Monday, June 12, 2017

Storytelling Slides

A Great Podcast

I'm always on the lookout for a great podcast. If I'm traveling to and from work or if I have a long drive to a conference or workshop, a podcast is a great way to make the most of my time. Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the Bam Radio Network and the great options they have available in short, 10-minute podcast sessions. I didn't list the session there, but Matt Miller (Ditch that Textbook) had a great series by the title: Hook 'em! He has since moved on to a much longer platform and has teamed up with Kasey Bell (Shake Up Learning). This one is the Google Teacher Tribe. If you have 45 minutes to give it a listen, I'd highly recommend it. My favorite times are while I'm driving or going for a run. It is a simple way for me to make the most of my time.

Last week, I was attending the IGNITE conference Lafayette, IN. Since this was a 2.5-hour drive, I was able to listen to quite a few podcasts and catch up on the Google Teacher Tribe. The session that sparked my thinking was one specifically on digital storytelling. Kasey and Matt spoke quite a bit on various tools, but the one that stood out to me most was using Google Slides. My mind immediately went to Slides because of a couple of more recent posts I did featuring the newer video options contained in Google Slides. Google Slides would make for a great platform for digital stories by using the trimming and autoplay in the video options.


In order for students to successfully create a digital story, they really need to be accustomed to using Google Slides and Screencastify. It is helpful if students know how to manipulate shapes, images, and utilize animations fluently so that the story can be enhanced. With Screencastify, I find it to be most helpful if students know how to fluently use the keyboard shortcut (alt+shift+R) to start and stop recording. Have students practice using these skills with other projects before expecting them to build a full-blown digital story. You and your students will be more pleased with the results if they know the tools well. 

In my video below, I demonstrate how to quickly record, insert video, and trim appropriately to meet the story needs. By turning on autoplay, the audio of the file will start immediately when the Slides are in presentation mode. Here is the breakdown of the steps:

My Story

The story I created is in the video tutorial, but in case you want to view the published version, I'll include the link here.  I chose to not embed it because it would automatically start playing the audio when you all visit this post. That brings flashbacks of those terrible midi songs that would start playing on all of the Angelfire or Geocities websites from the 90's. Anyone else remember those days?