This looks awesome!! Really, really great. Thanks. I can already see uses for many grades here at our school.
It's so funny, I posted this exact same link to someone else's question. I wanted to know if anyone had USED any of the tools listed with success :)
(1) You can add recorded narration (sound files) to individual slides within powerpoint itself. Use a free recording program like Audacity or the one that is preinstalled on your computer or get a few cheap hand-held sound recording devices (or get the kids to use their phones) and use them to make the sound files.(You can also pre-record sound files and upload those to Voicethread.) If you want this to be online, try uploading to Slideboom which preserves animations and voice files. You may also want to use ISpring converter to get it into Flash format and then you can upload just about anywhere. There's also Animoto, but I don't think it permits a slide by slide narration.
(2) Slidecast creators: Show Beyond (http://www.showbeyond.com/docs/about); others http://web2010.discoveryeducation.com/blog/index.cfm/2011/4/27/Digi...
(3) I personally love Photostory3 (older, free, dowload from MIscrosoft) as it creates a pan and scan effect so the slides have some movement and narration can be added to each slide in the series.
(4) you can convert the PPT slides to jjpg (image) files and upload to a video editing program. Upload the sound files into the audio track and sinc them to the correct slides. This is a little more technical, but it will be on your school's computer.
Finally, if you write the Voicethread forums and ask for assistance -- or write them directly -- you'll probably get the advice you need. There are a lot of educators who have this issue and they are good at helping people make their software work.