
VoiceThread Changes The Way Educators Teach 2011-08-16 15:27:15 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110816/ One teacher's VoiceThead Ah-Ha moment:
Brad Wilson, @Dreambition, describes why VoiceThread is valuable in education today.

Despite the ever-changing web and world, a growing PLN, new ways to connect and share ideas available every single day... one thing has remained constant:

VoiceThread is the highest quality, most dynamic and empowering web tool available to teachers and students for learning projects. (In My Opinion) And I have tried everything.

I decided that all the students in my district (and everywhere) deserve a chance to be this engaged. They deserve to become the teachers and to practice 21st Century skills. That belief fueled my energy to write a district-wide grant for VoiceThread access and to give presentations at three conferences (including MACUL) encouraging its adoption. The grant was approved in the spring of 2010 by our local Educational Foundation, so last school year was the first full year with VoiceThread accounts for every teacher and every 3rd-12th grade student.

Click here to read the entire post.

posted on August 16th, 2011 by Katie ]]>
VoiceThread Mobile for Apple® iDevices 2011-07-05 14:58:42 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110705/ VoiceThread bridges the gap between real-time discussions and static multi-media slideshows, making it the platform for on-demand teaching, learning, training, and collaborating. We are working with the lofty goal of true accessibility so that any "door" used to access VoiceThread is equally effective for your means of participation.

"We want to serve the needs of a person with dyslexia or ADHD, an outdoor classroom with mobile devices, a user in the developing world without high-speed internet, a kindergartner, or an elderly lifelong learner." (Read more)

With that goal in mind, we'll be releasing a Mobile App this fall for the iPad®/iPhone®/iPod touch® that will provide the same experience of creating and collaborating around your content on your Mobile device that you would experience in the web-based application... and we're pretty excited about that!

Take a look, and tell us what you think.

posted on July 5th, 2011 by Sadie ]]>
Congratulations to the winning VoiceThread teams from Hawaii’s Department of Education! 2011-05-11 10:47:03 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110511/ The Hawaii Department of Education Statewide VoiceThread initiative recently ran an engagement contest/campaign soliciting VoiceThreads from their participating schools. VoiceThreads were submitted by teams of three from two divisions: Elementary and Secondary-Ed. Finalists were selected by a panel of judges from HIDOE, and then friends and family members were invited to vote.

See all of the finalists at: http://hawaiivln.k12.hi.us/vt/winners.html

Elementary Winner: Bully Free Zone from Hale Kula Elementary

Secondary Winner: Child Abuse from Kapaa High School

posted on May 11th, 2011 by Katie ]]>
\"VoiceThread Commenting\" Assignment for Moodle 2.0 2011-04-13 15:57:48 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110413/ The Moodle "VoiceThread Commenting" Assignment is a new assignment type within Moodle 2.0 that allows instructors to host a discussion with students on a particular VoiceThread, all within the Moodle interface. Instructors can assign students to make and submit a comment (or multiple comments) for the instructor to grade using the standard Moodle gradebook interface.

For more information, please visit LMS Integration.

posted on April 13th, 2011 by Ben Pritchett ]]>
VoiceThread Universal and Section 508 Accessibility 2011-04-05 00:34:24 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110405/ VoiceThread Universal is an accessibility project that our team has been working on and we're very excited to release the public beta. VoiceThread has been an accessibility aid for many users and many communities of users, but it has always had a major weakness; it did not work with screen-readers, so vision-impaired users had a hard time participating in these conversations. We're now introducing a version of the VoiceThread application that is specifically designed to not only work well with screen-readers but, much more importantly, work well for the people who use screen-readers.

Many websites and online tools use an "add on" to gain compatibility with screen-readers, simply allowing the page and its elements to be read aloud. This means that screen-reader users must listen to volumes of useless information before they can navigate and participate in the space. VoiceThread Universal is a version of the the VoiceThread application designed specifically to be beautiful to the ear with navigation, instructions, and tasks are stripped of superfluous elements, whether visual or textual. Concise, clear, and efficient is the goal for the experience. Read more about our thoughts on Accessibility.

In the coming months we'll be gathering feedback as we build improvements. Please help us out by adding your criticisms and suggestions on this Forum post, or by emailing them to accessibility at voicethread.com.

posted on April 5th, 2011 by Steve ]]>
VoiceThread Repository for Moodle 2.0 2011-03-27 23:15:15 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110327/ We have finished our new Moodle module for repository support. The Moodle Repository module allows easy access to VoiceThreads to post on your Moodle site. A listing of created VoiceThreads will appear in the Moodle file picker, and a link will be created for your selected VoiceThread.

This module is useful for obtaining links to your VoiceThreads, and it is planned to be integrated into current and future Moodle modules from VoiceThread.

For more information, please visit LMS Integration.

posted on March 27th, 2011 by Ben Pritchett ]]>
M/5 Commenting: Simple Powerful Presence 2011-02-16 18:24:44 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110216/ A new version of VoiceThread now allows people to browse entire collections of media while making a single unbroken comment. These new M/5 Comments feel a bit like screencast only they're much smaller in file size, and more importantly, they are delivered to your audience in a richly interactive space. This powerful new feature requires neither instruction or training. You are simply free to navigate from image > video > to document > to presentation slide > or any of 50 different media types without breaking your narrative comment. Watch the following 2-minute video showing how this new feature works.

posted on February 16th, 2011 by Steve ]]>
Updated Modules for Moodle 2.0 2011-01-31 12:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110131/ We have updated our Moodle Embed, Assignment, and Authentication modules for compatibility with Moodle 2.0. The Moodle Embed and Authentication modules are also compatible with 1.9; however, the Assignment module should be chosen that corresponds to the version of Moodle you are running (1.9 or 2.0).

To learn more, please visit our LMS Integration support page.

posted on January 31st, 2011 by Ben ]]>
Authentication Integration Choices 2011-01-23 12:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2011/20110123/ A common question for new VoiceThread schools, districts, colleges and universities is "How should we do authentication integration"? There are often many options, with their own pluses and minuses.

Let's start with the easy decision: If you have Shibboleth in production, particularly if you already are federated with inCommon, you should do Shibboleth SSO. It's a tool built for the purpose, and it offers a very secure platform with a great deal of flexibility. Even if you only have a subscription for part of your organization, Shibboleth is an option as long as membership in that part of your organization is visible as a Shibboleth attribute.

If you do not have Shibboleth, then the question becomes more complex. If you have Moodle and all users have access, Moodle SSO can be a good route, particularly if you want to drive more students and and teachers to use Moodle. For Moodle, the scope of the Moodle instance (school-wide, district-wide, etc) must match the VoiceThread subscription. If Moodle usage isn't universal and is unlikely to become universal, LDAP (Active Directory, eDirectory, OpenDirectory, rfc2307, etc) is also a good option. Like Moodle and Shibboleth, we support LDAP over a secure transport (SSL), and have a great deal of flexibility on attribute mappings. For LDAP, we can restrict access based on groups or OUs, for subscriptions that don't encompass the entire organization.

VoiceThread also has a built-in internal authentication system, which you can manage by uploading CSV files containing user data. For many smaller organizations, or organizations without any one central authentication system, this can be an excellent option.

Finally, we have an external authentication system where you can write your own Single-Sign-On tool. This is cross platform (sample code is all in PHP), and provides an option for schools with unusual / non-standard systems that don't want to do CSV uploads.

posted on January 23rd, 2011 by Simon ]]>
Penn State University & VoiceThread 2010-12-18 01:18:05 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20101218/ Penn State University (PSU) has integrated a customized version of VoiceThread's communication platform in an effort to provide a seamless collaborative environment for its staff and students. PSU user accounts are automatically authenticated into the platform, providing instant access to VoiceThread.

The integration was developed in close partnership with PSU's Educational Technology Services group, whose white paper and support portal provide remarkably clear and helpful guidance for new student and faculty users.

We would like to sincerely thank PSU's ETS group for their hard work and high standards, which will ensure an excellent experience for their community of users.

posted on December 18th, 2010 by Steve ]]>
Upload improvements - complex PDFs 2010-12-03 13:27:20 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20101203/ We have made recently made some improvements to our upload process, to accommodate PDF uploads with more than 65,536 individual shapes in a single PDF. This is primarily caused by how PowerPoint renders high complexity backgrounds (i.e. complex patterns instead of a simple color or a bitmap / picture). We still recommend simple backgrounds for the best user experience, especially since extremely complex PDFs can still take 20-30 seconds per page to process.

posted on December 3rd, 2010 by Simon ]]>
VoiceThread Status 2010-11-08 14:18:04 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20101108/ We have a new twitter feed, twitter.com/voicethreadIT. This is solely for system status information, and we will use this to announce any maintenance or issues that result in user-visible slowdowns or downtime. As always, we have highly redundant infrastructure and strive for zero downtime, but there are occasionally changes needed for long-term stability, performance and growth that result in brief outages or slowdowns.

posted on November 8th, 2010 by Simon ]]>
Moodle Integration Resources 2010-10-13 01:31:38 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20101013/ All of the documentation for our Moodle LMS integration modules is now online. Please go to the LMS Integration About page for more information. Take a look at the embedding, assignment and authentication modules, and see what they can do for your organization!

Please note that we only support Moodle 1.9.x at this time; we do plan to port to Moodle 2.0 once it has been released.

posted on October 13th, 2010 by Simon ]]>
Edutopia Back-to-School Guide, Digital Library additions 2010-09-28 15:47:18 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20100928/ VoiceThread is proud to be featured in Edutopia's "Back-to-School Guide: Jump Start Learning With New Media" for the 2010-2011 school year (download it here). This is a fantastic guide to learn how to incorporate new media tools into your teaching.

Some wonderful articles have recently been added to the VoiceThread Digital Library that highlight VoiceThread's effectiveness in various teaching and learning settings. The library is a great resource for educators using VoiceThread. It provides the opportunity to get ideas, share successful VoiceThread projects, and get the most out of VoiceThread as a learning tool!

VoiceThread continues to be used in ways that both impress and inspire us here on the VoiceThread team. We want to thank everyone who has contributed to VoiceThread's Digital Library and urge anyone else who has a VoiceThread they'd like to contribute, to please do so.

Here are a few of the new articles to the Digital Library:

posted on September 28th, 2010 by Andrew ]]>
InCommon 2010-09-13 11:18:54 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20100913/ VoiceThread is now a member of the InCommon Federation. This greatly simplifies Shibboleth authentication integration with colleges and universities already members of InCommon, which includes the majority of Research-I Universities in the United States. This should allow for faster deployments for Shibboleth authentication, with much less work on the University / Identity Provider's end. Thanks to Penn State University for sponsoring our InCommon application.

posted on September 13th, 2010 by Simon ]]>
Moodle \"Create a Thread\" Assignment Module Beta 2010-08-06 13:10:33 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20100806/ We are pleased to announce that we are now in open beta with our first Moodle assignment module. This module provides a clean, easy to use student and teacher interfaces for submitting, viewing and grading a VoiceThread. The module is compatible with Moodle 1.9.x and requires either our Embedding or Authentication Moodle modules for configuration support. For the duration of the beta, we only support one Moodle instance with one VoiceThread Manager account.

This module only works with accounts that have VoiceThread Manager (Business Manager, Higher Ed Manager, College, School, District, etc); also, the VoiceThread account must match the scope of the Moodle instance. For example, a departmental subscription cannot use this module with a University-wide Moodle instance. If you would like to join our beta program, please contact us.

posted on August 6th, 2010 by Simon ]]>
Authentication Integration 2010-08-05 16:36:53 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20100805/ For larger accounts (districts, universities, etc), VoiceThread can integrate with your own authentication or Single Sign On (SSO) system, including using Moodle as a Single Sign On provider. We support Microsoft's Active Directory, most LDAP implementations, and several standard SSO products, as well as Moodle 1.9.x with our VoiceThread SSO block. Whether or not VoiceThread uses your authentication, all user content is still stored on our servers, and all user interaction (other than login, if using SSO) is still with our servers.

To help ensure the security of your users' data, we do have some specific requirements for LDAP, AD or SSO integration. If you would like to discuss authentication integration for your organization, please contact us!

posted on August 5th, 2010 by Simon ]]>
VoiceThread Accelerator 2010-05-25 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20100525/ The VoiceThread Accelerator is a high performance content distribution and caching appliance that can provide a tremendous improvement in VoiceThread performance for certain network configurations. In particular, if you have excellent connectivity within your organization, but limited downstream bandwidth from the Internet at large, the Accelerator might be a good fit for your organization. Pricing depends on the number of bundled accounts; please contact us for more information.

posted on May 25th, 2010 by Simon ]]>
Document Conversion Upgrade 2010-03-29 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20100329/ We have upgraded some of the software involved in Office type document conversion. You should see smoother imports of Office 2007 format files in particular. Note that this only affects freshly uploaded files; if your PowerPoint slides weren't perfectly pointy, you will need to re-upload them. As always, we recommend you keep Office documents simple for the best VoiceThread experience.

posted on March 29th, 2010 by David ]]>
New Comment Email Notifications 2010-03-24 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20100324/ You spoke, and we listened. One of our most requested features was the desire to be notified when comments are left on one of your VoiceThreads, without having to actually check VoiceThread (we all already have enough things to check).

One thing people do check regularly is email. So, we decided to create an email notification system that sends a "Daily Digest" version of all of the comments on your VoiceThreads, from the last day. With a quick visit to your My Account page, you'll see a new menu item called, Notifications. From here you can quickly turn off and on these daily new comment email notifications.

We are planning to do more with notifications - perhaps more control on when you are notified, perhaps notified in ways other than email. This feature was largely driven by the excellent feedback we've received, so please continue to speak to us.

posted on March 24th, 2010 by Andrew ]]>
Moodle Integration 2010-03-19 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2010/20100319/ As many of you are aware, we have a Moodle embedding module. We're now looking to kick our Moodle integration up a notch, and need your feedback! What are the top three things you would like VoiceThread and Moodle to be able to do together? We're already looking at ideas from assignment modules to single sign-on, and need your feedback! Please send us your thoughts.

posted on March 19th, 2010 by Simon ]]>
Flickr Creative Commons, Comment Reordering 2009-09-11 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2009/20090911/ As part of the new Media Browser, we've rebuilt our Flickr import feature to make it much faster and most importantly to enable the search and import of images with a Creative Commons License. As with the images from the New York Public Library, we will automatically insert a link back to the original web address of the image. We hope this makes gathering content faster and easier.

Our most requested feature of the last year is now live and ready for beta-testing. If you are the creator or editor of a VoiceThread you can now reorder the comments by moving your mouse over any comment segment on the timeline beneath the VoiceThread. Just hold down the shift key while over the timeline and then click-drag to move a comment segment to another position. This long-overdue feature will allow you much greater control over the quality of your conversations. We'll be adding more advanced elements soon, so please let us know what you think.

Finally, please continue to share your great work in our VoiceThread Library. The submissions continue to impress as well as educate others on best practices when using VoiceThread. Thanks so much for all of your help developing and sharing them.

posted on September 11th, 2009 by Steve ]]>
New York Public Library and Learning Modules 2009-08-27 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2009/20090827/ We're very happy to announce that over 700,000 historical images from The New York Public Library's Digital Gallery are now freely and instantly available whenever you're creating a VoiceThread. Our new Media Browser (located in the Upload menu when creating or editing a VoiceThread) allows you to search or browse these primary source materials - maps, photos, drawings, paintings, posters and more, and then import them directly into any VoiceThread. Links back to the original location of the images on the web are automatically inserted to make citing and attribution easier for you and your students.

We've also created a unique VoiceThread portal at nypl.voicethread.com where you can find and make copies of VoiceThreads created by the amazing staff of the New York Public Library. These Learning Modules include expert commentary explaining the background of the images and provide a starting point for further exploration and use of these source materials in the classroom.

Learning Modules

A few months ago we added the ability for you make copies of your own VoiceThreads and now you can let others make a copy as well. This major new feature allows something we've wanted for a long time, the development of private and public libraries containing reusable VoiceThread Learning Modules. So, if you've created a great VoiceThread that was successful for you, please share it with the community publicly, or just with those in your organization, company, district, or university. When you are editing your VoiceThread just click 'Playback Options' in the bottom left of the screen and then check the box 'Allow others to Make a Copy'.

posted on August 27th, 2009 by Steve ]]>
Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2009-07-27 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2009/20090727/ VoiceThread has been recognized by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) as one of The Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, a list of 'tools and resources of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning.' We're very honored to be recognized by this organization and community, and fully support the vision they've set forth in the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. If you're looking for the language to describe the proper role of technology in education, you can find it within this great document.

posted on July 27th, 2009 by Steve ]]>
The Power of the Human Voice 2009-07-07 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2009/20090707/ This video from SECC, details an amazing VoiceThread project created by Gail Desler, Halerin Ferrier, and 4th grade students from Prairie Elementary School. Letters from the Internment Camps brings elements of historical research, ethics, art, self-reflection, writing, speaking, and collaboration, all together in a VoiceThread. The result is truly remarkable.

We'd really like to see this project emulated in classrooms everywhere. Exploring and documenting local history provides numerous dividends to the students and the community alike. There is no place in the world without a history and it is often within walking distance of a classroom.

Also, at the recent Sloan-C Symposium for Emerging Technologies a presentation given by Michelle Pacansky-Brock explored what it takes to engage modern learners online. Using specific examples she compares first generation collaborative environments like BlackBoard's textual based discussion boards to current multi-modal collaborative platforms like VoiceThread. The examples in the video are extremely instructive as they point out the specific qualities needed to construct and maintain a productive community oriented learning environment (a great online classroom).

posted on July 7th, 2009 by Andrew ]]>
The Horizon Report 2009-05-03 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2009/20090503/ The recently published Horizon Report 2009 K12 Edition published by the New Media Consortium refers to VoiceThread as one of the emerging technologies "likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, research, or creative expression within education", with a 'time-to-adoption' horizon of one year or less. The report includes a well-written overview and analysis of collaborative environments that highlights many of our current goals for VoiceThread in education. Here's a short excerpt:

"Traditionally, a learning environment has been a physical space, but the idea of what constitutes a learning environment is changing. The "spaces" where students learn are becoming more community-driven, interdisciplinary, and supported by technologies that engage virtual communication and collaboration. This changing concept of the learning environment has clear implications for schools, where learning is the key focus of the space."

We highly recommend reading the full report as it lays out a clear view of the the future for emerging technologies in education. Download a full copy of the Horizon Report 2009 K12 Edition.

posted on May 3rd, 2009 by Steve ]]>
VoiceThread Digital Library 2009-04-28 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2009/20090428/ Today, we're pleased to announce the opening of the VoiceThread Digital Library.

The Digital Library is a database of articles about successful VoiceThread projects. Our hope is to create a resource that offers guidance and inspiration for people looking to undertake new projects using VoiceThread. Within each article is a detailed exploration of how these projects were created and what lessons were learned, because success can be replicated if it's documented. We encourage you to share your VoiceThreads with the community and as this resource grows we'll be adding categories and a search function to help you find relevant projects.

Here's a couple articles already in the Digital Library:

posted on April 28th, 2009 by Andrew ]]>
VoiceThread Effects On Learning 2009-04-08 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2009/20090408/ Michelle Pacansky-Brock, an Art History Professor at Sierra College, recently completed a thorough assessment of the effects of VoiceThread on the learning experiences of her online students. She will be showcasing these results in presentations at several upcoming venues including MoblEd in Pasadena on April 23 and 24, the Online Teaching Conference in Aptos on June 11 and 12, the Sloan-C Symposium on Emerging Technologies in San Francisco on June 17-19. Michelle is the recipient of the 2007 Sloan-C Excellence in Online Teaching Award and the NISOD Award for Teaching Excellence.

Michelle gives us a glimpse into her findings in her blog post titled "VoiceThreads of Inclusivity". Here's an excerpt:

"A total of 101 students were surveyed and 87 responded (an 88% response rate). Out of those who responded, 70% of the students either strongly agreed or agreed that the use of VoiceThread contributed to establishing a sense of community in this class. Community is an important element in fostering a student's motivation to continue with an online class, as online learners continually struggle with feelings of isolation as they go about their learning experience physically isolated from their classmates and instructor." (Read more...)

Michelle was also interviewed by Russ Barneveld and Barbara Lebeau, professors from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. They spent time discussing how VoiceThread (from Michelle) "has transformed my online teaching". Listen to the interview.

posted on April 8th, 2009 by Andrew ]]>
Easy Moodle Embedding 2009-02-20 05:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2009/20090220/ We have a new feature: easy Moodle embedding. This is not actually a VoiceThread plugin, it's a Moodle filter plugin. We are releasing the code to this plugin under the same license as Moodle, which means it is open source. Once the plugin is installed and configured, all you have to do is say [[vt:409]] (for full size) or [[vtsmall:409]] (for small) to embed thread 409 into a Moodle page, resource, etc.

Please see the README.txt file for installation instructions, or just download the plugin in Zip Format or Tgz Format.

We do have additional LMS integration on our roadmap; this is just another step towards making VoiceThread even more useful in the digital classroom.

posted on February 20th, 2009 by Simon ]]>
Copying VoiceThreads, iPod exports 2008-12-02 05:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2008/20081202/ We've added a couple exciting new features to VoiceThread.

Copying/Cloning your VoiceThreads

We've had a lot of requests for the ability to copy an existing VoiceThread so that it can be reused with a different group of people or to just create a backup copy. Beginning today you have that ability right on your MyVoice page (in the gear menu), just click 'Make a Copy' - and a menu opens for you to title, describe, and choose the comments you'd like to include in the new version. With the ability to copy your existing VoiceThreads it now makes sense for you spend a lot of time and energy creating the highest quality VoiceThreads possible, as you can use them again and again.

iPod/iPhone compatible Exports

You can now easily bring your collaborative VoiceThread with you for on-the-go viewing and presenting. When exporting a VoiceThread, you now have the choice to either download a full sized high resolution archival movie version, or one that has been formatted to go directly onto your iPod or iPhone, or both!

Microsoft Office 2007 file compatibility

We now fully support Microsoft Office 2007 file formats when uploading into your VoiceThreads. Microsoft Photo Story 3 video support coming soon.

We've made quite a few interface tweaks as well, all in an effort to make VoiceThread and it's features easier to use and understand. We appreciate all the feedback we've received, it definitely helps direct our development, as we look to further improve VoiceThread. Thank you and please keep it coming! We've got more on the way.

posted on December 2nd, 2008 by Andrew ]]>
More languages for text comments 2008-09-22 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2008/20080922/ We are pleased to announce that we've added support for more languages when text commenting, one of our most requested features. Text commenting now supports the Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic and Hebrew scripts. We'll be also adding support for Asian languages soon. Please keep the great feedback coming in and enjoy!

Update - October 8th 2008: It appears that text commenting in Asian languages is also now working, just as long as you have the fonts installed on your computer. We are looking forward to extending this type of character support for more portions of VoiceThread soon. Until then, happy multi-language text commenting!

posted on September 22nd, 2008 by Andrew ]]>
Integration: VoiceThread at UNC 2008-09-15 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2008/20080915/ The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) has integrated a customized version of VoiceThread's communication platform in an effort to provide a seamless collaborative environment for it's staff and students. UNC user accounts are automatically authenticated into the platform, providing instant access to VoiceThread. The interface of the collaborative environment also has been built to reflect UNC's colors and design.

Developed for UNC's ITS Teaching and Learning group, these custom services are now available to any university or organization. Please read more about them on our Business and Higher Ed Solutions pages.

We would like to sincerely thank the Teaching and Learning group, including Kathy Kyzer, Suzanne Cadwell, and Bob Henshaw. Your guidance in the development of these services has been invaluable.

posted on September 15th, 2008 by Andrew ]]>
NECC 2008, techLEARNING testimonial 2008-07-15 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2008/20080715/ VoiceThread's first NECC conference was a big success and we'd like to thank all the people who helped make that happen. Our VoiceThreaders seemed to be everywhere, giving some amazing presentations, some formally scheduled and others seemingly from the tops of soapboxes.

As we stood in our booth we were presented with a steady stream of educators who would start by saying "I just saw this fantastic presentation by [Wes Fryer, Kevin Jarrett, Jodi Meacher, or 'those MathCast people' and many, many more] and now I have a few questions for you." We didn't have t-shirts or any other gifts for our VoiceThread Corps (perhaps fine chocolates next year?) so I just want give a sincere thanks, we really couldn't have succeeded without you.

Cheryl Oakes shares a VoiceThread testimonial on her techLEARNING blog post (excerpt) titled "Assistive Technology goes Mainstream!":

"I met an occupational therapist recently who explained how a student of hers began using VoiceThread for her school projects. This may not seem remarkable until you learn that the student, although able, would not speak in the classroom. Once VoiceThread was added as a tool in the classroom toolkit, the student was empowered to make changes with much peer support. The student recorded her school projects in VoiceThread, her peers were thrilled to hear her voice. Make change happen for your students in need of these tools." (Read more...)
posted on July 15th, 2008 by The VoiceThread Team ]]>
VoiceThread partners with LPGA 2008-06-18 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2008/20080618/ VoiceThread has recently partnered with the Ladies' Professional Golf Association (LPGA) on their just launched LPGA Fanbook feature. LPGA Fanbook allows fans to ask players questions and have the players respond directly to them, all using VoiceThread technology.

From LPGA.com: "LPGA.com has launched its newest feature LPGA FanBook which allows you to ask your favorite players questions through audio or video. Players will then respond to your questions via video or audio. All you need to record an audio message is a telephone and if you want to record video then you can use a webcam or other video recording device."

posted on June 18th, 2008 by Andrew ]]>
VoiceThread = Webware 100 winner! 2008-04-22 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2008/20080422/ We are very happy to announce that VoiceThread has received a 2008 Webware 100 award from Webware, a CNET site. We'd like to thank our users for their support and votes! The 2008 Webware 100 awards recognize the best Web 2.0. sites, services and applications. The Web 2.0 user community cast nearly two million votes in an online voting poll that ultimately selected the winners. Finalists for the 2008 Webware 100 Awards were selected by the editors of Webware.

We've done some rigorous back of the napkin math calculations and discovered that our users must have voted for us at ten times the per/user rate of many of our fellow competitors. This confirms what we know already about the people who use our product every day, they share our passion for simplicity and usability, and more human interaction on the web. We have big plans to pursue in the next year and we will continue to rely heavily on our VoiceThreaders for their engagement, advice, and support.

Thanks!

posted on April 22nd, 2008 by The VoiceThread Team ]]>
Export Archival VoiceThreads 2008-03-09 05:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2008/20080309/ We are very, very happy to announce the availability of Archival VoiceThreads. Downloadable as a widescreen movie, this version of a VoiceThread will play offline, stored on your computer, iPod or other portable device and can be burned onto a DVD or CD. These Archival movies are an exact replica of the content and commentary of any VoiceThread, which include the text commentary, audio commentary, webcam commentary, and also, the animated drawings we call Doodles. This has been our #1 requested feature and has taken quite a bit of work to pull off. To make one, just click the 'Export' button when creating/editing your VoiceThread.

Does it look and feel like a VoiceThread? You bet, and portable. Click here (~6.2 mb) to download an example. During a beta test period the export function will only be available to Pro users, at no charge. After this period, 30 per year will be included free with every Pro account. Individual archival exports will be $2.99 for free accounts, with bulk and educator discounts on the way.

posted on March 9th, 2008 by Steve ]]>
CNET\'s Webware 100 2008-03-03 05:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2008/20080303/ Hey folks, VoiceThread has been named a Finalist in the 2008 "Webware 100" Awards which "recognize the best Web 2.0 sites, services, and applications that are leading the next wave of innovation." We humbly concur with the wise choice by the Editors at CNET, but the public actually has the final word. So please help us out by heading on over to the Webware 100 site to vote for us, we'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

posted on March 3rd, 2008 by Steve ]]>
Ed.VoiceThread 2008-01-25 05:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2008/20080125/ We're launching a new web-based collaborative network that is simple, powerful and safe, called Ed.VoiceThread. This community is specifically designed for K-12 educators and students. Here is an overview of how it works:

posted on January 25th, 2008 by Steve ]]>
Phone Commenting Remote Control 2007-12-07 05:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2007/20071207/ Here's a quick VoiceThread showing off how you can use your phone to leave comments and navigate pages in your VoiceThreads - like a remote control - from your phone.

posted on December 7th, 2007 by Andrew ]]>
Phone commenting, Thread & URL import 2007-12-03 05:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2007/20071203/ We've added 3 exciting new features to VoiceThread today.

Phone commenting

VoiceThread now allows you to record voice comments from any domestic U.S. phone number. Simply type in your phone number and VoiceThread will call you to comment. You can even comment on more than one page, using the phone to navigate VoiceThreads like a remote control. All accounts include 3 minutes free, and then it's just $10 for each additional hour of phone commenting. Additionally, we'll soon allow you the option to give phone commenting minutes to your VoiceThreads, so that those you invite can use your minutes.

Import media from your existing VoiceThreads

By clicking on the 'My Media' button when creating, you can now import pages from other VoiceThreads that you've either created or are an editor of.

Import media from a URL

You can also now use the 'URL' button when creating to import images, docs and videos from a URL. For example, using 'http://domain.com/image.jpg' will import image.jpg to the VoiceThread.

posted on December 3rd, 2007 by Andrew ]]>
Video Doodling, webcam 2007-11-14 05:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2007/20071114/ We'd like to introduce you to a couple new features on VoiceThread.

Video Doodling

VoiceThread's Video Doodling feature allows you to control the playback of a video as you comment using a microphone or webcam; giving you the power to voice comment over specific portions of video. It allows you to move to a specific segment, doodle while you're there, then move to highlight another segment, all while leaving your comment. See it in action!

Video comments with a webcam

If you've got a webcam on or hooked to your computer, simply click on the webcam icon (to the left of record) and capture video from your webcam, as your comment. Free accounts include 30 minutes of use, while Pro users have unlimited access to this feature.

Other additions:

  • Control whether VoiceThreads open in fullscreen mode by default (handy for presentations)
  • Allow others to right-click-download original image and document files (Pro users)
  • Hide the final share page (Pro users)
  • RSS feeds: for MyVoice new comments, the Browse page and Blog

And on the not-so-distant horizon, we've got a bunch more exciting features slated for release. New functionalities might just include: another compelling way of commenting on VoiceThreads, the ability to take VoiceThreads with you for offline or archival use, and accessing VoiceThread content from devices other than your personal computer. We're big fans of accessibility and are working to ensure VoiceThread is available to the widest range of people and devices. Stay tuned.

posted on November 14th, 2007 by Andrew ]]>
Today\'s Release 2007-10-10 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2007/20071010/ The latest version of VoiceThread is ready for primetime.

The feedback we've received from our users has been outstanding. Thank you for working so closely with us, your help has been invaluable. The introduction of the new VoiceThread addresses some long-standing bugs and limitations of our old site. We think we've built a solid foundation that's faster, more robust, and more accessible. And for all you enthusiasts out there, we are pleased to offer VoiceThread Pro accounts with new and enhanced features.

For those not ready to move to the latest version of VoiceThread, you can still access the previous version - VoiceThread Classic - via the link on the top right of the new homepage. We'll keep it up and running until at least the end of 2007.

P.S. We're looking to grow the conversations within our shiny new forum, and would love your help with that too.

posted on October 10th, 2007 by Andrew ]]>
A \'fresh\' Look 2007-09-28 04:00:00 http://ed.voicethread.com/about/blog/2007/20070928/ Welcome to our latest version of VoiceThread.

Over the last few months we've been hard at work updating and upgrading VoiceThread. As you poke around, if something strikes you as particularly interesting, something doesn't work as expected, or something just doesn't work at all, please don't hesitate to let us know via email from the 'Contact Us' link in the above navigation bar or from the 'Feedback' link within the application's 'Help' menu. We've also implemented a forum for discussions and a place for you to get your questions answered.

Here's what's new on VoiceThread:

  • Redesigned browsing, creating content and account management functionalities
  • Upload more media types to your VoiceThreads: PowerPoints (PPT, PPS), Adobe Documents (PDF), Word Documents (DOC), Excel Spreadsheets (XLS) and videos
  • Seamless Facebook image importing directly to your VoiceThreads
  • View VoiceThreads in a full screen presentation mode
  • Integrated rotate and crop tool for uploading pictures for identity management
  • Control the amount of pause between the pages of your VoiceThreads in play mode
  • New informational site, complete with the forum

We'll be keeping both versions of VoiceThread running in parallel for some time, this version which we're calling 'fresh' and the previous version, 'classic'. As soon as 'fresh' is thoroughly tested, with your help of course, it will be hosted at VoiceThread.com with a link to 'classic'. Be on the lookout for more updates and new features, we've got lots on the way.

posted on September 28th, 2007 by Andrew ]]>