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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!