Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 16 - Photo Story 3



Creating basic multimedia movies is simple when using Photo Story 3.  This free application allows users to create digital stories using photos or images.  With a single click, users can touch-up, crop or rotate pictures, remove red-eye, and add special effects, music, and voice narration to photo stories. Small file sizes make it easy to send your photo stories in an e-mail or watch them on a TV, computer, or Windows Mobile–based portable device.
The possibilities for using Photo Story 3 stretch across curricular areas.  I have used it several times in both high school and middle school --  students have created commercials, historical timelines, personal timelines, and biographies.  What I like most is that it is simple to use, so teachers don’t need to spend much time teaching students how to use the program – they just click and go!

The easiest way to learn Photo Story 3 is by using it, but I’ve included screen shots to familiarize you with the program.  I’ve also included a resource section at the bottom containing links to tutorials and help sections.

Step One: Getting Started


Begin a new story if this is the start of a project.  
You may also edit an existing story or play a completed one.

 Step Two: Importing Your Photos or Pictures Files

Click “Import Photos” button and find the photos you’d like to use for your project.   
You may select them one by one or several at a time.

Step Three: Editing Your Timeline and Photos
 Your pictures will appear in the timeline along the bottom of the screen.  If the photos are not in the order you want them, drag and drop them wherever you like.  Use the buttons under the photo to make a variety of edits.  Users may correct red eye, adjust colors, and crop just to name a few.

Step Four: Adding Titles and Narration

This screen provides many options.  Users may add titles to an image (top) or add a voice recording (bottom) if desired.  These are optional.  If this isn’t something you want, simply click “Next.”

Step Five: Customizing Motion

By clicking the “Customize Motion” button under the photo, the user has the option to add the "Ken Burns Effect" to photos.


Step Six: Adding Background Music.

 Select the photo where you’d like the music to begin.  Add your own mp3 file or choose one from a copyright free website such as freeplaymusic.com. 

Step Seven: Save your project.

This step renders your file into a Windows Media file that can be played back on any computer with  Windows Media Player. Once rendered, you will still have your original Photo Story 3 file that you saved if you want to go back and make changes to the final product.

Tutorials and Resources
Here are some additional resources you can use to become more proficient with Photo Story 3:
   Photo Story 3 Tutorials: Jakesonline.org There are eleven screencasts on this site to take you through each step of using Photo Story 3.
   Photo Story’s Help section: In the program, click Help... for a searchable help guide with illustrations.
   Photo Story 3 download page:  Click here to download Photo Story 3. You must have Windows XP and Windows Media Player 10 to use Photo Story 3. You can download Windows Media Player 10 here

Your Challenge

How have you used this tool in your classroom?  What successes have you had?  If you have not used this tool, share some ideas on how you can incorporate it into your classroom.

29 comments:

  1. The way I can see myself using this in the classroom is to have students do research to figure out where the main theorems and properties come from in the curriculum I am teaching. Then they can present it on the Promethean board for everyone to see. I can also possibly take the best ones and start a bank of mini movies to use later down the road in my classrooms.

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    1. Love the idea of having a bank for future reference!

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  2. Photo Story is our go-to format for student presentations. It has more options than a PowerPoint, and it is easier to navigate, for most students, than Movie Maker. The first week of school our students create an "I Am" project, a Photo Story presentation introducing themselves to their classmates. Photo Story is always included as a format for any project with a "technology" product choice. Photo Story is a great tool!

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  3. Photostory is sooo awesome!!!! I love this program and how creative it allows people to be. I have tried suggesting it to students for presentations several times (I like to give them options), but no one has ever actually selected it. I think I might a future project where they have to use photostory because it really is a pretty easy program to learn, and photostories look so nice and polished. I could have them share a myth story, do a presentation on a historical figure, or perhaps on an aspect of Roman life/culture.

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    1. The first time I had my 6th graders use it, they were apprehensive. They begged me to let them use PowerPoint instead. Once they started it, though, they realized how creative they could be with it and love it now.

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  4. We just finished president reports in one of my third grade classrooms. My inclusion students and I worked with our e-learning coach on a Glogster project, but I can see how Photostory would have worked too. Next time we will try that! I think adding the music is a nice touch, and the kids would enjoy that too!

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    1. They love adding music -- getting them to add music that fits their theme/tone is another matter. They always want to just add their favorite song rather than find something that fits.

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  5. I have used Photostory with algebra students before two ways. The best of the parojects I have used it with is quadratics. The students found "real life" parabolas and uplaoded the images to PhotoStory to make a movie reagrding the characteristics of each found parabola. Some turned out so good that they are my model for future projects. ANother way I have used it in algebra was with slope. I have students create videos to describe all possible forms of slope using terms, definitions, algebraic pictures/examples, and then real life images too. Both have worked great in my classroom when I taught algebra. Another project I just thought of that someone used Photostory on as an option was my Polygons in the World Around You. I had 2 downsides with the project. 1. Students wanted to copy/paste the images not save; and 2. the students saved the video in a format that wasn't compatible with my computer somehow when I would go to open them after submission.

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    1. Those are two draw backs I've found too. Kids just want to copy and paste everything. At least this way they have to be organized with their pics! As for the video format, I've have that issue too. Sometimes we've had to just watch their story in preview mode.

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  6. Thanks, Leah, for some ideas!! I have not used photostory...yet. I would like my students to branch out from creating powerpoints for projects, so I am going to have to require them to use Photostory or something else. Can students record their own voices and do a voice over with Photostory? I think I'll use this with my algebra 2 students and conics project.

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    1. Yes, one of the screens allows students to add narration to all or part of their story.

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  7. I can see many uses for this in my reading class with novels. I think I am going to steal the idea I read above about using it in math with slope. I am getting ready to start slope after Thanksgiving and think I will try this. Anything visual or that can help my students with special needs make real-life connections is great. Thanks for the idea!

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    1. In regard to your comment on novels... one of the ELA teachers at my school had students make book trailers using photo story. They turned out great!

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  8. I've never used photostory with my students before - mainly because I never find the time once I get in the groove to stop and teach myself and the students how to use the program..and when given choices, most are a little apprehensive to try it themselves.

    I like the idea from previous posts about making a beginning-of-the-year assignment using photostory so that students learn how to use it right away. Powerpoints do get old!

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    1. I did the beginning of the year thing too. Now the kids are like little photo story pros and I have to encourage them to use something else for variety!

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  9. It looks like a nice way to do biographies. I like how there are so many different platforms available for student presentations.

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  10. This is the first time I have seen this website. I can see using it instead of the standard powerpoint for student reports. Looking forward to playing around with this and then introducing it to students.

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  11. I helped a teacher last year do a Photostory with her class on bats. Each student read their information that they had gathered about their bat and picked a picture to go with it. I also helped my daughter do a Photostory for a project in class. They had to take a song and change the words. We had the music in the background and typed in the words with a variety of changes between each page. I used Photostory with my class last year and plan to do it again this year. We were studying Benjamin Franklin and his inventions. Each student had to pick an invention and then they researched it. They picked the picture and we recorded them speaking their information. This is a very easy program for the students and teachers to learn and use. The students really enjoy the ability for music, screen changes, and to hear their voice. You do have to set limits or like anything they will spend forever just picking how the page will move or the music to play. In science I can see using this for steps of a project for science fair, or tracking growth of a plant, etc. Social Studies lends itself to many possibilities like the one we did with Benjamin Franklin.

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  12. Being the Mac fan that I am, I am partial to iMovie.

    I have used Photo Story with students though, I must admit. A few years ago, my after-school tech club made a video about our school - map, staff, etc., and we used it to give to new students when they arrived. The tech club even showed it off at the Tech Expo at Ivy Tech! Fun!

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  13. Oh my, this looks great! I can not wait to have students try this one out. We use the netbooks almost on a daily basis in my classes, I always have some project going on. When my 7th grade students create advertisements for health, this would be a new way for them to make a commercial. I have a restaurant project that they could have a lot of fun with using this site. They just finished a presentation on Google Docs about Holiday customs in other countries - this is another neat site to use so that we do not get tired of using the same ones over and over. I thought mural.ly was going to be my new favorite, this one is looking like it could be too :-) Thanks for sharing another neat site.

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  14. Yeah! Another great tool to explore! I love the idea of a simpler presentation tool than Powerpoint. I would love to even experiment having my third graders using it! Thinking I'd like to use it personally to make an electronic study guide with information from class. Love that the files are smaller and could be emailed to parents!

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  15. My students have created Photo Stories with my students. They love how easy it is and how it walks them through it step by step. The projects they turn out are great as well! Great resource for the netbooks!

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  16. My students have used Photostory for many projects. They love it for short stories, presentations, poems--you name it! It is a great way for them to express themselves in a digital format.

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  17. I would love to have my children try to create their own stories. I think they would love it. This would be great to have them create a project on one of the standards we are working on.

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  18. I have used this before with vocabulary terms, they make a slide with each word, a picture depicting the meaning, they write the word and the definition as well as explain why they chose the picture.Haven't used it in a long time though.

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  19. This looks like a good one to use with 5th graders. They like Powerpoint, because they can put a picture and some words on each page. This will do that and more. I will have them create something to go with the songs they write and tell the story of the song or the background to how they came up with the idea. Is there a mac version?

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  20. What a fun program. This would be fun to use with pictures taken throughout the year and create a video for the parents at the end of the year. How fun!

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  21. PhotoStory is so easy to use and so student-friendly! Big fan.
    So...what did you use to draw your cool arrows and make your cool notes on your screen captures?

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  22. ...Students can create their own Creation myth, with illustrations and narrations. In fact, they did it this semester in my class, and had a ball.

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