Creating stories in multimedia format doesn’t require a lot of equipment. Here are some suggestions for tools to help you get started:
A video camera will allow for higher quality video capture for your projects. A good Digital Video Camera can be purchased for as little as $250. Most cameras still record on videotape, though for a little more money you can purchase a video camera that records directly to DVD or a small hard drive. If money is tight, you might want to look at a less expensive “Point and Shoot” video cameras that can cost as little as $100. If your classroom computer is a Mac purchased in the last few years, it probably includes a built in camera that can be used for either still or video images.
A digital camera can be a great multipurpose tool. In addition to using it for taking still images, many cameras can record video clips and audio. While the video quality may not be as good as that of a full-fledged video camera, it is a great cost-effective way to get started.
Microphones and Voice Recorders
A microphone or other voice recorder is an important tool. Many computers today come with a built-in microphone. For better sound, invest in an external microphone that connects to your computer via USB. For around $20-30 you can get an inexpensive headset microphone or desktop microphone that should be adequate for basic recording. If you have an iPod, you might want to invest in a microphone such as the Belkin TuneTalk or the Griffin iTalk. These microphones connect directly to your iPod to make it into a portable recording device, perfect for small group or individual work away from the computer.
- iMovie is included on all Mac computers and is an easy to use video editing program. It integrates seamlessly with iPhoto and GarageBand to make creating video stories a breeze.
- MovieMaker is a free Microsoft program that can also be used to create video projects.
- GarageBand is an audio editing program perfect for creating podcasts or background music for your video projects. On a Windows machine or an older Mac computer, check out Audacity as a free alternative.