Adobe Voice for Classroom Videos

Look at what I created in just a few minutes:

I have been searching for ways for students to make digital stories quickly and easily. I think my search has ended.  The answer is Adobe Voice for the iPad.As you can see, Adobe Voice produces narrated slideshows (or “animated videos” as Adobe calls them) using principles similar to Microsoft’s PC-based Photo Story: Students record their voices and chose images, one slide at a time.

Then Voice automatically adds a soundtrack and visual effects that make a student’s narrative come alive. Like in this student-made video:

But, this iPad app offers so much more than Photo Story or any other platforms and apps I have tried from iMovie to Educreations.  Here are my favorites:

  • Voice offers a huge library of images and photos, and a fair number of soundtrack options.  Even better, when a student uses these elements, Adobe Voice automatically generates photo and image credits so students avoid plagiarism.
  • Voice offers a large selection of templates, so students don’t have to stare at a blank canvas – unless they want to.   They can select different music and themes, if they want, but the basics do just fine – enabling students to focus on the content.
  • Speaking of content, the “Want inspiration?” button offers a truckload of writing prompts to get a student (or a teacher planning a lesson) started.  Examples are:  “A time I was scared,” “What friends are for,” “If I could accomplish one thing,” “My favorite time with my family” and so many more.
  • One of the most practical features for the classroom is the ability for students to edit individual elements of their story as they create it  – or after they have finished.   This means they don’t have to lay an entire voice track, only to realize they messed it up.

I am still exploring the features of Adobe Voice. So far, it doesn’t look like it can be exported to Youtube, but I might be able to find a hack to work around that issue.   Regardless, I am very exicted about the possiblities of using this app.

In fact, my students had just begun making short slideshow-based documentaries in iMovie for our unit about slavery and the Underground Railroad in the U.S.  But as soon as this app came out, we switched to Adobe Voice instead.

One student finished so quickly she was able to do a second video on a topic of her choice.  Here’s what she came up with:

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