After experimenting with the 5 Card Flickr Story this morning, I wanted to try another medium that would allow me to more easily integrate text and images. I was reminded of a free app I had downloaded quite a while ago but never fully explored: Visual Poet.
This app lets you choose three images from Flickr, Google, Tumblr or your own photo library. Once you select an image, you can decide what portion you want to include in your story and then you can tap and add text on top of the image. You can then add a title, auto-insert credits for the photos you use, and add some comments about your story. From the app you can publish directly to Tumblr or you can email the story. The app hasn’t received very good reviews so I’m not sure if it works well on every device but I didn’t have any problems when creating my stories.
I tested two different ways of using the app. First, similar to the 5 Card Flickr Story, I made a story with the first images that came up (See The Cottage below) with I went to search for images. This required some spontaneity and creativity but less reflection.
Then, I tried creating a story with more purpose and forethought. I searched specifically for images relating to ed tech to start my story and then for images that matched ideas relating to where I wanted my story to go (e.g., possibilities, perspective). I consciously sculpted my story, searching for images that I felt could convey the concepts I was looking for without narrowing my search by topic (I used the “Today’s Interesting Photos” option in the Flickr search). This broadened my photo selection to images that I might not have considered otherwise and prompted me to progress down new paths as I developed my story. At first, I imagined my story ending with something about collaboration or sharing but when I saw the camera image, I loved the idea of saying something about the importance of perspective. And so I ended up with a story about ed tech, one that I had a fuzzy idea of when I began and a different understand of when I finished.
Original imagery for panel one by Anonymous/Unknown
Original imagery for panel two by Neighya (Elné)
Original imagery for panel three by danska8
Has anyone else used Visual Poet for digital storytelling? What do you think of this method/medium?
Awesome! Your “stories” are so beautiful! I actually think this is something that I could do right away with my class. Thank you for sharing.
Hi Lorraine, thanks! I agree, I think the activity is actually fairly quick and simple but can prompt a lot of reflective thinking and storytelling. I’d love to see the stories your students make if you share them online.
I love this!!! Thanks so much for sharing and making me aware of this awesome resource. And your poetry is lovely.
Thanks so much Elaine! I appreciate the feedback.
I appreciate how your pictures add so much substance to your words
Yes, I was surprised at how much “fuller” the words and ideas felt with images behind them. As someone who loves visuals, it definitely brought more meaning to the story for me. I think the power of visuals with, over, and without words in storytelling could be an interesting topic to examine.
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I downloaded visual poet ages ago but until remain your post, had never really figured out what to use it for. Thanks for the inspiration. I definitely think I could use this with my 5/6 students, especially the reluctant writers for whom a whole text can be just too daunting.
Well, off to give it a go!
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