Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Movie trailers for books – Too bad they are not cross-platform compatible or published to permit feedback

Many thanks to Chris Atkinson not only for contributing to an amazing list of chapter book recommendations for my 8 year old daughter and I to consider (which continues to grow and I have compiled into a new Amazon wish list this evening) but also for linking me to Dr. Mark Geary’s collected Windows PhotoStory book trailers for early elementary students. Links for late elementary book trailers as well as adolescent reader book trailers are also available. Mark’s TechLearning article “Making Book Trailers with Photo Story 3” from December 2007 describes how to use PhotoStory3 to make book trailers like these.

These may be great videos which can be used to help SOME kids get more excited about reading new books, but the huge bummer is that the PhotoStory3 WMV format in which these are published online is not Mac compatible. (Even with Flip4Mac and Perian installed.) For our statewide Celebrate Oklahoma Voices digital storytelling project, we get around this PhotoStory3 format incompatibility issue by having all participants (PhotoStory as well as iMovie users) upload their videos to our Ning learning community, where videos are transcoded into the cross-platform Flash format.

Even though these book trailer videos sound like they might be great, they are literally “digitally irrelevant” to the thousands of students and teachers online throughout the world who are using Macs. Here’s a worthwhile project suggestion for Dr Geary’s students next semester: Create a new (and free) Ning website, and upload all the existing book trailer videos there. Then ANYONE on ANY computer platform will not only be able to view and share these videos, but also rate and comment on them within a learning community. That would take this excellent web 1.0 published project into the world of web 2.0, interactive publishing.

What's your abstinency?
Creative Commons License photo credit: Sebastian Fritzon

I’ve also added a badge to this new Amazon family book wish list to the sidebar of our family learning blog. 😉

My Wish List

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9 responses to “Movie trailers for books – Too bad they are not cross-platform compatible or published to permit feedback”

  1. Mathew Avatar

    These are great. Our trailer for The Very Hungry Caterpillar is here:

  2. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Thanks for sharing that link Mathew! I see that link you provided is directly to your podcast in the iTunes Store– do you also have a link to it on a webpage?

    Your link raises the issue/idea that as a basic start, these three pages could be moved to a wiki so additional teachers and students could link similar book trailers. I’m betting Joyce Valenza knows where other projects like this may reside… I’ll check with her to see. If a wiki project is already started then maybe these trailers could/should just be linked to it, rather than starting over.

    I still think putting these in a Ning where videos can be transcoded and then interacted with/rated/commented on is the best option tho.

  3. Mathew Avatar

    I don’t have the Caterpillar movie on a web page though it’s on my to do list.

    I think the Ning is a great idea. The hard part is getting people to join when they’re set up. I set up a Video in the Classroom Ning about a year ago though it has very few members: I was hoping that would be a place where teachers might share whatever projects they’re creating.

  4. joycevalenza Avatar

    Great idea, Wes!

    I just set up a Ning:
    I’ll move my own videos over later. Please join me!

    We already have a number of videos on

  5. […] or computer. Whenever you bookmark a web page, you are posting it on the Internet for everyone Movie trailers for books – Too bad they are not cross-platform compatible or published to permit fee… – 12/12/2008 Many thanks to Chris Atkinson not only for contributing to an […]

  6. Chris Atkinson Avatar

    Great idea about uploading to Ning! Maybe Dr. Greary would be willing to allow others to upload the ones that are already on his website, that way they are also Mac compatible. I plan on using Photo Story this year to create some book trailers with some of my students, I will upload to the bookvideo.Ning. We may want to discuss the idea of having a separate Ning for elementary students (K-5) to upload to and then another for (6-12) to upload to, or maybe even three splitting (6-8 and 9-12). I’d be happy to set up and monitor the elementary book trailer Ning if people are interested. I look forward to your feedback!

  7. joyce valenza Avatar
    joyce valenza is now going strong! Thanks for the push, Wes!

  8. Chris Atkinson Avatar

    Joyce – The Ning looks great! Thanks!

  9. Audrey Avatar

    Unfortunately, my district will not allow NINGs. We can use wikis and I have been in the process of trying to build a wiki that could be used by educators to teach book trailers as an alternative to traditional book reports.

    I used book trailers in my 7th grade classes last year and was very pleased with my students work.

    Feel free to check their work out at: