My digital storytelling project was about Polio and the vaccinations used to control the disease. Not many students today have ever seen Polio’s effect first hand, so photos really give students an idea of the crippling effects on the children who are afflicted with the disease. I used The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization for most of the information I gathered. The sources of the photos are noted on each one. You can view my digital story on YouTube at the following link:
I used Microsoft Word (table) to organize my storyboard, adding and organizing the script and photos I wanted to use. Then, I used a program that came on my computer called Photo Story 3 for Windows. It was my first time using this program, but it was easy to use. I had trouble getting the program to recognize my microphone, so I used my iPod and an ap I purchased called Voice Recorder mp3 to record my voice and background music. I added the recording as a music file to the story and adjusted the transition times to match the recording script. I used a free music website to find a sad sounding wood flute song, as background music. Finally, I added the digital story to YouTube (also a first).
It was a great deal of work, but I think it would be a very effective classroom tool. You could use it as a whole class or at a station.
I did my project on an online collaboration site called Stixy.com. I chose this site because it is a free site that you can use for professional or personal projects. You can invite others to collaborate and you can incorporate your own photos and documents. In the classroom, you could use it for small groups of students to do collaborative projects, or a whole class could do a project. You could also create stixyboards for Open House or professional development days.
I used Jing (video recording) and Screencast (video sharing) for the first time as well. They were really easy to use and have a lot of potential for use in the classroom and professional development areas.
My project: http://www.screencast.com/t/PyvN6LE3m
Resources to show Stixy being used in education:
I had been confused over the laws for copyrights and Fair Use. A few years ago, I was showing a video recording of an A&E program about history. As the video began to play a large FBI warning came across the screen that stated that the program was not allowed to be recorded. Of course there was a student that picked up on that and made a comment. I wasn’t sure what to say. Now I know that it was legally used because it was only used for educational purposes and considered Fair Use. Realistically, A&E and the FBI would never know about it, because a very small number of students viewed it and I wasn’t making money from it.
More recently, I used a few photos that I found on the Internet to enhance educational websites that I created. I know now, I should have cited my sources and plan to do that from now on. This use would be protected, but it would be better to give the credit where it is used. I understand a little more about the importance of giving a person’s creative talents acknowledgement.
As far as classrooms and education use goes, everything is open for use as long as you are not making a profit with it. The laws protect teachers from sharing creative work with students so they can learn about our culture and history, without worrying about getting in trouble.