February 18, 2008

Voicethread x Splashcast x Qlipboard

Voicethread, Splashcast and Qlipboard are all tools that unite pictures and voice in slideshows. In order to compare them, I created a virtual tour around Brasília (my hometown) in each one of them. The tour is the same: same pictuers and same narration, because the idea was to really compare all the features offered. So here are the results followed by my review. Positive aspects are in blue and negative ones in red.
If there is any wrong information here (or extra information which I did not initially include), it was probably because I didn't explore the tools fully, so feel free to tell me and I'll readily update the reviews.

You can also check my own personal examples using voicethread and splashcast with my EFL students in the first semester of 2008.

Enjoy your tour!


Voicethread:
  • The easiest to use. Dashboard is really user-friendly, with simple functions like upload and record.
  • Comments can be left in voice or text forms
  • Voice comments can be added with a cell phone too
  • Comments are attached to specific pictures
  • Comments are added to the original narration
  • Pictures can be uploaded from your computer, flickr, facebook or you can just type their urls
  • Besides pictures, you can also upload videos and documents
  • Powerpoint/impress slides can be easily uploaded
  • You can embed full-sized or small-sized versions
  • There is comment moderation option
  • It lets you doodle with the images, but only while you're recording
  • You can create only 3 threads for free in the same account
  • You can only add voice by recording online. You cannot record first, add effects, treat the audio and then upload the mp3 file.
  • Visitors need to sign up for a voicethread account in order to leave comments.





Splashcast:
  • Easy, but not as easy as voicethread. Dashboard is not as user-friendly because it offers more options, like designation of channels and players (which you need to create in order to get the html code).
  • Pictures can be uploaded from your computer, flickr, or you can just type their urls
  • You can record online or use any other audio recorder to make an mp3 file to be uploaded to one specific picture later
  • Besides pictures, you can also upload videos and documents
  • Comments are attached to specific pictures
  • Comments can be left in voice, video or text forms
  • Unlimited number of shows can be created for free
  • Comments are stored in a separate "comments" area
  • Visitors don't need to have a splashcast account in order to leave comments
  • You can't doodle with the pictures (which might be good...)
  • There is no comment moderation option (but comments can be easily deleted)




Qlipboard
(online version):
The most traditional one is the offline version, which I
  • It lets you doodle a lot with the picture, with pen, highlighter and text options. You can also change the colors of your drawing and texts
  • There is no need to sign up for an account
  • It allows only voice comments
  • The most limited one because it doesn't create a slideshow connecting the pictures, but just one picture with voice narration





The idea of this review is not to make one tool look good and the other(s) bad. I believe their particular features fit different purposes. So the choice of which tool to use in an activity lies in the goals of the activity.

17 comments:

Michael Berkley said...

Hi,

Thanks for the review. BTW, SplashCast does in fact allow commenting at the individual photo (or video) level.

Thanks!

Ronaldo Lima, Jr. said...

Hi Michael!

You're right, I hadn't noticed that the comments left in splashcast are attached to the item selected. I've already updated it.

Thanks a lot!

Don Hinkelman said...

Voicethread has easy upload of powerpoint/impress slides. I have my EFL students make a powerpoint slideshow then upload it into Voicethread for sharing and voice commenting. Next month I will try having the students embed their voicethread into Moodle. Seems really easy to post into a forum or even a wiki.

Thanks for the review!

Maru said...

Hi Ronaldo!

I am back! I could not leave without droping a comment here about the amazing work you are doing.

I aldo wanted to test if I can hear better your tours. =)

Love: Maru

Ronaldo Lima, Jr. said...

Hi Maru, thanks for the visit!

Thank you Don for the tip, I'll add that to the review!

Larrry Ferlazzo said...

Ronaldo,

This is a great comparison. I hope you'll consider submitting it, or another post, to the next ESL/EFL Carnival:

http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/category/esl-carnival/

Larry

Ronaldo Lima, Jr. said...

Thanks, Larry. I hadn't thought of that, but I'll do it!

Carla Arena said...

Ronaldo,

Thanks for taking your time to compare different tools. I still think that Voicethread is the more effectively interactive because of the way it's set. Also, the other day I had a problem with it, and I had a prompt reply from their support team.

I'll have to test the other two to create online resources to see how it goes producing content.

I signed up for a paid account in voicethread because I feel it's worth every penny!

Regards.
Carla
Explorations

Ronaldo Lima, Jr. said...

Hi Carla, I was anxiously expecting your comment (it means a lot to me...).
I agree Voicethread is great, and I believe there are basically two big differences between Voicethread and Splashcast:
1- You can upload videos and documents to splashcast (besides pitures)
2- In Voicethread the comments are embedded to the presentation, and in Splashcast they are stored in a "comments" area

I don't think these differences make one tool more useful than the other, it all depends on your goal, I guess.

Thanks for the visit and comment!

Carla Arena said...

I'll have to take a look at splashcast, Ronaldo. I've never tried , but I think you can add "media" in voicethread.

And you're right. It all depends on your goals. I was just considering as a commentator. The one I created about Key West, for example, was so intuitive that my students had no problem to comment there. I thought they were really brave as it was not a required assignment and they were low-tech highly-anxious adults, but they felt like adding their voices. So, I guess it shows how user-friendly is the interface. Besides, consider the fact that they could hear my friends' ideas very easily. Also, it loads faster than the others. At least for me!

And, no, I'm not getting any money from voicethread! In fact, I'm paying them!!!:=))

Ronaldo Lima, Jr. said...

Yes, Carla, I totally agree Voicethread's interface is really objective and user-friendly. And you're right, we can upload videos and docs to Voicethreads! I'll update this information right away.

Thanks for the comments!

Ana Maria said...

Dear Ronaldo,

Came to your blog for a quick look but ended up spending a long time here. Have added your blog to my feevy reader.

see you,
anamaria

Ronaldo Lima, Jr. said...

Thanks for your visit to my blog, Ana. I'm glad you had a good time here.
I'm a constant reader of you life is a feast blog too!
I've seen your comments on some of my students' blogs, thanks! I have already published their second assignment and it is to visit students' blogs through your pageflakes and leave comments.

See you around!

Colette Cassinelli said...

I am collecting examples of how educators are using Voicethread in their classroom or for professional development on a wiki at: http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/

My plan is to share these examples with other technology teachers who provide professional development in their schools.

Feel free to add your own examples or links to resources. Thanks in advance,
Colette

Ronaldo Lima, Jr. said...

Hi Colette!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I have created a page inside the wiki, called EFL & ESL. I have substituted the external link EFL/ESL in the navigation bar with a link to this internal page, and added both my voicethread example and that external link I removed from the navigation bar in the internal EFL & ESL page. I hope that's ok. Thank for that wiki, it will surely be helpful!

Kindest regards from Brazil,

Ronaldo

Berta said...

Hi dear Ronaldo,
Just came back again, I don´t even know how anymore and just wish you to thank you for the wonderful comparison between the three tools.
Next week we would be creating our voicethread for the sisterclasses and Rubena, one of my colleagues at usb, favors Splashcast over Voicethread but I feel the latter is more friendly for students.

BTW, I looovvve when I listen to you and Carla speak so proudly of your city and your country. As Venezuelans, our national "self-esteem" has been crushed and stepped on lately and we are having some identity issues ... sorry to mention this.

See you around in cyberspace.
Cariños,

Berta

Ronaldo Lima, Jr. said...

Thanks for the compliments, Berta. I'm glad this post has been useful. And I really look forward to listening to your students' voicethreads.

And you're right, Brazilian are usually very proud of their country... and I'm sure better days are about to come for Venezuelans!