Here’s a link to my final digital storywalk project in Voice Thread:
My storytelling process was pretty stream lined and didn’t deviate much from what I had originally proposed in the first blog post. I used the same picture that I had originally picked out of my former supervisor taking a group of daycare kids through a Story Walk at the Ashe County Park. While I really liked this picture because it showed the interaction between kids, librarian, and a Story Walk board, I really wish I could have used more than one picture; I would have included another picture showing a close-up of one of the Story Walk panels and a third picture showing an overall shot of all the Story Walk stands. However, I feel like the picture I chose did the best job at showing patron interaction with the project; that was key for me as my audience was intended to be parents, caregivers and teachers, and it’s important for them to see how they’re supposed to interact with the kids and the Story Walk.
I began by writing out my script in sections. I used categories such as “Opener,” “Segway to Story Walks,” and “Tying it back to the EQ” to break my script into parts. I basically just framed my concern for wanting to find a more modern approach to story times, briefly went over the process of how to create a Story Walk, proposed a new idea for incorporating a digital element, and tied it all back to my essential question in my conclusion. Since I wasn’t talking about some kind of vague librarianship philosophy or personal belief, it seemed rather easy to craft the story with a clear beginning middle, and end.
After writing my script, I then timed myself reading each of the sections and recorded how long it took to read each part. As is typically the case with me, I had written about five minutes’ worth of text. So I then read back over each section I had written and looked for places to tighten the text. I then rerecorded the entire script in Voice Thread, edited some more and rerecorded until I whittled the text down to exactly 2 minutes. I decided to use Voice Thread initially just because I had already used that program to record an audio tour of a school for another class. While it might have been nice to include music, I felt like that really would have taken away from the narration, plus it was hard enough for me to fit in just the talking. I also would have liked to have zoomed in on the Story Walk; however, I didn’t really have a picture that I felt would have allowed me to clearly zoom in.
Just for fun, I also decided to experiment with We Video. It reminded me a lot of a different software I used called Camtasia to create a database online tutorial for my reference instruction class last year. It seemed to have more sophisticated features that allowed you to cut and splice together segments of video, audio, and images to create a more customized presentation with the ability to fade and incorporate other special effects. I liked this system okay, but was unable to figure out how to turn off the video portion of the webcam to be able to record only my voice. Even when I tried to place the image layer over top of the video/audio layer, the picture of myself in the video was slightly wider than the photo I had selected to use. The only thing I could figure to do was to hold my finger over the webcam as I recorded myself talking so that the video would just show a black screen and the audio could still be heard. That way the Story Walk image would be framed by a black screen instead of seeing fringes of myself on video peeking out from behind the image.
I decided to use the Voice Thread presentation as my final product; I was most pleased with the professionalism of this digital tool. Once I had the narration to the right length, I practiced recording it a couple times to make sure everything was said with the right inflection. As mentioned, about the only thing I would do differently going forward would be to include more pictures if possible as it’s really hard to explain my idea using only words and one picture. But overall I was pleased with pretty much the entire process and end product; digital storytelling with a single image seemed to be pretty easy and straight forward.