Google recently launched Story Builder, which allows anyone to create short, Google-Docs style videos. You can adjust the characters, the story line, the plot, and even customize the music. Check out this example by Google of one of my favorite shows, 30 Rock:
The process of creating a video is simple:
- Add and name characters (up to 10)
- Add and edit the exchanges between characters (up to 10)
- Title the document
- Add music
- Title the video and add author name
- Publish and share link
Just keep in mind that the stories are limited to 10 characters and 10 exchanges, and thus have to be short, quick snippets rather than full on productions. Nonetheless, the ease with which students could make these is highly appealing – and would allow it to be fantastic in the classroom. Once they publish, they can also easily send the link to the video with anyone, which allows for easy publishing and sharing.
This would be a great, interactive way to ask students to summarize a novel or play they are reading. Imagine the kinds of things students would come up with if you asked them to summarize Romeo and Juliet, for example! The brevity of the program really forces students to engage with the crux of the material, and be creative in their presentations.
Happy Story Building, y’all!