A couple of weeks ago, @kentmanning shared with me a screencast that he had posted to his Screencast website showing an introduction to using Frames 4 with your own media versus using the Clipart that comes with the product. It was a very cool idea, using a screencast of the product to show how to use the product. He’s run some analytics on the site and his efforts have been downloaded a number of times. Kudos. Personally, I’m always a tad leery when it comes to Screencasts. I find that when I try to do one that my tongue quickly gets tied and I have a difficult time watching the screen, saying what needs to be said, and doing it all synchronously without the mannerisms that seem to come into play. I prefer to do my work in pieces and then assemble the parts. It’s important to know one’s limitations!
Since my original post, lots of folks had checked in with even better ideas than my original idea of creating a blog post.
What I find amazing is that all of these digital storytelling efforts use different tools. Whether it be a blog, flickr, Google Docs, Comic Life, … the ultimate goal is in the ability to tell your story. From an educational perspective, we are creating what I hope would be an environment that inspires story telling and a deeper understanding of the story being told. Above and beyond that link, there’s the whole skill set of computer abilities that goes along with it.
This past week, we incorporated “all of the above” and created our own digital stories using Frames 4. Its multimedia experience is second to none for the educational audience and provides a powerful platform for this activity. Plus, having the proper tools pushes this over the top. Here’s what we did.
Every story needs a title page. So, here goes! Welcome to Clinton. I used Google Streetview to grab the image of the radar screen that sits right at the corner of Highways 4 and 8.
You need a context. Here’s an over view of the town. When I was growing up, we had one set of street lights. With the building of the new Tim Horton’s, another set of lights has been added near there and the public school. A pretty smart idea by the town planners!
Welcome to Clinton Public School! I captured the image and added some text. But, it’s simpler than that! With a blog entry, I found that I used a screen capture utility to capture what I needed and then resized it. Frames 4 impresses me at this juncture. I just went to Google StreetView and displayed the view full screen. Pressing the PrtSc button places the entire content into the clipboard. Then, it’s just a matter of flipping to Frames 4 and doing a CTRL-V to paste the clipboard. I didn’t need to do any resizing whatsoever. The paste operation placed it centred and perfectly sized on the frame. Wow. Talk about ease.
The Pan and Zoom tool lets me take you right to the front doors of the school. I don’t ever remember using them! They were for guests. We had to use the other doors leading to the playground. I wonder if that rule still exists. I’ll bet it does.
Down the street and around the corner takes you to Central Huron Secondary School. We had such a diverse population there, great gyms, and a football field out the back and down the hill.
I duplicated this slide so that I could use the Comic bubble to show me daydreaming in class.
And the story goes on and on. Check my previous posting if you want the rest of the tour.
I can see these becoming quite involved with students. I think that it’s important to have them label the scenes and components during creation so that any final debugging is easily done.
Then, it’s time to add the audio. Nothing beats a good microphone and a perfect script so that you get the best results.
Of great importance is moving the scrubber bar to the appropriate spot on the timeline before recording. That lets you have consecutive audio bits on the same track and leaves you the second track if you want to add some music later on.
You’ll note that the audio takes more time than the default for the frame. This is easily adjusted. Click on the frame on the timeline and drag the duration slider so that they are synchronized!
The final step is to “Make” your production which export it to a movie file and you’re ready to share it with the world! Thanks everyone for the inspiration for this activity.