One Story, 50 Tools, Infinite Possibilities
Educator Alan Levine has proven the adage that there’s more than one side to every story by demonstrating 50 multimedia techniques to present the same tale. The result is an extraordinary collection of online creativity tools, with demonstrations of how each one was used to convey his original story. The classroom possibilities are simply mind-blowing.
But Alan was just getting warmed up. He decided to re-tell the story using freely available Web 2.0 tools, just to see how many ways it could be done. It didn’t take long for him to re-create 50 different versions of the story, each using a different online tool. Alan scoured the Web for all sorts of creativity tools: slideshow tools, timeline tools, video editing tools, even map-making tools. The end result is a jaw-dropping collection of multimedia variations on a single story. He recently presented the results of creative adventure at a conference in Australia; there’s a mp3 of his presentation if you want to hear him describe the project in his own words.
Because each tool is different, the story never gets experienced exactly the same way. One tool, OurStory, was designed to be used for documenting life events on a timeline:
Then there’s Mixercast, a multimedia widget generator:
Eyespot, meanwhile, is an online video editor:
And let’s not forget Google Maps. Yes, Google Maps. It never would have occurred to me to use a map to tell a story like this.
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And there are still 45 other versions, each one documented by Alan to explain its pros and cons. He also lists a number of tools that hit the cutting room floor - ones he decided not to feature in his list because they were unreliable or too difficult to use.
Alan’s collection is an amazing digital storytelling primer for educators and non-educators alike, demonstrating how different tools can convey the same basic story concepts. For teachers looking to engage their students in new forms of storytelling, there’s an incredible range of tools to choose from, depending on your goals. And within each tool, there are a myriad of ways to convey a story, through the adjusting of pacing, sound, images, text and edits. Give the same story plot to a group of students using the same tool, and they’ll still each tell it their own way. And if you have them come up with their own story ideas, the possibilities are endless. -andy