I stumbled across a very neat collaboration tool called VoiceThread, that allows you to co-create presentations with others using various media sources, and invite discussion about the presentation through multiple channels.
VoiceThread allows you to create a web-based presentation or story, using images, videos, documents, or powerpoint presentations (or a mix of these) with voice-over options. Right now they allow you to import from Flickr and Facebook – look for more import options to come. You can also export or embed a VoiceThread creation – there is a WordPress plugin for embedding VoiceThread, but only for self-hosted versions of WP.
People can then add their comments to the stories using any of: a computer’s microphone, webcam, a standard telephone (pretty cool), text comments, on-screen drawings (layered over top of the original presentation), or uploading a comment. All of the comments are embedded around the original story, so you can see a sequential thread of discussion happening.
I think it’s a very creative example of mixing different ways to interact and chat about a particular issue. The sophisticated commenting system I hope will be replicated in other apps – would be great to see this kind of functionality in blogs and wikis – for example, being able to add a video comment to this post at the click of a button.
Check out this example of a teacher using VoiceThread to get ideas from colleagues for a presentation about networking.