I have just finished a coursera online MOOC on Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling. I have decided to write a series of blog posts to share my lessons learned, experience and finished story of the course. You may want to read earlier posts before going ahead with this.
In the creation of digital stories, it is important to write a good script, and also draw up a good storyboard for your story. Once that is done, the next thing is to gather all resources you intend to use, like images and videos. You will need to look for suitable images and videos or create your own, for your story. There are quite a lot of things surrounding copyright issues and how to get free images on the Web and I fell victim of this in my early days of blogging, however I would not go into the details of how to get free images for blogs and stories in this post.
The best kind of images recommended for creating digital stories are personal archive images or pictures you shoot by yourself. It is best to look through your physical or digital album and select a good picture to use from there. Apart from the fact that such an image is yours and is free of copyright issues, it also introduces some emotion into your story and make it more personal rather than using abstract images, particularly if your story is a personal narrative.
If you can create graphics, that’s another easy way and alternative to downloading from the internet. Pictogram characters and graphics, illustrated characters, flat design are all examples of images you can create yourself in very simple steps and then it is yours.
Finally, you may also use free images on any free image website. Google images using its search filters is a good place to start. In Google images, search for the image you want. Click the filter menu and under licensing, select “Licensed for non-commercial use with modifications”. This means you are free to use the image for non-commercial purposes and educational purpose is arguably non-commercial. It also gives you the right to modify the image, you can crop it, edit it with paint, Photoshop, PowerPoint or any other image editing software. Under size, select a large size of above 1000 x 1000. This gives you high quality images. This is crucial because while creating the story, you may want to zoom in on an aspect of the picture, small images will become blur after a zoom.
Videos are also a good resource for your digital Story, it makes it come alive a little more. You may get a video commercial from an online source like YouTube or you may choose to shoot one yourself. Remember, digital stories are for educational purposes, so use visual resources discreetly and ensure they don’t distract but help effectively pass across the message in your story. However, be careful to properly include the source of all videos, all images and resources used in a credit screen at the end of the video.
My choice of images.
At first I was skeptical of shooting images, as I neither have a camera nor do I consider myself a good camera man; so I opted for graphic characters. Later on, I decided to ask someone else to take pictures of/for me. He took several postures several times and I eventually selected a few to use in the story. With a little picture tweaking in PowerPoint, they came out well. I still made use of graphic characters and other images I gathered from my previous works. The main classroom background theme/image was gotten from the e-Learning heroes site, which I found very appropriate for the topic I chose. I will talk a little more about the design process and effects I used and how I created the final video in a subsequent post.
Check out a few of the images used in my archives.
E-Learning Heroes challenge on Images