Monday, March 29, 2010

Must See Monday #12 - Digital Story Telling

Digital Story Telling is the idea of taking pictures and videos to tell a story.  There are a lot of sites and software out there that allow you to complete such a task.  A lot of educators have favorited Animoto because they have an education account that allows students to get complete use of their website.  Another option is Photo Peach, which is great for teachers because it allows you to instantly create a quiz from your Digital Story.  The newest one on the scene is Flixtime.  Then of course, their is the original Photo Story from Microsoft.  These are not the only options though.  I have discovered three new ones that I think are of interest in sharing here.  One True Media, Masher, and Stupeflix are sites that could be used as Digital Story Telling websites. 

 
One True Media requires email and password set up, but there is no email verification required.  Immediately I noticed that it informs you how long it will take to upload files over a certain size and the type of files that it will accept.  Upon uploading you can monitor progress making it easy to know where you are at when uploading mulitple files.  The following are supported file types:
MPEG (.mpeg, .mpg, .mp4)
QuickTime (.mov)
Audio Video Interleave (.avi)
Windows Media Video (.wmv)
3G Mobile Phone Video (.3gp, .3g2)
JPEG (.jpg or .jpeg)

The editing tools allow you to add text slides as well as captions.  There is also the option of editing the photo after it has been uploaded.  The feature so far that I have not seen elsewhere is the ability to add styles, which is basically creating background and inclusive effects for your project.  There is also the feature of adding music to the presentation, with the ability to upload your own.  If students really like their creation there is also the option to purchase a DVD version of a Digital Story.







First and immediate thought about Masher, Email Verification.  Makes it pretty hard to use in the classroom since most schools ban outside email account use by students.  Same as the others though.  It allows for the uploading of photos, videos and the slection of music.  A feature I had not seen on others that Masher has is special effects that happen over the photo.  The sample I watched had "fireworks" appear.  Not sure I like that for educational purposes because it could be a distraction from the purpose of the Digital Story.  What also stinks about Email Verification is in the time it took me to type this post, I have yet to receive my email to be verified so that I can use their website.  Slow turn around will make me go elsewhere.  Makes it hard to tell you about the site when I can't get access to it.  I double checked my email as well.








Stupeflix (Why do I feel like I am saying Stupid Flix) does not require email verification, but does require the usual information to sign up.  First thing I notice that is different is the choice of a theme.  You have four options, which I think all can be adapted to a student project.  You can add the usual photos and videos from your computer or other media sites such as Facebook, Picasa, and Flickr.  You are able to watch the progress as the pictures are uploaded.  What I do like, is adding text gives you the option of as either captions or before the images.  The music option only allows uploading from your computer; they do not have music on the site to choose from.  Organizing of Photos is very simplistic as well.  A very simple user interface.

One thing I noticed with these sites is that my Firewall and Proxy settings inteferred with the uploading of my photos.  Might be best to upload to Picasa or Flickr and then use them.

If looking for music for Digital Stories, I suggest Royalty Free Music as a good place to start.
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