I looked back over some of my other posts from last summer to reflect on where I was, where I am, and where I'm going. I came across this one about digital storytelling, and I remember being very unsure if I was going to be able to implement any projects like this in my two computer classroom. Well, as the year went on I figured it out and I think it's worth sharing my experience to encourage any other teachers who have limited computer access.
Photo Story 3 - I think this is an excellent program to use with students. It is very user friendly. The only problems with this program are that it's not web based (you have to download it to your computer) and it saves your file as a .wmv, which can't be opened on a mac without some type of converter. That being said, I think this program was a great way to introduce students to this type of project.
We started out doing a whole class project to get acquainted with Photo Story 3. We had been studying poetry in writing, and we were also reading about the Titanic. Students wrote poetry and letters from the perspective of someone on the Titanic. They also chose a picture that they felt expressed the emotions they were feeling. I had students come up one at the time to upload their picture and read their poem into the microphone (this is the microphone we have). The students who went first were able to help other students with the process. The students were very proud of their final product. Here it is if you want to take a peek. I used Zamzar to convert it to a .mpeg file, but it greatly diminished the quality.
I also uploaded our video to my TeacherTube channel. I haven't found their site to be very reliable, but it was the best option I could find for uploading my school videos. Here's our finished product if you'd like to take a peek.
Once we used Photo Story 3 as a whole class, I had many students who continued using it throughout the year. I like to give choices for students when they are completing projects, and Photo Story 3 is a great option for students who want an alternative to making a poster or a Power Point. This year I'm excited to try Little Bird Tales as an alternative to Photo Story 3. Has anyone tried it yet? It looks like it's geared towards younger students, but I think it may work for older students too. I'm excited to keep trying new things this year. What new technology are you planning on introducing to your students this year?