Saturday, April 12, 2014

Using Digital Storytelling for Student Tutorials

As a technology integration coach, I find it challenging to always be a step ahead of the technology, and of the students.  At the +William Davies Middle School, there is a 1:1 initiative,  meaning all students in the building in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, all have a netbooks assigned to them.

However, at times, students are not familiar with basic concepts of navigating their device or just basic terminology of technology.  The concepts may range from, checking the wifi on the device and enabling it, refresh their internet session, network drives, files/folder management, and  proper shut procedures.

So, thinking ahead for the next school year, myself and +Joe Knopp, the computer technician for the student netbooks,  have a variety of topics that we want to portray in a movie.  With the help of +Leanna Mullen who will be video taping, (and is an expert with videos and video editing tools), we are creating short tutorial videos on topics that students can reference during the school year.  Joe and I started to write ideas on the white board and we just add to the list as the ideas/issues come up.  Here is our list so far.

I wanted to try to have a variety of styles presented in the tutorials for the students.  +Leanna Mullen was able to take straight video of +Lew Improta-HTSD and I acting out the concept of locking your desktop when you leave your netbook unattended. Also, I was able to create screencasts using Screencast-o-matic and  BitStrips to portray the concept using digital storytelling.   Here is one of the short tutorials on Webpage Refresh using Bitstrips.  

First, Leanna and I brainstormed together to find computer/technology Bitstrip scenes that would be accommodating for our movie.  Then, I used Windows Snipping Tool, to capture the scene and save it as an image.  

Using Final Cut Pro on her MacPro, Leanna was able to photo shop the scene to include customizations and include an audio recording of my voice to the storyboard in the project.  Using Final Cut Pro made it easy to perform video edits and customization into the tutorial.  

We will continue to work on the rest of our tutorials and when completed, I will upload them to YouTube and write a follow up post on my blog.  


  1. Great job, Kim! I think this collaborative effort will not only be informative but maybe easier to retain from the variety of formats we used. Great job!

    1. Thanks Leanna! It will be a great resource and learning tool for both students and staff. Plus, it is always great to work with you and apply our ideas to a common goal!

  2. Ahem! I believe my acting was Oscar worthy!! I'll settle for a homemade trophy and a poptart tho...

  3. My Screen Recorder Pro will work better for you. It is an excellent screencast tool. Records your screen and audio from the speakers or your voice from the microphone - or both simultaneously. The recordings are clear and look great when played back on your PC or uploaded to YouTube. It will record directly to AVI, WMV, MP4, or FLV. Just perfect for creating tutorials, demos, and presentations. Plus, java is not required and there are no limits on recording length. Also, the recordings play back on any device.