The final weeks of school are an overwhelmingly busy time for everyone in the entire school community.
Christmas and break up events
It is exhausting just thinking about it!
The culmination of a busy year, combined with the general exhaustion that accompanies it means that any time saving measure is of great importance.
The ResourceLink Blog is here to help!
The centrepiece of many graduation and end of year events is the ‘photostory’ – a slideshow or video production that captures the many events that occurred during the year. While the actual production may only go for 4-5 minutes, anyone who has been involved in their creation knows just how time-consuming they can be to produce – and the pressure that grows each year to create one that is bigger and better than the previous year’s.
Thankfully technology exists to take much of the headache out of creating these shows – and below you will find a number of free or very reasonably priced digital tools that will create amazing multimedia quickly and easily.
Copyright in this area is incredibly complex. In most cases images used are photos and video taken by the school, and therefore the copyright rests with the school, and there is no problem here. However, most multimedia productions use music as a soundtrack. The best advice is to research your particular scenario on the SmartCopying website, or even better, if at all possible use music licenced under a Creative Commons licence, where attribution is one of the only requirements for use. There are many places where Creative Commons music may be sourced, including CCMixter and Jamendo . Another alternative is to use student created music. Even young students can create innovative soundscapes using free programs such as Garageband and Audacity.
Keeping these copyright issues in mind, let’s look at some of the wonderful tools currently available to assist you in creating fantastic end of year reflections!
Animoto stands alone for ease of creation and for an amazing time vs outcome ratio. Simply upload your photos/short video grabs, select from a wide range of Creative Commons licenced music grouped by genre, choose a video ‘style’ and click create. The remixing, syncing to music and transitions are automatically handled by the Animoto tool, which then kindly sends you an email to alert you when the remix process is complete. The outcome is a stylish, professional looking video that can be embedded into blogs and websites, or downloaded and burnt to dvd. Teachers are able to access a ‘pro’ account for free. A tutorial on how to Animoto is available for download from our blog here.
Photopeach creates short videos and slideshows,and has a special section specifically for educators, in the same way as Animoto does. Unfortunately, it appears that the educator accounts, while offering more control and privacy, are only available in a paid subscription form. Despite this, for a teacher looking to create an exciting looking slideshow for the purposes of an end of year event, the free account may be all that is required. Photopeach operates on a similar way to Animoto – photos are uploaded, accompanying music selected and the layout chosen. The program then creates a slideshow that can be embedded or shared. The final product has a slightly different look to Animoto.
Capzles is a slightly different product, which we have written about before here. Although it is a timeline creator in essence, it could be used to create an innovative multimedia slideshow. The disadvantage of using a tool such as this or Vuvox (a similar tool) is that the end product is a Flash based show that cannot be downloaded and burnt onto a disc for distribution. However if you are looking for a different ‘look’ to previous years, these tools might be worth considering.
Using these tools, you are sure to wow the crowd at your end of year event, and as a by-product, learn useful skills that you can pass on to your students in creating innovative multimedia – win win!