Sunday, June 22, 2014

Always in Search of Digital Story Tools

Although it is fun and challenging to use movie-making software like iMovie, I also like experimenting with apps. Ones that I especially like for young children are Shadow Puppet and Toontastic.

Recently, I experimented with AdobeVoice, a free app. Stories are created by uploading your own photos or by selecting from the wide variety of Creative Commons photos accessible directly in the app. Animated characters and images are also available. Once the visuals are inserted and arranged, the next step is to voice record your narration. The app contains music selections for a background effect.

Here's my first attempt with using Adobe Voice, selecting photos I found by searching the app's library using the search terms "Alaska" and "Denali National Park."

To view the story, click on the image:

The program is easy to navigate and would work well for young children on the iPad. They would probably like the animated choices in the app for their images, but photos taken in and around the classroom, school, and community, or from a field trip would also work well. 

What are your favorite programs for digital storytelling? I think I will continue to play around with AdobeVoice, maybe next time uploading my own photos. Though I find the animated images in the program limited, I still think young children would enjoy that option. Best of all, I like the access to the tremendous library of Creative Commons photographs and how easy it is to search for them by using key terms.

To add to this post, no sooner did I post it, within a day, I found an example of how 6th grade teacher Kevin Hodgson used Adobe Voice to recap students' end-of-the-year survey responses. I invite you to take a look, but come back here to post your thoughts on the ways in which this tool and similar ones can be used for varied educational purposes. Click on the image below to see Kevin's end-of-the-year wrap-up. Plus, it helps to learn what 6th graders liked and did not like regarding what was implemented in their classroom, and Kevin offers an honest recap.