Tools & Resources
To make a story digital, the storyteller needs to add things like images, songs/audio, video, and sound effects. Once these elements are added, the storyteller then needs to assemble and edit the final product/story. This section provides a list of hardware, software, Web 2.0, and resources to assemble and publish a digital story.
Here is a list of some of the hardware needed to create digital story:
- A Computer - Can be a Mac, PC or Netbook - needed to assemble the digital story.
- A Digital Camera - This is needed to take digital stills. Most any camera will do (don't need the most expensive one). In addition, most point and shoot cameras also have a video function.
- A Video Camera - The video camera is needed to capture video (for example, the Flip Cam is often used in classrooms because it is easy to use, with only one button for recording, http://www.theflip.com).
- A Webcam - This is helpful for hooking up to a computer and capturing images video, and narratives.
- A Microphone - Most laptops have built-in microphones. However, it may also be helpful to purchase one or more computer microphones to specifically record voice. Again, an expensive microphone is not needed to get the job done. However, we do recommend using a headset/microphone for the best recording because playback is not as distracting and the mic tends to block ambient sound better. Another trick for better sound quality is to create your own "spit guard." This can be done using a simple craft ring and a piece of gauze.
- Something Green - Kids love creating and using a green screen in class. This can be a wall, construction paper, shower curtain, or even a sheet. This is an optional item but great for creating a green-screen studio within your classroom. By filming your kids in front of a green background you can add them into other videos and backdrops (note - blue is the only color that will work if you are using MovieMaker).
Here is some software that can be used to create a digital story. You do not need all of these programs to create a digital story, but pairing iPhoto/iMovie with Garage Band or PhotoStory 3/Windows MovieMaker with Audacity will give you free video and audio editing suites right in your classroom.
- iPhoto - This is standard on a Mac and is used for creating digital stories with still images.
- Garage Band - This is standard on a Mac and is used for creating sound files.
- iMovie - This is standard on a Mac and is used for creating videos.
- PhotoStory 3 - Used for creating digital stories with still images. It is not standard on a PC but is available as a free download.
- Audacity - This is a free sound editor for the PC.
- Windows MovieMaker - This is standard on a PC and is used for creating videos.
- Adobe Premiere Elements - Used for creating videos on a PC and includes a green screen feature. It is not free but it is substantially discounted for educators.
There are resources available that provide tutorials on how to effectively use these digital storytelling resources:
Web 2.0 Tools:
Here are some easy to use Web 2.0 tools for grades K-5. All of the sites listed below have both free and premium (paid) versions.
- Animoto.com - Add images and songs to create a music video.
- Voicethread.com - Add images, video, and voice commentary from you or your students to build a collaborative story.
- Zooburst.com - Digital storytelling tool that is designed to let anyone easily create their own customized 3D pop-up books.
- Kerpoof.com - Create animated video stories, pictures and more. Includes timeline and multiple layers. Mostly supports an elementary audience.
- Goanimate.com - Cut and paste Discovery Education images, clipart, songs and more into an animated cartoon story.
- Xtranormal.com - A text-to-speech tool. Pick a scene, type in a script, add action and sound, and publish.
- PhotoPeach.com - Similar to PhotoStory 3 only completely web-based.
- Edu.Glogster.com - Tool to create a non-linear story, PSA, or poster.
- Imageloop.com - Upload images from computer or Flickr or other site and combine them with their animated templates.
- Ourstory.com - Save stories, photos, and videos on a collaborative timeline.
- Vuvox.com - Create interactive slideshows and presentations from photos, video and music from Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, or YouTube.
For teachers who subscribe to Discovery Education digital services, please use your password to access additional resources:
Discovery Education - Lights, Camera, Education - use your Discovery Education username/password to log into www.discoveryeducation.com and do a keyword search for "AFI." There you will find a step-by-step digital storytelling curriculum manual that includes sample storyboards and more!