Thursday, January 24, 2013

VoiceThread Can Now Integrate with Any CMS


VoiceThread, a tool that has transformed the way I teach and the way my students learn online through warm, multisensory, community-building online communications, now integrates with any course management system -- Blackboard, Moodle, Desire 2 Learn, Canvas, and more!

Faculty who teach online with a course management system and who use external, web-based tools to add increase interaction, collaboration and more to their students' learning are familiar with the added management tasks of navigating the student account creation process, eliminating students from the web-based activities who have dropped the class, and other steps that add to the time of teaching a class.

VoiceThread has always been easy to embed in course management systems with any type of VoiceThread account, even a free one.  And that has not changed a bit.  But this week, VoiceThread announced the availability of LTI or Learning Tools Interoperability which now makes VoiceThread integrate seamlessly with any course management system, creating a single-sign on experience for students, automatic account generation for students, and more!

What does this mean to me?
LTI is a next-generation, standard created by the IMS Global Learning Consortium that allows for streamlined, agile integration of learning applications and tools.  In our rapidly changing technological teaching and learning landscape, it's a solution that is welcomed with open arms and seeing VoiceThread make the adoption of LTI a priority is really an exciting moment.  It demonstrates an organizational commitment to students, faculty, administrators, and willingness to respond to the challenges educators face in today's online teaching landscape. 

In a real-world contact, LTI creates some spectacular time saving realities for instructors and other academic stakeholders.  For example, with LTI integration in place,
  • VoiceThread becomes a "seamless part of the LMS" for students, allowing for a single sign on experience for learners using Blackboard, Sakai, Moodle, Desire 2 Learn, Canvas, and more!
  • Faculty will rejoice upon seeing VoiceThread accounts automatically created for students on their course roster and having those accounts sync with the ebb and flow of the add/drop period (that's right, no more manual adjustments necessary by the instructor!).
  • Also, the integration automatically creates a VoiceThread Group at the start of each course without the instructor clicking a single button. To read about the advantages LTI brings to ITS and organizational leaders, read the blog post.
Who has access to VoiceThread's LTI feature?
LTI is automatically included with all VoiceThread site licenses. And Department license holders may purchase LTI integration as an added upgrade.  If you are a K12 school license holder who utilizes a course management system, you are also eligible to upgrade to LTI and it's included for K12 district and state license holders.

If you'd like to learn more about VoiceThread's LTI feature, please email info@voicethread.com



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