My Puppy Adventure
Choosing a Story
Choosing a story was difficult for me. I wanted to choose and engaging story, but I couldn’t think of anything really exciting that has happened to me which I could explain within five minutes. Not only was time an issue, but the format also made it difficult. Digital Stories are stories presented through visuals, such as images and video. What story could I tell that would be visually stimulating?
I brainstormed a few different ideas, including my trip to Ireland, my first time on a roller coaster, or bonding with my college roommate for the first time. All of these sounded like good ideas, but I kept changing my mind. My trip to Ireland would be nice to show, but it would mainly be made up of actual photos of me in different locations. It might become repetitive and fragmented instead of a coherent story. My first time on a roller coaster sounds good, but how many pictures of a roller coaster ride could my audience handle? Finally, I love my college roommate and the story of how we became friends, but it may not be as meaningful to anyone else. Finally, I decided to tell a recent story that I remembered well and that had a few funny moments: My Puppy Adventure.
Searching for Media
Searching for media was very difficult because I needed to find images that would not infringe on copyright laws. I spent a long time searching sites such as Freerange, FreeDigitalPhotos, Stock.xchng, and Stockvault. However, the images on these sites first had to be downloaded to my computer instead of copy the image’s URL, which does not use any of my computer’s memory space. They also had nice photos, but not necessarily pictures of what I was looking for.
Finally, I discovered a very easy way to search for the pictures I needed. Creative Commons offers a search site which allows people to search for copyright-free media, including images, videos, and music on Google, Google Images, Flickr, Fotopedia, and many other sites. Finally, I found 36 images to fit my story.
Piecing Together a Coherent Digital Story
After I had collected my images and put them in order, it was easy to insert them into Windows MovieMaker. The difficult part was recording the narration, adding transitions, and timing the pictures to suit the narration. I had to listen to my narration many times, stopping every four to five seconds in order to adjust the duration of my images. After I had added transitions between pictures, I had to readjust the timing again because the transitions lasted anywhere from two to four seconds. Perfecting the timing of the narration and images was certainly the most time-consuming and frustrating part of the entire process.
I am proud of the Digital Story that I created and the work that I put into it. However, were I to do it again, I would make use of many lessons I have learned during the process. First, my project was heavily reliant upon narration. I think that it worked well for my learning in this project, but next time I create a Digital Story, I may try to use only images. It would be a challenge to tell a story without narration. Second, I would immediately make use of the Creative Commons search site and save myself a lot of time searching for media. In addition, originally, I had planned on inputting sound effects and music, but after adjusting the timing twice, I decided that I could not go through with it again. Were I to do the project over again, I would create one sound file in Audacity which condensed all of my narration, music, and sound effects into one MP3 file. Overall, I am happy with my finished product, and I am happy with what I have learned about the process of creating a Digital Story.