Via Wes Fryer’s blog, I came upon a list created by Alan Levine which describes 50+ tools for digital storytelling. Alan has broken these down into Slideshow Tools which primarily use images with or without music background, Mixer Tools which include video as well as photos, Timeline tools, Comic Tools, Scrapbook Tools, Audio Tools, Video Tools, Map Tools, more Flickr ideas, and Presentation tools.
Alan’s list is fairly comprehensive. In order to make the list, there has to be at least a basic level of service that is free. To test each of the fifty sites, he has created a story about his dog, Dominoe [sic], and tried to tell the story using each of the tools listed.
There were some of the usual suspects, such as VoiceThread, SlideShare, and various Google products. However, there were some new ones. I was intrigued by several of the timeline applications. The last real useful tool I’ve seen has been Timeliner by Tom Snyder, and that one is hard to beat. However, it lacks true multimedia and online sharing capabilities. The ones listed by Alan looked interesting, but the navigation for each seemed a bit clunky. I’m not sure these would be adopted by our teachers easily. I’m hoping that more improvements and/or applications like this are on the way.
There were lots of links for Flickr users. The slideshow function that comes as part of Flickr isn’t the most elegant thing. Applications such as PicLens do a much better job of displaying one’s images. The applications Alan describes add transitions and timing, and in some cases even have music that you can select. My two favorites from this list are below:
SlideFlickr is about as simple as it gets. You can select individual images, or images by set, group, or tag. You can change the speed and background of the images, as well as add limited text, but you can’t do fancy transitions or text overlays. Also, the slide order is limited to the way that the images appear in Flickr. You can add music, but it has to be an MP3 file that’s already online, and you link to it remotely.
The nice thing about SlideFlickr is that you can create a slideshow without having to register for an account. Even logged on as a guest, you can get a show with embeddable HTML code. I’ve done one below using my tag “festival”, so it includes the images I took last Saturday at the various festivals I attended. You will need to click on the Play button to start the slide show.
Another one that caught my eye was Photoshow. It’s not as simple as SlideFlickr, but it does give you many more options. You have to upload images individually, and there is a limit to size. You can select images that are already online, such as from Flickr, but these are copied over to the Photoshow servers. You can’t create a slideshow from a Flickr set or from tags, but you have a wider range from which to draw the images. You can also add transitions, text, and select from a wide range of background music. As with SlideFlickr, you get embeddable HTML code, and you don’t even have to sign up for an account to create a presentation.
All-in-all, it’s a nice roundup. I may play around with a few more of these before I settle on which ones I want to use. I plan to start using SlideFlickr right away in my posts here because of it’s simplicity. I can tag my images with a date, and voila! I’ve got a slideshow of all the images from a particular photo excursion. I’ll just have to find a place to keep the MP3 files I’d want to use as background music.
[tags]Instructional Technology, Slide Show, Multimedia, flickr[/tags]