Hi. My name is Glenn and I’m an Apple nerd.
I haven’t yet crossed the line to join the semi-crazed, standing in line for days to get the latest Apple shiny tool, Cupertino logo t-shirt wearing, sweat-stained towel thrown to the audience during Apple WWDC by the late Steve Jobs owning, theme song singing Apple cult.
I’m not saying it won’t happen. But so far . . . I haven’t jumped on the loony Apple fan train.
But I really do love my iPad / iPhone / Macbook combo and how they all work together. The ease of use, the simple flow of information, the look and feel. It’s all pretty sweet.
And no. I have not played much with the Surface or other tablet options. Or spent a ton of time with Chromebooks. But I am open to the idea that other options and choices are available. And next week, I’ll share some device agnostic tools that work across platforms. But today . . . it’s all Apple. Because I’m convinced that I’ve found the perfect trifecta of iOS creation tools.
So if you’re not an iPad user or thinking about using iPads, feel free to move along. Nothing to see here.
If you’re an Apple nerd and still hanging around, you know that the perfect trifecta should include creation tools that focus on visual, textual, and auditory elements. And yes. All three of the trifecta are able to combine video, text, and audio into a final product. But each of the following tools focus on a particular element – providing you and students to select just the right tool for the required task.
So here ya go . . .
First up? Visual.
And there really isn’t anything as powerful or as easy to use as the Apple iMovie app. The app puts everything you need to tell your story at your fingertips, with a sweet interface that lets you quickly create beautiful HD movies and Hollywood-style trailers. Multiple themes and templates let you and your kids jump right in with a focus on content rather than worrying about style. Add photos, videos, music, sound effects, text, and narration. Use a variety of built-in special effects.
And with powerful sharing options and iCloud, you can enjoy your creations on all sorts of devices.
What could this look like with kids?
Storehouse. That’s it. You don’t really need anything else to create compelling, web-based digital story. You may have missed an earlier post on Storehouse, written shortly after I fell in love with it. If you did, here’s the basic theory:
It’s easy to use. Paperless. Connected to different social media tools. Very cool look and feel. And did I say free? Yup. It’s free. Get a sense of what a Storehouse story looks like by checking out an overview of Gettysburg that two of us quickly put together a few months ago.
To create a Storehouse story, you import images or video clips from your iPad’s Camera Roll, Dropbox, Instagram, or Flickr. Once you’ve selected your visuals, use the cool creation tool to arrange them into a story with a cover image and open layout. Tapping an image lets you drag, drop, and resize it any configuration.
You can type or copy/paste info into the easy to add text boxes. You have just enough control to make the text look good but not so many choices that you get confused. Storehouse gives you just enough control without making you want to pull out your hair. Videos can be inserted into the story or even added as the cover image to your story.
The workflow is drop dead simple. Kids publish their story online, send you the link, you view it, score it, then sit back and drink a Diet Pepsi cause you’re done. And any edits or updates that are made, are automatically updated to the web version.
Kids could use this for end of unit products, group work, or as a way to share brainstorms.
My newest iPad app fav, Adobe Voice focuses on the narrative of a story rather than video clips or text. It’s your voice that captures the attention. Simple overview? You create a slide-based story by inserting photos, graphics, and text. You record your own voice over the slides and Voice creates a high-quality video of your work.
The video is hosted online by Adobe making the workflow very similar to Storehouse. It’s true 21st century digital storytelling. There’s no paper involved. No printing of the story needed. You can also share the finished product on the typical social media pages or you can create a private link.
During the creation process, start with a variety of templates depending on the type of story that you want to tell. You have access to your own photos plus thousands of images and graphics from Adobe’s Creative Commons library. Add as many slides as you want with the option to record audio on each slide individually. Edit your story with different layout, themes, and music options.
After publishing, use the supplied link to send people directly to your finished product.
Or use the QuickTime Screen Recording option on your Mac and capture a movie clip that can be stored locally.
An extra hidden tool? Voice automatically creates a Credits page that your students can edit on the publish screen. This is a perfect place to have them put their Works Cited page.
The perfect trifecta of tools even if you’re not an Apple nerd.