I cannot tell you how excited I am about this project.  Just in the last week, I’ve had two teachers at my school ask if there were any programs they could use to help their students express their ideas more clearly. I mentioned to both of them the idea of digital storytelling and they were both very interested.  I feel that a simple application could help the students “see” their story and learn how to write it so that each of the steps makes sense.  Often, when emerging writers put their ideas to paper, they either 1) forget all the steps between A and Z and don’t realize that the story doesn’t make sense or 2) they add TOO MUCH detail and their story gets bogged down with nonessential information. 

If students were able to visualize all the steps of the story it may help them layer it appropriately or tighten it up where there is too much information.

I am trying out Storymaker right now – but I am a little frustrated with it.  I understand it is a basic program, and primarily it seems for children.  While it is a digital animated story – that is limited.  The animation goes away once the story is complete.  I guess this is because it can be printed out .

Here is a link to a tutorial I found on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmr9TWawbeQ

It is simplistically fun – but he even points out some of the problems with it.  Some of the items randomly cannot be placed certain places.  For example, the cupcake cannot be placed on the tree, but it can be placed in the characters hand.  But what if the point of the story is to have the cupcake up in the tree?  That is a rather random but potentially quite problematic limitation. 

I found nowhere to actually embed the story.  But once the story is completed, you are given a code.  You go to the storymaker site

http://www.carnegielibrary.org/kids/storymaker/embed.cfm

and then insert the code  PMH098 into enter the Magic code box.

This allows you to view the previously made story.

I like this application, but some of the limitations are pretty significant.  Maybe I just need to play with it more.

 

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