Digital Storytelling

Video Creation Tools

Stupeflix is a service that allows user to quickly and easily create video montages using their favorite images and audio clips. 
Stupeflix allows users to drag and drop their images into the sequence that they would like the images to appear. Adding text to the images is easy to do in StupeflixStupeflix offers only one default soundtrack so you have to upload your own audio clips. That said the advantage of Stupeflix over some similar services is that you can use more than one audio clip within the same video.


 Masher is a great, free, tool for creating video mash-ups. Masher offers a large collection of video clips from the BBC's Motion Gallery and Rip Curl video. There is a large music library, an effects library, and a good selection of video player skins. If you don't find content that you like in Masher's library, you can add your own images, video clips, and music clips through the Masher uploader. Masher also gives you the option to insert text throughout your videos. Creating with Masher is a simple matter of dragging elements from the media gallery into the timeline editor. From there you can arrange the sequence of elements using the drag and drop interface. When you're happy with the sequence, publish and share your production.

Animoto makes it possible to quickly create a video using still images, music, and text. If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video usingAnimotoAnimoto's free service limits you to 30 second videos. You can create longer videos if you apply for an education account.

Screenr is a very simple, easy-to-use tool for creating screencast videos. You do not need to register in order to 

use Screenr, but if you want to save your recordings you do need a Twitter account. Screenr uses your Twitter ID 

to save your recording and publish it to Twitter (you can opt not to publish to Twitter). The recordings you make using Screenr can also be published to 

YouTube or you can download your recordings. Screenr is my favorite of the tools on this list.


We Video is a collaborative online video creation tool. In the video editor you can upload your own media clips or
 use stock media clips to produce your video. The video editor provides tools for trimming the length of display 
and or sound of each element you add to your video project. What makes We Video collaborative is that you 
can invite other people to create and edit with you. We Video offers four different user plans. The free plan allows
 you to upload your videos to YouTube and Vimeo but does not allow local downloads.

Creaza Education (http://www.creazaeducation.com) offers four useful products for teachers and students interested in
multimedia production. At the heart of Creaza Education are their movie editing and audio editing tools. Creaza Education’s 
video editor, like that of We Video, is completely web-based. Users can upload media from their computers to their Creaza Education 
accounts to then mix and edit into a video. The selection of media files offered in the Creaza Education video editor is not as large as
that found in We Video, but Creaza Education makes up for that by offering a couple of other handy features. Those features being a 
built-in soundtrack editor and a built-in storyboarding tool in the form of a mind map generator.
Create Choose Your Own Adventure Videos in YouTube.

YouTube Video


How to create choose your own adventure videos

Copy of Create a Linked Series of YouTube Videos


How to edit videos within YouTube.

How to Use YouTube's Video Editor


VoiceThread can be described as an online slide show accompanied by commentary (voice and text) from other VoiceThread users. To start a VoiceThread one person posts images and records their commentary about those images then other users can login into their accounts and share their commentary on the same images or what was said by the previous person. In short, it's like having a conversation at an art gallery, but the conversation is held and recorded online instead of in-person.



Sounds for multimedia projects

The Free Music Archive provides free, high-quality, music in a wide range of genres. The content on Free Music Archive is used under various creative commons licenses. The New York State Music Fund provided initial funding for FMA. FMA seeks to maintain a high-quality resource through the use of selected curators who approve or deny all submissions to the collection. Anyone can download music from FMA for use in podcasts, videos, and other digital presentation formats. The music collections can be searched by genre or by curator.


PodSafe Audio, is a resource that I discovered last summer and had some of my students use last year. PodSafe Audio is good place to locate and download free music for multimedia presentations. PodSafe Audio is a community of musicians who create music and share it for the purpose of fair-use in podcasts.

Sound Bible is a resource for finding and downloading free sound clips, sound effects, and sound bites. All of the sounds onSound Bible are either public domain or labeled with a Creative Commons license. You can find sounds for use in podcasts, videos, slideshows, or other multimedia creations.


Podcasting and Audio Creation tools.

Creating podcasts is a great way for students to preserve oral histories or to hear themselves practicing a foreign language. Open source program Audacity and Apple's Garage Band are excellent platforms for recording podcasts. You can also record podcasts without installing software by using Aviary's Myna service. On pages 49-56 of this document I guide you through creating a podcast using Myna.

Myna is a free web-based audio track mixer created by Aviary. Using Myna you can mix together up to ten tracks to create your ownaudio files. The sounds you mix can come from the Myna library, your vocal recordings made with Myna's recorder, or audio tracks that you upload to your Myna account. Aviary has a new service designed to complement their Myna sound mixing service. The new service is called Roc and it does rock. Using Roc you can create your own music loops or samples. After you've created your music samples you can download them, reuse them in Myna, or embed them into your blog.


Vocaroo is a free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need to install any software. You don't even have to create an account to use Vocaroo. All you need to provide is a microphone. I used the microphone built into my MacBook to make the recording below. To create a recording just go to Vocaroo.com, click record, grant Vocaroo access to your mic, and start talking. After completing your recording, Vocaroo gives you the choice to publish it or to scrap it and try again. What I like aboutVocaroo besides the ability to record without installing software is the option to embed the recording anywhere, Vocaroo provides the embed code for you. You can also download your recording, just look for the download link at the bottom of the page (it's small and easily overlooked).

Creating eBooks
Little Bird Tales is a nice site intended for younger students to use to create digital stories. Little Bird Tales walks users through each step of creating a multimedia story. Users can upload images, draw images, or record from their webcams. Stories can be written with text or narrated by students using microphones connected to their computers.


Create 3D augmented reality books. ZooBurst is an amazing service that allows you to create a short story complete with 3D augmented reality pop-ups. Students could use ZooBurst to create short summaries of books that really jump off the screen.


My Ebook is a new service for creating rich multimedia ebooks. My Ebook allows users to create ebooks that contain text, images, and videos on each page. My Ebook users can create ebooks from scratch or upload their existing PDF files to display in a book format. When starting an ebook from scratch on My Ebook, users can import images from their Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, and Photobucket accounts or upload new images directly to My Ebook. If you don't have any digital images you can select some from My Ebook's gallery. Videos can also be embedded into the pages of My Ebook. My Ebook provides a good variety of themes and templates to give each ebook a different look and feel. Ebooks created using My Ebook can be embedded into blogs and websites or shared via email.

One word of caution about My Ebook, you might not want to let your students browse the library of ebooks without supervision. I haven't seen anything that was explicitly bad (the terms of service forbid that type of content) but there is some material that you might not want middle school students accessing. 

Simple Booklet offers free online booklet creation and publishing. To create a book using Simple Booklet just sign-up for a free account and click create. Select the layout template that suits your needs. To add content click anywhere on the blank canvas and a menu of options will appear. You can add text, images, audio files, videos, and links to each page of your booklet.

Each page of your Simple Booklet can have multiple elements on it. To include videos you can upload your own files or select from a variety of provides including SchoolTube, TeacherTube, YouTube, and others. To add audio to your pages you can upload your own files or again select from the online hosts Last.fm, Sound Cloud, or Mix Cloud. When you're done building pages in your Simple Booklet you can share it online by embedding it into a webpage or you can share the unique link generated for your booklet.


Yudu is a free service that allows you to upload PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files to create online magazines. The page turning effect and the zoom options are all built into the technology of Yudu and automatically activated. When your Yudu online magazine is created you can embed it into a blog, wiki, or website. The only drawback to Yudu is that the download option can be hard to find when viewing a document full screen and the download file is a zip file which is a turn-off for some people.

Issuu, like Yudu, offers the option to display your documents with page-turning effects. You can embed your documents with those effects into your blog or website. Issuu also offers a "bookshelf" widget that you can embed into your blog or website to display previews of multiple documents. You can see the Issuu bookshelf widget in the right hand column of Free Technology for Teachers.

Creating Stories on Google Maps

For Google Maps how-to's click here and open Google for Teachers. 

For Google Earth how-to's click here and open Google Earth Across the Curriculum.
Click here for Google Maps and Google Earth video tutorials. 
Click here for a list of activities to familiarize yourself or your students with Google Maps. 

Recording Stories on an iPad

ScreenChomp is a free app for creating and sharing short tutorials or lessons on your iPad. ScreenChomp provides a whiteboard on which you can demonstrate things by drawing and talking people through your instructions. ScreenChomp records your voice as you go. When you finish your recording share it toScreenChomp.com where a shortened URL will be provided for you to share with anyone you like. From ScreenChomp.com you have the option to download recordings as MPEG-4 files.


Show Me is an iPad app for creating and sharing whiteboard-style lessons on your iPad. To support teachers, the Show Me website is building a gallery of lessons developed and shared by teachers. Each day there is a "Show Me of the Day" that is added to the gallery of lessons. Click here to download the app from iTunes.


Creating Comics Online.

Witty Comics provides a simple platform that students can use to create two character dialogues. To use Witty Comics students just need to select the pre-drawn background scenes and the pre-drawn characters they want to feature in their comics. Writing the dialogues is the creative element that is left to the students.

Artisan Cam is more than just a comic creator, it is a comprehensive collection of online art activities. On Artisan Cam students can use the Super Action Comic Maker to build a six frame comic. The Super Action Comic Maker has a drag and drop interface which students use to select a background and character for their comics. 

The Super Hero Squad invites kids to create their own super hero comic strips and comic books. The Super Hero Squad provides users with templates for comic strips and comic books. Users select the backgrounds, characters, and special effects from the provided menus. Arranging each scene and re-size the characters is an easy drag and drop process. After creating their scenes, users can add dialogue boxes to their comics. Completed comic strips and comic books can be downloaded and printed. 
Pixton is a drag-and-drop cartoon creation tool which allows anyone regardless of artistic ability to create comics. Users can join the Pixton community to share their creations with other. In addition to the free individual accounts Pixton offers Pixton for Schools (not free) which allows teachers to create private rooms in which only their students can create and share comics. To learn more about Pixton, watch this short video.
Strip Generator allows anyone, even people who claim they can't draw, to create a good-looking black and white comic strip. To create a comic strip all you need to do is select the number of frames you want then drag characters and objects into those frames. The menus for characters and objects are fairly extensive. Once you've selected a character or object you can adjust the size to fit your scene. Adding text is a simple matter of selecting a speech bubble and typing text. When you're happy with your comic strip you can save it online, print it, or embed it into your blog.

Write Comics is a free, simple tool for creating comic strips. Write Comicsdoesn't require any registration to use. In fact, registration is not even an option. To create a comic on Write Comics just select a background from the menu, choose some characters, and add some speech bubbles. You can continue adding frames until you've completed your story. Write Comics is quite easy to use, but there is one short-coming and that is the only way you can save your work is to save it to your local hard drive.
Make Beliefs is a free comic strip creation tool that provides students with a variety of templates, characters, and prompts for building their own comic strips. Make Beliefs provides students with a pre-drawn characters and dialogue boxes which they can insert into each box of their comic strip. The editing options allow users the flexibility to alter the size of each character and dialogue bubble, bring elements forward within each box, and alter the sequence of each box in the comic strip. Students that have trouble starting a story can access writing prompts through make beliefs. Most impressively,Make Beliefs allows users to write their comic strip's dialogue in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portugese, or Latin.
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