Welcome to episode four of the Technology Shopping Cart podcast where educational innovation thrives on the food of creative ideas! This week Karen Montgomery and Wesley Fryer host an interview with Steve Muth and Ben Papell, the co-Founders of the VoiceThread website and web 2.0 tool. Steve and Ben discuss the background for how VoiceThread started, design principles of simplicity and “the amazon.com model” of task completion in a few clicks, their implementation of layered complexity within their site’s functionality, and the benefits of creating living multimedia documents via VoiceThread which can live forever. They also discuss the brand new website “VoiceThread for Education,” which is customized with several changes that make it a thoroughly accountable environment safe for student publishing and interactive feedback. Their hope is that more school districts, students and teachers will now be able to benefit from as well as enjoy using VoiceThread as a learning tool inside and outside their classrooms on a regular basis.


Show Notes:

  1. Twitter Karma (view and manage Twitter followers and friends)
  2. Sue Waters’ blog: Mobile Technology in TAFE
  3. Jott (free voice to text service)
  4. Google Alerts
  5. TED Talks
  6. VoiceThread for Education (ed.voicethread.com)
  7. VoiceThread (original site, unchanged with free, unlimited educator accounts)
  8. Steve and Ben’s Interview on EdTechTalk – Teachers Teaching Teachers #86 Giving All Schools Access to VoiceThread-A Conversation with Ben Papelle and Steve Muth-01.09.08
  9. Our Technology Shopping Cart Podcast Wiki

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  • Pingback: VoiceThread for K-12 Education « Moving Along()

  • Great tech tools! I’m working on a series on TBoT called Getting Teaching Done, based on David Allen’s book. A teacher, as much as any professional, needs a trusted system to deal with the flood of input and interruption they receive everyday.

  • Dean Mattson

    I found this podcast very informative and got me very motivated to keep finding ways to utilize VoiceThread. I must point out though that the one time $10 educator lifetime fee is a little misleading. Although that option is available, what’s described in this podcast, where a teacher is able to create accounts for her students, actually costs $10 a month or $120 a year. That’s a big difference.

    Now it might very well be worth that kind of money. They’re currently running a deal where the first group of teachers can sign up for $60 and I decided to take advantage of that. But I’m fairly confident in saying that not another teacher in my school would fork over that kind of money. And if the $60 option wasn’t available, even I would not have paid $120 for it.

    It’s a great service and I commend the developers for some of the innovative things they’ve done to help get schools involved. I hope they succeed, but I also hope they keep in mind that many teachers will have to decide whether or not to pay this fee out of their own pockets and a certain percentage of them will not be able to justify this cost.

  • You’re right Dean, thanks for pointing out this mistake in the podcast. I visited the ed.voicethread.com website today (now that it is “live”) and saw the same thing you did: The fee is $10 per month or $60 per year. This seems a little steep. Probably worth it, but not what I had understood based on this interview.

  • I am writing a book on digital storytelling for ISTE and I am a fan of this blog. I am including a part about VoiceThread and amazingly, they put the ed.voicethread out,I contacted and got a reply from Steve AND, this podcast was on my iPod to listen to all in the same day.

    This is a wonderful tool for the family historian and you will be seeing this promoted for the family reunions you mentioned, Wes, in the genealogical publications and blogs


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