Saturday, 13 April 2013

Photo Story 3

Microsoft Photo Story 3

I have used the program Photo story a lot in my teaching the latest years. The program is free to down load and very easy to work with. The program is a slideshow software and it provides opportunities to do photo presentations. Photo Story lets you drag photos onto a window, arrange them as needed, then provide custom narration, transitions, zooms, pans, audio soundtracks and/or custom auto-generated music. Then you can export the final result as a WMV file. Applying such features, as mentioned, can be tricky in some programs but I find it very easy in Photo Story. The result is a “slideshow-movie” that you can share at blogs, the schools homepage, e-mail or put on You Tube for others to watch.
My experience is that the pupils are very proud over the Photo story movies they have produced. To the children the final movies looks really professional. They love to share them with their families, relatives and friends.

To get started you need a computer, a digital camera to take pictures with and/or a scanner (if you prefer to let the children draw handmade pictures and then scan them into the computer). If you want to record sound you also need a headset. If you use pictures on the internet in Photo Story- consider the rules of copyright. Then of course, you have to down load the program which can be done at the following link:  The program is developed for Windows XP.
The program is really easy to understand and use, but if you need further explanations or instructions have a look at:

As a teacher Photo Story offers a tool for presentations. You can use Photo Story as a teacher to present a story or fairy tail to the children, maybe as an introduction to a topic. In that case you make the story on your own before introducing it to the children.
You can also choose to make the Photo Story together with the children. That is what I have been doing a lot and that I really recommend. My purpose has then been to teach English using ICT- Photo Story as a tool. The aim was to let the children learn specific topics in English, learn to use IT, show others what has been learned and keep the children motivated.
How you chose to work with Photo Story as a teacher all depends on what purpose you have and what learning outcome you are aiming at. But you do it either as an introduction that you make as a teacher or as a tool for the children to work with for presenting or describing.

I have noticed that using Photo Story as a ICT-tool together with the children makes them really motivated. Motivation is very important in learning. The children can tell a story in the program. They can also present what they have learned in a topic and the Photo story movie will then be a final product. Photo Story gives opportunities to develop the children’s communicating skills as they listen, talk and they might also write and read when they create a story in the program. It documents what the children have learnt and can be a product for assessment and/or kept in a portfolio to asses the children’s learning over time. The whole process in having children creating a Photo story is also a very good opportunity for formative assessment for the teacher.

Considerations… If you are using Mac you will not be able to use this program. You also have to consider that the output movies from the software are not as sharp as they would be in VCD or DVD format. You can not mix still photos and movies in Photo Story (as you might be able to do in for example Movie Maker). Photo Story can only handle still pictures. The children can not start making movies on their on immediately- they will need education.

But in the end I do not think there is much that can match Photo Story in terms of its ease of use and automated features.

Camilla Nilvius

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