Monday, March 17, 2008

Setting up an account and creating a VoiceThread

Signing up for a VoiceThread account requires an email address and a password. After signing into the website, a person can view several tutorials by clicking on the “Help” tab to get started. It is quite remarkable to realize, after watching the “One Minute VoiceThread” tutorial, how easy and user-friendly this tool appears to be. There are further tutorials offered to explain everything from setting up a microphone, to comment moderation, to embedding a VoiceThread. I chose a picture (from my own photos) to represent myself for my account, and I was set to go.

I quickly launched into the making of my first VoiceThread, which I found quite easy to do. After selecting the “Create” tab, only three steps appear: Upload, Comment, and Share (it is very straightforward!) I already had many pictures uploaded onto my computer from my digital camera, so I decided to make a presentation using digital photos. I discovered that a person creating a VoiceThread has the option to upload many different types of media, such as image formats like: jpg, gif, bmp, and png. Document formats such as: ppt, pps, pdf, doc, xls, and video can also be used.

After selecting my photos and uploading them to the site, I was able to arrange them in the correct order. Next, I used the Comment tab to record my voice with a brief commentary on each picture. I also had the option to type in text, instead of using audio.
Other added features are available to enhance the presentation effect of the VoiceThread. By using the “Doodle” feature, a creator can make drawings directly on the images being viewed, while the commentary is unfolding. Instead of seeing the final product of the presenters’ thoughts, the viewer gets to see the entire process. These “doodlings” brings a sense of live presence, as if the presenter is sitting right next to you. There are several other features unique to this form of media-sharing.

In the last stage of creating my VoiceThread, I chose to make my presentation public, but I selected not allow for outside comments. Next, I chose to embed in my blog. Voila! My first VoiceThread was a simple presentation, but one which allowed me to begin to understand how very user-friendly and creative this Web 2.0 tool can be.

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