I am looking for feedback regarding the best free tools for digital storytelling for elementary and middle school students. What have you used? What do you like and don't like?

Tags: digital, storytelling, tools

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I am going to be having 4th and 5th grade students work on digital stories. Any ideas on the easiest (student friendly)method to record voice and music together. I have created digital stories w/voice. Although, in Photo Story 3, which is what we are using, I haven't found the best way to have music throughout the story as well as a voice tied to an individual slide. Any ideas? Let me through in...I won't be able use any other software than Photo Story 3 for the slides (on district PC's), but I am willing to download software on my personal laptop to record voice over.
There is a new web 2.0 tool that works great from what people have been telling me. Fooled around with it a little, the interface is easy to use and there is no download required. You can check it out at Mixbook.com.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this discussion. :-)
PhotoStory is a great starter program for creating stories with digital pictures or scanned images or artwork. PhotoStory is extremely kid friendly. You can narrate slides individually. I have used this starting with 1st graders.

Movie Maker can be used for mixing still pictures and videos together, then use Audacity as a narrating tool. Movie Maker is a little more advanced, should be used in grades 4 and up.
If you are looking for some great resources tools and e-learning apps that will make your professional life a great deal easier check out my blog at www.edgalaxy.com with regular updates and lesson plans.
If you are looking for some great resources tools and e-learning apps that will make your professional life a great deal easier check out my blog at www.edgalaxy.com with regular updates and lesson plans.
Try the tools associated with My eCoach. It is what we use as a basic foundation for our online community at the Global Association for Teaching Excellence.
All the work that any of our members, and by default, their students do while in the site always belongs to the creator. There is also no advertising in member pages or on private pages at eCoach.
Excellent tools! Can do so much with them!
I have used Photostory with my high school students with considerable success. As for an applicaiton at the elementary and middle levels, I think it will work great there too. My own children (grades 1-7) have all created interesting products with Photostory. All the students need are pictures they can grab from the Internet or take themselves.

A word of advice, though, is that pictures taken from the net need to be a reasonable size (100+ k) or they are blury when converted to the video. Also, any text added overtop will be blurry also.

An interesting suggestion to work aroun this is to created a slkide in Powerpoint and save it as a jpg which can theyn be imported into Photostory like a regular photo. I have not tried it, but the reasoning is very sound.

The board i teach in has created a wiki with the information from the PD on Photostory in case you are interested: http://ocdsbphotostory.wikispaces.com/

Enjoy and have fun!
Chris
Hello all,

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