VoiceThread

App review by
Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Media
VoiceThread App Poster Image
Collaborative presentation creator with powerful potential.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Whether providing opportunities for kids to respond to content using multiple modes of communication (video, audio, visual) or allowing them to create collaborative projects authentically, this app has the potential to pack a hard educational punch.

Ease of Play

Might take a few tries to get used to.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchases to create multiple threads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that VoiceThread is a site and an app that allows kids to create and share dynamic conversations about images, diagrams, and videos. Kids upload content already saved to a device and then create audio or video comments reacting to each. They can share this content with friends and get responses. To create multiple presentations and conversations (threads), users must purchase a five-pack. Directions and guidance are available in many languages including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and more. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

VOICETHREAD provides users a way to upload images and videos and then comment or annotate and share their final products. Kids load multimedia from their mobile device straight into the app and save it as a new presentation. Then, they can choose to use audio, video, or both to create another level of information for their presentation. Users share this presentation using a link or by embedding it into a message directly, and other users can comment on the content. Kids can also comment or work collaboratively to create presentations that include various forms of multimedia (video, audio, or static images). The site provides easy-to-use tutorials and a digital media resource library to help users get started.

Is it any good?

The best part of this app is its ability to provide multiple, easy ways of engaging with user-created content in a simple interface. Instead of words and lengthy directions, icons are available to help kids decide between multimedia types, which helps younger kids easily engage with VoiceThread. Some content may take a while to load (especially videos), but the annotation features embedded within the interface make it an easy choice for content creation. If they have a group project, kids can also create presentations and share them with friends to collaborate on the final product. The only downside seems to be that while the app is free, creating multiple threads (presentations) requires users to purchase an in-app five-pack. It may be worth the price, especially for kids who are excited about a collaborative tool that helps them practice 21st-century skills in an authentic and meaningful way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how people react to content differently. Practice the difference between a critical comment and a constructive comment and help kids identify which feels better as a creator. How can kids use VoiceThread to collaborate with peers?

  • Talk about how people tell stories in different ways: Some use just words, some use pictures and words, and some use just pictures. Ask them how their audience knows their point of view, what characters or information is important, and what the overall theme or lesson of their creation is. 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, storytelling
  • Skills: Creativity: combining knowledge, innovation, making new creations, producing new content
    Communication: multiple forms of expression, presenting
    Collaboration: cooperation, group projects
    Tech Skills: using and applying technology
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to Try (in-app purchases: 5-pack for $2.99)
  • Release date: August 6, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 29.60 MB
  • Publisher: VoiceThread
  • Version: 3.0.57
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1.1 or later; Android 2.2 and up

For kids who love collaboration and digital presentation

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