“Conversation is a catalyst for innovation” – John Seely Brown
High quality conversations and higher order thinking have a chicken-and-egg relationship, where the important fact isn’t which came first but rather that you won’t find one without the other. VoiceThread is a broadly accessible sandbox for perfecting the skills required for world class conversations and the higher order thinking that drives them.
We are excited to share some recent platform developments as well as what’s next for your bigger and better VoiceThread conversations.
# **What’s New?**
Automatic Closed Captioning
The hardest thing about implementing our Automatic Captioning system has been explaining to skeptical administrators that it is, in fact, automatic. There are no requests or jobs to manage, and no unknown costs to worry about. It just runs behind the scenes with zero maintenance. Machine captioning and an integrated caption editor are now available with an upgrade to Platinum Service for your Site License, Active User License, or District License.
Contact us if you are interested in discussing this service as an add-on to your existing license.
Most interactive video solutions consist of the ability to place post-it style notes on a video timeline. It might be novel, but it’s not a conversation. VoiceThread’s video commenting update, released last year, allows you to insert your audio, video, or text comments into a video exactly where you want them. Rather than being posted and forgotten, the comments are all made in the context of an actual structured dialogue where ideas evolve over time, based on listening as much as commenting.
VoiceThread affords easy unscheduled human interaction, but sometimes you need the rapid back and forth that’s only available in a live meeting. Our upcoming integration with the Zoom web conferencing platform will allow you to pull in any live meeting that you’ve recorded so that you can not only share the conversation with people who missed it, but more importantly, continue to extend the conversation over time.
Conversation Policy Updates
Two new improvements to the playback policy of comments will make participation in any VoiceThread conversation more efficient. First, when there are unheard or unseen comments (marked by yellow), you will be taken directly to the first one whenever you open a VoiceThread. This eliminates the need to wade through comments you’ve already heard or seen. The second change takes a page from streaming video services; it remembers where you were the last time you closed a VoiceThread and then returns you to the very same spot the next time you open it.
LTI 1.3 and Deep Linking
If you already use VoiceThread in your learning management system, then the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard is what makes that possible. Version 1.3 of the LTI standard and new Deep Linking features are in development now, and VoiceThread is an early adopter. These updates will offer deeper LMS integration, more rostering transparency, course copying improvements, and more.
Version 4 of the VoiceThread mobile app is on its way! It’s a complete redesign, from the underlying architecture up. With simplified workflows, new features, increased stability and reliability, and more accessibility options, it will make mobile VoiceThreading much easier and more flexible.
A completely new infrastructure for VoiceThread assignments will be released in time for fall of 2019. All components of the system, from the assignment builder to the student experience to the grader, have been redesigned to simplify workflows and enable new assignment types. This update will take your VoiceThread assessments to a whole new level.
If you attend any education or technology conferences this year, keep an eye out for us! Here are just a few places you can find us:
- OLC Innovate in Denver, Colorado – April 2-4
- Instructurecon in Long Beach, California – July 9-11
Please stop by and say hello!
Thank you for helping to drive our growth and evolution. We couldn’t do what we do without your feedback and support. Happy VoiceThreading!