Chelsi's Educational Musings

Posts Tagged ‘digital storytelling

I have been working on my Summary of Learning today, and after playing with several of the Web 2.0 digital storytelling tools, I decided to use xtranormal.  Xtranormal is a movie maker where you can create your own animated movie and have the characters say your text.  I wanted my Summary of Learning to be told like a story, and this seemed to be the best media through which to share my summary.  I think that I was also inclined to use the program because as a child, my brother and I had a movie maker program on our computer that reminds me a lot of this site.  It was a lot of fun, but not nearly as simple as xtranormal was to use.

While working with xtranormal, I discovered a few pros and cons.

– Quite easy to use.
– Several characters to choose from.
– The characters can ‘do’ several different actions.
– The drag and drop process by which you place the action command right into the text was simple.
– Simply type your text into the window, and the characters say what you want them to say.

– The site is free for a 14 day trial, but I had to pay for an account in order to access more options.  It was only $10, so I think it was a good deal.
– The characters are static and do not walk around.
– You cannot make more than one scene in a movie without upgrading to a higher account.  This is what I found most frustrating.  I had to make four mini-movies that I will show in order for my presentation.  I wish that they could have a fade-out in between each one so that the scenes changed.  In my program as a kid, I was able to do this.
– The computerized voices are not too bad, but I wish that I could record audio right into the program.  However, it is kind of cool having them speak in their monotone way haha.
– In order to preview the movie to see how it looked, it took quite a long time to load each time I wanted to see how my changes worked.

All in all, I think that this storytelling tool has been a creative way to share my Summary of Learning.  Now, my only problem – it is nine minutes long! :S  I have some serious editing to do!


It is freeeeeezing cold outside, and it is the perfect day to have devoted to working on my Summary of Learning.  I have been looking at everyone’s blogs to see how they have been using the digital storytelling tools, and I have been collecting many ideas for projects that I want to try with my students.  I was thinking to myself, “Oh, I hope I remember that so that I can try it when we are working in such and such unit!  Oh, I want to have my students try Zooburst for their OWN Christmas lists like Laura posted on her blog!  Oh neat, the kids would LOVE to try Blabberize for their creative writing projects!  I hope I remember these things when the time comes to use them!’  Then I thought, “D’uh, Chelsi, just blog them and reference them later!”  One of the reasons why I love the web so much is that it provides such great organization.  Now I won’t have to search through my files for my list of resources – I can access them all in one click!   This list is mainly for my own organization, but if you are able to use any of the ideas, all the more reason to create it!  If you have any ideas to share, feel free to add them!

(Sorry, I’m not going to link to all of them out of time constraints.  They’re all here for you to access.  Thanks Alan Levine for all of your work!)

ImageLoop or Animoto – I want to use this to create a simple slideshow for for my class blog of pictures of the students on our various field trips.

Photopeach – Use to display my own photos and upload to Facebook.  Looks pretty easy.

Slideroll – This slideshow tool is deemed “on the easy end of the slideshow creation tools” by Alan, so maybe my students could create their OWN slideshows with captions about our class trip to Agribition.

Tikatok – Helps kids to create books using photos (or could use their drawings if I took pictures of them).  The kids would love creating a story this way rather than the standard pencil and paper way.

Vovox – My husband’s band could use this to put their gig pictures on their website in a cool, different format.

Mixbook – Great to show my friends who have kids and who don’t have time to scrapbook their pictures, but still want to share them.

xtimeline – For my Titanic unit, my students could keep track of the events unfolding surrounding the Titanic’s voyage and sinking.

Pikistrips – Students could caption photos of our field trips or classroom events and make them into a comic.

Google My Maps – Why have I not seen this before???  This will enhance my Canada Social Studies unit in numerous ways!

Flickr Five Frame Stories – This was fun to do in class, and would be good to do as an entire-class creative writing project.  I could project the pictures from the data projector and we could write the story together as a class.

Blabberize – Have the kids create characters in Creative Writing class, find a picture on Compfight, and go to town on this site!

Now, off to figure out which tool to use for my Summary of Learning!