Digital stories can be made on several different websites. Most of the storytelling websites cost money, but some let you create short clips for free. The website that was used to create this digital slideshow was Animoto. The website and directions were very clear and had many different options to choose pictures and music from.
In the video I created, A Day in Madrid, I showed my viewers some different sites around the city of Madrid, Spain. I could definitely imagine using this in my classes to show my students architecture, historic places, and culture of different places in the world. This seems like a great way to organize pictures and show them in a fun and engaging manner. In the language classroom, you could introduce different units with photographs, music, and text from different themes or places in the world. Students could also create different slide shows using Animoto or a similar site that could allow them to be creative in bringing their ideas to life. Animoto could be an alternative to PowerPoint, field trips, or digital storytelling. It can also enhance work the students may already be doing, such as science projects or book reports. Students with limited English skills could also create a video to introduce themselves to me and / or the class. It is important to note, however, that many English language Learners and refugee students do not always have access to digital photos or even the internet. This might be an activity that the teacher would have to bring the students to the school's computer lab to do. The teacher and computer lab instructor could help students find images on a site like Flickr or through some sort of clip art. The teacher could also ask students to bring in any photos and they could be scanned on to the computers. Technology is such a good tool to use with ELLs, but accommodations must be considered before assuming all of your students have the ability to use these tools. In this way it could possibly have the added bonus of teaching students how to use technology.
How have you used sites like Animoto in the classroom? What did you do and how did it go?