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.
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.