Digital Storytelling – Bubblr

I’ve started to become interested in digital storytelling. So when I found Bubblr by Pimpampum recently I was very interested at the possibilities. Bubblr is a comic strip based services that uses the Flickr API to allow you to search for and pull in Creative Commons licensed images to tell a story. The interface is pretty intuitive; do a search via the text box, choose images you like from the returned results and drag them onto the strip. Add an additional image by simply dragging another and dropping it to the right of the last image, and so on. (You can also add them before the last image by clicking the appropriate option.)

Once your strip is in place, you can add comic strip like speech bubbles, thought bubbles and narrative bubbles. When you’re happy, you can publish your strip to the archive. You just then need to put a title to your composition and add your name. (There’s an interesting warning – your boss might see your composition so be careful.)

screenshot of Title and Name input box for Bubblr

Writing this post, I have realised some similarities between Bubblr and Vuvox Collage. So Bubblr not only has a digital storytelling use, but could be a presentation tool as well.

I’ve quickly created a Bubblr strip, Shots of Sheffield UK by Markuos.

Bubblr digital storytelling in action

There’s an archive to look through other people’s creations using a useful search facility.

Integrated Presentation

So you’re doing a presentation and you think that it’d be useful to make the content available afterwards. Well you can put the slides online. Job done. But does that give attendees at the presentation enough? What about people who come upon it in the future?

Well we’ve got technology available now that allows us to record more. (In fact we’ve had that capability for a long time; pre-digital and pre-web, it was just harder to do for most people.) But now it’s easy to do. Surely having your dialogue will make the content of that presentation a whole lot more useful, immediately and into the future. Therefore when you get up to speak record it with some kind of digital recorder; be that an mp3 player with a mic, a phone, an ipod, whatever gives a decent quality recording. Now you can tie the two together. The easiest way is at Slideshare. There you can host your slides and add your mp3 file (with position markers) to re-marry the slides with the audio commentary.

But we can go further. Set up a video camcorder somewhere nearby or have a colleague in the audience with one. By the end you’ve got a video record of the presentation. Now you can put that up on a video hosting site, YouTube being the best known, but there are others which might suit your needs better. That’s okay as it goes, but what about the slides. We’ll there are free online facilities that enable you to put the video and slides together, a good example being VCASMO.

VCASMO

Your video plays alongside your slides, which is rather useful for a demonstration.

Of course, there are other presentation alternatives, some of which I’ve previously written about here. And another one I need to do some work on being Prezi.

10 Technologies for educators

It’s reassuring when you chance upon something that affirms what you’ve set out to do. That happened to me today when I came across “10 internet technologies that educators should be informed about“.Yep, this is part of what I’m doing, identifying the useful stuff for educators, and providing appropriate application with examples.

e.g.

Twitter & the backchannel

Etherpad & the whiteboard replacement

Vuvox / Glogster & visual presentation