VoiceThread, a multimedia sharing tool was the first Web 2.0 tool that I had very limited knowledge about. I actually asked several people, teenagers, my colleagues at school, and an IT specialist what they knew about VoiceThread. Some had heard of the term but no one could share anything about it. The students at my own school, when I explained that VoiceThread was a multimedia sharing tool, could talk to me about iMovies but were unfamiliar with VoiceThread.
I became more curious about VoiceThread after reading an article in the journal Learning & Leading with Technology entitled Storytelling in the Web 2.0 Era. Alan Levine who is well known nationally and internationally for his expertise in the application of new technologies to educational environments is mentioned in this article. He used VoiceThread as one of the 50 different Web 2.0 storytelling tools used when producing the same digital story about his dog Dominoe. (Now wouldn't that be an interesting way for our students to share their learning of various Web 2.0 tools!) Levine refers to VoiceThread under a special category called 'Mixer Tools' as it combines a variety of media to tell non-linear stories allowing others to comment and annotate the stories too. Glen Bull, author of the article further explains, that VoiceThread supports the creation of online media albums and allows others to contribute shared text or audio comments.
To further develop my understanding of this tool, I went to the VoiceThread website where it explains that VoiceThread is a web 2.0 multimedia sharing tool which enables people to collect and share images and then allows them to comment in five different ways. VoiceThread allows group conversations to be collected and shared in one place.
Joyce Valenza, in School Library Journal, (January 29, 2008) describes VoiceThread as a web-based, multimedia collaborative network. Her enthusiasm and description as to the ease of accessing this tool reassured me that even a newbie like myself could effectively utilize VoiceThread.