How to Humanize Your Online Class with VoiceThread

an eBook by Michelle Pacansky-Brock
available on Smashwords and Amazon and Barnes & Noble

A rich teaching resource illustrated with interactive video links providing demonstrations of VoiceThread in action from the author's own activities. The diverse topics include strategies for meeting Section 508 accessibility requirements, a proven strategy for increasing student voice/video comments, an overview of the principles of social presence and multisensory learning that make VoiceThread such a valuable tool for distance learning, tips for designing effective VoiceThread activities; advanced VoiceThreading project ideas for turning students into content creators; and an in-depth discussion for leveraging the full potential of commenting to deliver rich, personalized student feedback.

Networking Opportunities

VoiceThread Webinars

In the past, I had the pleasure of hosting a monthly webinar and Google+ Hangout series for VoiceThread, as part of my role as VoiceThread's Higher Ed Learning Consultant.  Below is a list archives of the webinars which are great learning resources for faculty.


        • How to Participate in a VoiceThread - Shared with a Creative Commons license
          This is a how-to guide explaining how to leave a comment in a Voicethread.  VoiceThread is an online discussion tool that provides opportunities for community building and learning, centered around visual media. This guide was written to be generic enough for instructors to share with their own students. 
        • Student Instructions for VoiceThread - Dedicated to the Public Domain
          These instructions are intended to be shared on a webpage for students to reference as they use VoiceThread for the first time.  You are free to use a piece or all of the instructions without crediting me.  This item has been dedicated to the public domain through a CC0 license. 
        • How to Create a VoiceThread - Shared with a Creative Commons license
          VoiceThread takes online learning to new heights. If you're new to VoiceThread, grab the key pointers in this guide and run! Written by an educator who has presented to educators across the nation about the value of VoiceThread for cultivating personalized, community-oriented online learning experiences.
        • Collaborative VoiceThread Lesson Plan - Shared with a Creative Commons licenseThis is an activity I use in my History of Photography class that utilizes a VoiceThread as a wiki-like environment.  I create a VoiceThread "shell," share it with a "Group" in VoiceThread comprised of my students, and grant each student "Edit" access to the VoiceThread.  They each review a list of photographers I've provided, select one and sign up for it on a Google Doc, research the photographer in Google Books, and then upload two photographs by the artist into the VoiceThread along with two comments: one providing an overview of his/her work and contributions, and a second with a discussion prompt for other students.


        A Few Faves

        1. Interdisciplinary Magic! 4th graders are taught about the Japanese internment camps. They then create works of art illustrating the prisoner's experiences and write letters in the voice of a prisoner.  The artworks are scanned and uploaded into a VoiceThread.  Students read their letters while leaving voice comments around the artworks.  Then (this is the truly magical part), the link is shared with internment camp survivors and they leave comments in response to the children's letters.  Truly inspirational! That's learning at its finest.
        2. Foreign Language: Video clips from a movie were uploaded into a VoiceThread. Italian students developed a script for the characters and recorded them in the VoiceThread as the movie played.  That's creative!
        3. Discussion in Sign Language.  Frequently VoiceThread is imagined to be a barrier to students with hearing challenges.  But do you know that one of VoiceThread's first major higher ed clients was Gallaudet University?  They immediately saw the potential in VoiceThread's easy to use web cam commenting feature to open doors to online discussions in sign language.  Check out this example and be amazed.