I have been wanting to have students create book trailers ever since reading Mighty Little Librarian, Tiffany Whitehead’s post about student created book trailers. Just having opened up Google Drive in our school, my 5th and 6th graders are currently making their book trailers in Google Presentation as a way to get them savvy with that program. However, I think the music component of a book trailer is very powerful so I would like them to transfer their finished product to a platform that supports an addition of music. (Where are you with this Google?) This tool has been the perfect place for me to try out a variety of digital storytelling tools to find the right fit for my students.
I loved Animoto. It is easy to use, free, intuitive, and, did I mention, free? I can add my students on my account if I register for an educator account, which I did. This is helpful because my 6th graders have gmail but my 5th graders don’t. On the down side, the amount of text you can add is limited. It’s disappointing because I love this tool in every other way. Some of my students got right to the point with making their persuasive case for why to read a book but some of my other students are wordier. This was the tool I decided to use as my creation for this entry. I had started one in January and never got past the first slide because of everything I was trying to accomplish as a first year middle school library teacher. This assignment was a great opportunity to go back and master this product. It was totally worth it.
I tried storify and photopeach and both were blocked through my school’s filter. Even if they are fabulous tools, it will take me some time to get these unblocked so I decided to try out other tools.
My next try was Voice Thread. Knowing my students will have to register for an account which has to be verified through an e-mail address is tricky. Again, my 5th graders don’t have our school g-mail yet. I watched one of the intro videos and found it fascinating. I like the idea of conveying an idea through voice and an accompanying video instead of just pictures, music, and text. Hmmm… Maybe I will reserve this one for next year’s 6th grade alone. I think this tool would lend itself well to research projects. I also wish I had known about this tool when I was doing presentations for the school board this year. It would have been fun to introduce the new additions made to the library using this tool and asking my library squad to create it. I will put this one in my bag of tricks. I thought Digital
Passport was similar to VoiceThread but I like the layout better where you can see the video of the person speaking along with the slides of information. I am thinking that over the summer, I may create one each of these for my Information Literacy classes to introduce each of the topics of the curriculum.
PresentMe seems like another great option as it doesn’t require an e-mail authentication after sign up. My 5th graders have an e-mail address, they just don’t have access to it yet so they can sign up with it as long as they don’t have to go into it to authenticate their account. I like that you can upload a Google doc, being that we are a GAFE school and uploading a Prezi slide is also an option. On the down side, in order to upload music you need to pay for an upgraded account.
Overall, I like the options out there and I can see that if there was one that almost fits the bill but not quite, I might put in for some funding to upgrade. Seeing all of these tools also brought up some good questions that I haven’t addressed it being my first year here such as ‘Do we have microphones?’ and ‘Is there money in the budget for a tool like this?’ Overall, these have been very helpful and very timely. Looks like we’re going to go with Animoto for our book trailers and my wordy students will have to be more precise with their convincing text.
Here’s my try at a convincing book trailer via Animoto: http://animoto.com/play/PnXOu92tYiAR1TcxnJ41oA