She was burning the midnight oil again when suddenly…

Posted: November 12, 2014 in EC&I 831 Social Media & Open Education, Ed Tech
Tags: , , ,

Inspiration struck!

“I know!”,

she thought,

“I’ll show them instead of tell them.”

And so it was that she began to tell stories through digital media.

She started with Animoto – a short video with a preset template. How could she go wrong really?

A handy little tool.  Hmmm, most Animoto videos she’d seen were much longer. “Are they paying or am I missing something?” she thought.

Bolstered by her success she forged ahead and bravely tried Pixton. After all, what kid could resist a comic?

The night wore on into the wee hours when the sky is emptiness and all is quiet (except for the clicking of the keys on the keyboard at the kitchen table.) She toiled and toiled. The mic worked, then it didn’t, then it did, then it didn’t, then…you get the picture. And finally, finally she saved the last changes and embedded the link…(a few times.)

And despite the fact that no self-respecting farm-girl would ever wear dress pants and heels in a barn she declared…

“This is how our next unit will begin.”

Her story was not done but the witching hour had long passed and beauty sleep alluded her yet again. She’d have to find another voice tomorrow. She closed her laptop and laid her weary head down only to take up the tale again another day.

This time she weaved her story with…Audacity

[ummm…so apparently Audacity is more about audio which IS digital but she thought the visual element was important so she thought she’d try something else.]

Here’s the puppet software she used called AnMish that she found on  50 Sites and Apps for Digital Storytelling.

They’re short and ridiculous but she could see kids having fun making them! For whatever reason the AnMish creations wouldn’t embed on their own so, like the Pixton comic above, she had to screen capture them and upload to YouTube first. She had tried EzVid but had quite a bit of trouble getting it to do what she wanted it to do. “Not so easy,” she sighed and decided to use Screencast-O-Matic instead.

“What’s next?” she thought, “I should try one more.”

She had heard about VoiceThread through her colleague, Kelly Christopherson so she thought she’d give it a try.

She uploaded some old photos, found some on Compfight and a video on Vimeo and voila, hours (and hours and many redos) later, she had her story. Here’s the short tribute to her family’s Remembrance Day Connections. Lest we forget.

It’s a little rough around the edges as far as production goes but she deemed the project a successful experiment. Here are the sources she used along with her family photos and archives.

poppy video – via Michael Szefer

poppy photo – Photo Credit: jenny downing via Compfight cc

plane photo – Photo Credit: Jez B via Compfight cc

wheat field photo – Photo Credit: waferboard via Compfight cc

The midnight oil was spent yet again but she went to bed happy with her first attempts at the amazing world of digital storytelling.

The End.


  1. CogDog says:

    I’m very proud for all of the sleep deprivation I can instigate. What an explosion, you ripped through a long list of tools and more. Your remember video is beautiful and touching.

    PS- As a teacher you should be able to get a Animoto Plus account for free, longer videos, and exports see

    • mybrainstorm says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read this Alan! I’m looking forward to spending some time with ds106 at a later date. Looks like lots of great stuff there. I’ll check out the ed account for Animoto. Thanks for the tip and thanks again for the great session on digital storytelling:)

  2. […] Raelynn Smith used a variety of Digital Storytelling tools in her post.  She used Animoto, AnMish, Pixton and Vimeo […]

  3. andreaneeder says:

    Awesome post! Loved seeing some of the DST apps in full use! Great job!

    • mybrainstorm says:

      Thanks Andrea! It took some time but it was fun! It’s really just a drop in the bucket though…soooo many tools out there to try. I think you really just need to think about what you want your product to be then find the tool to do it. (ha! that’s a little oversimplified but you know what I mean!)

  4. blackimoto says:

    Great use of a variety of tech tools! In planning for our year end presentations, I’m excited to try some of the tools you’ve demoed to create my own digital story.

    • mybrainstorm says:

      Voice Thread was great but I think I’d try animoto again. You can get an educator account to allow for longer length and I’m sure you can upload the tunes you want. Good luck!

  5. Wow!! You have been very busy, but I can see that you have learned so much by trying out all the different tools. You have given me inspiration this weekend to try out some the tools myself now since I am finally finished report cards. I also liked how you wrote your blog and told us your story of your digital story telling journey! Way to go!

  6. Thank you Rea. Your work is awesome. I noticed that your videos on AnMish is short within one minute. Is there any time limitations on AnMish?

    • mybrainstorm says:

      Thanks Lisi! Yes, I believe that they are quite short but I can’t remember how much time it gives you. It didn’t require a huge time investment so check it out if you have a moment or two.

  7. Nice work! Your blog posts are looking great – lots of links, videos, images… One suggestion would be to invite readers in even more by asking some questions that encourage them to comment.
    Are you sharing your posts on Twitter regularly?

    • mybrainstorm says:

      Thanks Katia! Yes, I have my blog settings to publish to Twitter and Facebook. I will try incorporating more questions to invite more interaction. I find that tweeting it out directly is helping with that. Got a reply from @cogdog about this one!

  8. […] everyone to read and have a look at Raelynn’s (@raelynnsmith) blog post called “She was burning the midnight oil again when suddenly…”  The post is a creative story about her exploring digital storytelling and creating videos using […]

  9. […] was inspired by Raelynn`s (@raelynnsmith) blog post called “She was burning the midnight oil again when suddenly… “  As I discussed my blog post “Please Tell Me A Story“ I stated that her […]

  10. […] up? Finding an app for making a video. In a recent post about digital storytelling I had tried VoiceThread but wanted this to be more active, not just […]

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