I had a chance today to help build a Habitat for Humanity house in my city, Edmond, Oklahoma, for one of the families in our community. With temperatures in the afternoon reaching over 100 degrees, this was certainly an appreciation moment for my “normal” work routine in an air conditioned building!

A hot Oklahoma summer

That was some sweaty labor on the roof!

I posted about sixty photos I snapped with my iPhone of our work progress today to Flickr, and also took some time this evening to write a short script for a digital story about this experience. I then recorded that script as comments to ten images in a new VoiceThread digital story:

I continue to be interested in web-based video editing options which may not provide the interactive voice commenting functionality of VoiceThread, but can permit a continuous video of images and audio to be created similar to the type of videos programs like PhotoStory3, Windows MovieMaker and iMovie permit people to make. A few weeks ago I had my first experience creating a video with JumpCut. Alan Levine recommended that I also try JayCut, so this evening I slightly modified the script I used for the VoiceThread digital story and created my first video with Jaycut on this same topic:One of the things I really like about published JayCut videos is the option users are provided to download a WMV version:

JayCut downloadable videos

This is great, since for our Celebrate Oklahoma Voices project we want people to upload their video content onto our server, rather than just embed their videos from other sites. If participants create videos with JayCut, they could download their video as a single WMV file and then upload that file to our media server. This would not only help us archive and curate these videos, but also help address content filtering issues for schools which block JayCut.

JayCut took awhile longer for me to figure out compared to JumpCut, but I liked the interface (once I got used to it) and the resulting video format seems good too. (This was definitely a case of “navigational” instead of “procedural” learning. I didn’t read any instructions to create this video!) Unlike JumpCut you can’t add Ken Burns effects with JayCut, and the JayCut Flash interface for adding photos and audio tracks took some getting used to. My audio clip for this project was 3 minutes long, but initially it just imported in a 30 second clip– I had to drag the end of it out to play fully. (JumpCut seems oriented towards people using short audio clips rather than longer ones, but longer ones still CAN be used.)

I used Audacity to record my audio file and export it as a MP3, and then imported both my photos (which I had to upload to the site) and my mp3 narration into my JayCut movie. JumpCut is integrated with Flickr while JayCut is not, but this wasn’t a huge problem. I organized all my uploaded photos, my audio narration mp3 file, and my final produced video in an “album” on my JayCut account. I kept looking for an “edit” menu to change my JayCut movie and finally figured out the website’s button for “edit” is labled “remix.”

All in all, I’m very impressed with both JayCut and JumpCut. Since they are web-based video editing environments, it would be VERY important in our COV workshops to have adequate bandwidth for all participants to simultaneously be using the site. It would be nice, however, to have all participants using the same platform and not different ones, as we do now with PhotoStory3 and iMovie. Audacity is the same on all platforms (Windows, Macintosh and Linux) so a website for putting together finished digital stories might be great for our COV project as well as StoryChasers.

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Made with Love in Oklahoma City