Three essential online tutorials

I had an email this morning from a student at Albany, NY, USA, who’s making a digital story for a college assignment. He was writing to ask about online tutorials. Here are three that came to mind:

1. www.photobus.co.uk > DS > DS Tutorial. Daniel Meadows goes into the software and the key steps to building your digital story. There’s also a fantastic pdf guide to making a story using iLife on this site.

2.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/highlandlives/ – BBC Scotland’s model is a little bit Video Nation and a little bit Digital Storytelling. The tutorials take you through the steps involved.

3. http://uk.current.com/make/training – Current TV was a pioneer in giving engaging step-by-step tutorials. They also talk about getting consents and clearing rights for publication, which are often overlooked by other sites.

If you’re using iMovie or Windows Media Maker to make your digital story, just Google for tutorials for now and  I’ll round up the best ones in future.

Five things to plan for in a digital storytelling post production session

You’ve been invited to help a group of digital storytellers to post produce their stories at the end of their workshop or course. Here are some things to think about when you prepare.

1. know your ‘deliverables’. Have a list of things you need to take away from the digilab and make sure you go home with them. It’s good to have this printed and hand it out or pin it to the wall. I use my Dream Deliverables list as a guide. (Gosh, that page is being linked to now, it’s Number 1 for that search term in Google today)

2. have a Plan B, Plan C and Plan D. Think about what can go wrong and plan for it. E.g. there may be a mix of Macs and PCs – so I need to think about what filesystem my portable drive has. The machines may be on a network and it may be the administrator’s day off – so I need to have some portable applications on a key drive which I can use without installing them. Take along blank DVD-Rs and CD-Rs.

3. plan the paperwork – at a minimum, you need to take home contact details for everyone. Other bits of paperwork include copyright details of music, images and clippings. Ask (in pre production) for storytellers to get written consents and release paperwork signed when necessary.

4. timetable your time. Allow enough time for a group screening at the end.

5. try to let everyone take home a copy of their story on a DVD. A compilation disc of everyone’s story – as long as no individual objects – is a nice souvenir. If there’s not enough time for it to be done on the day, work out a plan and let everyone know what’s happening.

This list was inspired by a session I did last week with international journalists at the Thomson Foundation. I was invited there by Anna Roberts.