Digital story telling has been one of my favorite projects in our COETAIL course work. It allowed my partner, Andrew, and I to contribute in ways that best suited each of us. I enjoyed working on the storyline and finding applications to share our story, and Andrew liked being able to use his creative talents to work on altering our images in Photoshop.
I thought we could use my mom and her iPad for our storyline. We talked about the different ways we could present the story. Both of us really enjoy graphic novels, so we thought it would be fun to present our story as one. We also wanted to record our story so that we could take turns telling our parts. Andrew searched for an application that would also us to do both. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find one that combined both of those aspects. We then decided that he could use Adobe Photoshop to alter the images to give them a graphic look, and I went searching for an application that would then allow us to combine a slideshow and audio. Two stood out: VUVOX and VoiceThread.
We put our images into both applications to get a feel for how they would look as a final product. I really liked that voice thread allows viewers to contribute audio comments, but we preferred the way VUVOX had a linear flow to the presentation of the images.
Once we had decided on VUVOX, we finished dropping the rest of our images in and then worked on making sure the order followed our storyline. Up to this point we both had our stories in our heads. We looked at the slides to make sure we were clear on which ones belonged to each of our storylines, then we set about writing the story out on sticky notes, each note representing a slide. This helped us work out some of our order.
Next we used Garage Band to record our story. This worked really well because we were able to edit the bits where we had a long pause or change the way we wanted to say something. When we tried to upload our audio to VUVOX, we didn’t have the right type of file. Then I remembered that in Garage Band you have to share the file and send it to iTunes. Once we did that we were able to save the file as an MP3, thus allowing us to drop it into VUVOX.
Now we had all of our parts, and we set about trying to match the timing of the images with the audio we had recorded. This proved to be much more difficult than we had expected. VUVOX allows you to adjust how fast or slow you want your images to scroll by. We spent hours getting it worked out, and then when we would view the presentation, it wouldn’t match up anymore.
Finally we thought we had worked the timing out satisfactorily, but when we had our friends view it to test it out, it was all wonky again. We forgot that VUVOX is an interactive slide presentation, which means that the viewer can make the images move across the screen just by moving his or her curser across the presentation. With this in mind Andrew went back in and made some final adjustments where we had some unnecessary black space.
We were disappointed that we couldn’t set the slideshow so that images and audio were locked into the timing that we wanted. Having viewed it several more times since, it doesn’t bother me as much. I will keep this in mind for my next creation. I am thinking of one to share with our families documenting our Halloween adventures.
Digital storytelling will be a great way for students to share stories in my classroom. The students could set images to poetry, write biographies or autobiographies, write historical fiction using an image from the Revolutionary War, or tell a personal narrative. I look forward to creating a project for them, since I had so much fun myself.