Discussions on the Go: The VoiceThread Mobile App

VoiceThread is a tool that allows for multi-modal conversations about media you provide.

The VoiceThread mobile app is a great tool to keep up with your classes’ work on VoiceThread, but it lacks the ability to make changes to settings and to grade the work in Blackboard. Still — many instructors will tell you that keeping up with discussions is the hardest part, so don’t dismiss it out of hand! Plan to use both over the course of the semester and make your teaching a little easier to keep up with.

However, settings for the VoiceThread, including commenting restrictions and permissions, must be adjusted from a computer. So create your VoiceThread via the mobile app, but remember to adjust your settings before embedding it in Blackboard once you return to your computer.

 

VoiceThread mobile login page

Use your Saint Rose email address to log in. If you do not remember your password, click on “Need Password?” and a new password will be emailed to you.

To log into VoiceThread, use your Saint Rose email address (USERNAME@strose.edu) and the password you set up for your VoiceThread account. This password is not the same as your email or computer password; this password was set up when you first created a VoiceThread account. After logging in, I found that viewing the app in landscape mode makes it easier to interact with.

opening screen of the voicethread app

You enter the app to a list of all your existing VoiceThreads – both those you have created and those you have access to. The search box at the top makes it easy to find the one you are looking for.

Once logged in, you are presented with a list of VoiceThreads.  Here, you can scroll through or search for the VoiceThread you would like to work with. Clicking on any of the VoiceThreads presents you with the option to play, share, bookmark or edit. If you click the Play button, you’ll be presented with a very familiar interface.

Individual voicethread page

The screen to play a VoiceThread looks very similar to the desktop version. Comments appear on the left, and the button to add comments is at the bottom.

The mobile app allows you to view the VoiceThread and all of its comments, record comments, and reply to comments both publicly and privately (depending on the settings of your particular VoiceThread). This is a great way to keep up with a class discussion with your mobile device, just as you do with your email.

Comment recording options on VoiceThread

Commenting in the mobile app allows only three kinds of comments – text, microphone and video.

If you have ever recorded a comment in VoiceThread, you will recognize the recording interface right away. Since all mobile devices have built in cameras and microphones, there’s no fussing over getting microphones or cameras to work so recording is very straightforward. But if you would prefer to use text that is also an option.

Reply options on VoiceThread comments

Replying to comments also looks just like the computer interface.

Commenting and deleting options are defined by the settings on the VoiceThread, but all of the reply options are available, if enabled. You can delete, reply or reply privately to any comment on the VoiceThread.

Edit VoiceThread page with options

The Editing screen in the app is simple, hiding some very great options within its buttons.

If you need to edit a VoiceThread, you can do that from the initial Edit option or from the options menu in the upper left corner of the VoiceThread. These options are very robust – you can add a new slide, edit or reorder existing slides, and delete slides. New slides can be created from files on your mobile device, in iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive (if those apps are installed on your mobile device), or by recording audio or video.

Create New Voicethread page in app

Starting with a new, blank VoiceThread gives you the option to record or upload to get started.

If you would like to create a new VoiceThread in the app, it is just as functional as the editing tools are. iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive are all accessible for importing media to start with, and recording audio and video on a mobile device is easier than it is on the computer!