The evil stepsisters could not fit their feet into Cinderella’s glass slipper because their feet were too big. A lot of technology is like this – too big to fit into the classroom, too complex to understand and too time-consuming to use. Complexity can kill a great idea.
We used simplicity as a fundamental design decision in creating 30hands Storyteller because we wanted students and teachers to be able to create great presentations and stories in a short amount of time. In addition to small, simple and fast, we made sure changes could be made without going back to the beginning and starting over, so everyone could be more productive.
In this post, I’m going to outline how to use 30hands Storyteller to create a simple presentation or story that will fit within a 45 minute class period.
One of the easiest ways to get your students started with 30hands Storyteller is to have them tell a story using photos, images or drawings. This can work for all age groups, including high school and college levels. Have the students tell a story that relates to something you are working on in class. They could retell a picture book read in class, depict a battle or event from their history book or studies or even create a math detective or superhero story. The goal of this first exercise can include lots of learning, but it should be simple in order for them to get familiar with creating in 30hands.
Working on the project in teams can make it more engaging for students and result in a better end-product.
Try these steps:
- Pick a topic, and write a quick script for the story. Each sentence or two of the story should represent a different slide, so number the script lines to set up the flow. Each slide becomes a scene in the story.
- Choose to represent the slides using photos, images or drawings. For each scene, take a photo, find an image or draw a slide.
- Follow the script to narrate the story over the slides.
- Preview the story in the 30hands app and make adjustments as needed and as time permits.
- Publish the story as a video from the presentation desktop screen.
Explain a Science Concept
Science is everywhere and science often involves motion. This activity gets students thinking about everyday science in the world around them. Whether they are studying levers, gravity or nuclear fusion, have the students create a presentation during a class period that explains the concept. As a bonus, see if they can come up with a way to show motion as it relates to their science concept. They can take a short video of an experiment they are working on or a demonstration of a physical concept to add to their presentation.
Note: Video clips in 30hands are limited to 30 seconds, so they don’t overpower the presentation and make it drag on.
If there is time and the students are adventurous, have them create a short stop motion video in 30hands Storyteller Pro to demonstrate motion like the lunar orbit or gravity. (For more information on creating stop motion videos with 30hands Storyteller Pro v2.0, check the 30hands blog or email support for advice).
Be a Journalist
Students can play the role of a journalist to uncover what others in class believe about a current event or topic being studied in class. This can be done well in a small team of three students. First, the students define a storyboard flow to tell the “news” story. Then, student #1 writes the script while student #2 interviews other students on video and student #3 finds or creates images to help tell the story. Put the image and video slides together in order, and narrate the story over the slides. Review and revise the news story presentation as needed, and publish it as a final video to share and play.
The ideas above are easy to fit into a single class period of 30-60 minutes, and they can also serve as a starting point for a longer project that extends over time. With simplicity of design and an topic at hand, students can create a great hands-on learning activity that covers so many components of the curriculum and the standards.
Refresher on 30hands Basics
There are only 6 steps to creating a 30hands story. The user interface is easy enough for a Kindergarten student to learn and use in seconds.
- Create a new presentation. From the initial presentation list screen, click + to create a new presentation.
- After typing or speaking in a title, a popup menu appears to add slides, which can come from a photo or video, an existing image from the camera roll, from a Safe Search of creative commons image on the web, from Dropbox or from Google Drive.
- After adding images, you can hold an image until they all wiggle, then drag them around to put them in order.
- Once your images are in the right order, touch the first image to open the Record Screen where you can record your narration. Each recording can be previewed and re-recorded. When done with 1 recording, swipe to the next image and record on that one.
- If you want to annotate your images, click the pencil icon to edit the image in Basic or Enhanced Mode where you can use a variety of tools to enhance your image.
- When your story or presentation is complete, your are ready to publish it as a video. Go back to the Desktop Screen by touching “Slides”, then click the Action Button in the upper right of the Desktop Screen and select Publish Video. 30hands Storyteller combines the images, narration and video clips to create a standard MP4 video that can be viewed or shared anywhere.
Example Using Aesop’s Fables
For the app Aesop’s Fables Remixed, we used the above techniques to rewrite stories and use public domain and creative commons images to create our stories.
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