Take one, App #17–Digital Storytelling trifecta

Compflight: http://compfight.com/
Little Bird Tales: http://littlebirdtales.com/
Microsoft Digital Storytelling for teachers: http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/teachers/guides/Pages/digital_storytelling.aspx

(These three resources encompass digital storytelling for younger audiences. Please turn to the Cool Tools page on my blog for more resources).

Synopsis: Complight is similar to Flikrstorm. In the search box, you can enter in your search terms (for images only). Then, click on “show me what compflight can do.”

In the new screen, you can narrow your search in the left-hand column. You can search all text or tags only. You can also search by license type–creative commons or commercial. And, you can choose to only show the original images, thereby directing you to the original source. Lastly, you can search with safety turned on or off. This feature sets it apart from Flickrstorm. When you find an image you want, just click on it and it will appear in a new window. As with all media, be sure to pay credit to the author(s) of the media. Unfortunately, Compflight does not give users the ability to save searches and store photo searches. However, the “safe” feature makes it desirable.

Little Bird Tales is designed for younger students who are making digital stories. And, it is completely free. Begin by creating an account. When creating an account, you can select whether it is a teacher or student account. You are then prompted to select the school or add the school (the first person for your school should do this). You must also give the school a four-digit code (students will be prompted to enter this in order to login, so make it easy enough). Be sure to write down the school code (again, only the first person to set up the school must create a school code; everyone else will just select the school from the drop-down list). With a teacher login, you can manage classes and manage the school (master account). You can view all downloads and create a tale like your students. With the class manager, teachers can create classes and add students to each class. They can also set permissions for the class. For instance, teachers can select who can see the class page, who can share, and if public tales can be viewed. To add students, simply click on the Import Students button. You will be asked to import a CSV file with student names, usernames, passwords, and class names (the classes you have created on your account). Simply put, Little Bird Tales is in online class space that specializes in digital stories. To create a tale, you can draw, upload a picture, or select images from the gallery. It will walk you through the steps–cover page with audio, additional pages with audio and text, and finishing the book. When you are done, you can click preview. All student books are automatically linked to teacher accounts so the teacher can see them and store them. At the bottom of the preview page, there is an embed code so the stories can be embedded into the Website. Students can make as many books as they desire. And, that’s all there is to it!

Microsoft’s Digital Storytelling in the Classroom has handouts (rubrics, storyboard templates, and how-to guides) at the bottom of the Webpage. These are great starting places for creating a digital storytelling unit.

Integration: Since there are three resources today, I will show how all three can be integrated at once to create an efficient digital storytelling experience. Teachers should begin with Microsoft’s site in order to device rubrics and create objectives and the appropriate assessment. From there, they can create classes and import students into Little Bird Tales. When all accounts have been created, students can begin gathering materials. Students can use Compflight to gather images and correctly site them. Students can import and record their voices through Little Bird Tales and, they can share their stories through Little Bird Tales. With the public gallery available, teachers and students can search stories that have already been created. And, with the teacher/student account features, teachers can easily monitor student work. Little Bird Tales is a great site for bringing it all together.

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