Participatory Storytelling

A story created by many using Twitter deserves more than the traditional format.

I selected key segments of the story and used ACMI Generator to build a storyboard. You have to view the storyboard as a PDF in the link to see the script as well as the images. I am now on a hunt for an application to convert the storyboard into a movie.

ACMI Generator

The generator allows you to create your storyboad from base image and text to motion and camera positions. I was looking for a tool to encourage the students to think beyond a book and to embrace film as a means of capturing a narrative. While I did not actually build a film I think you can get an idea of the possibilities.

When you open ACMI Generator you are given 24 frames and five layers. Your first layer is your base image. For my images I stuck to royalty free images. You could upload pictures or royalty based images. The storyboard provides a organization tool to build your graphic representation of the story.

If you do not have Flash installed you can view the boards in PDF form by clicking on the lower right of the image.



I decided to use PowerPoint to show the final product. I selected PowerPoint because of all the PowerPoint decks I have built I have never added audio. I now know why.

I had to experiment with the file size to find a size that provided a level of quality without the painful wait of file loading.  My first attempt was saved as a presentation file 1920×1080 and was 53.4 MB. The second version was saved as internet quality 1280×720 and was 32.9 MB. The version you will enjoy below is 852×480 and 17,100 KB. The smaller size works best for embedding into the blog.


For audio and video I usually use the old standby of Brainshark or even Camtasia and while equally as easy to use their file size provides more options for the final product.

I found the process of constructing a story on twitter to be both frustrating and fascinating. Frustrating because the story line and character development did not follow the narrative I had constructed and fascinating for the very same reason.

I wonder how different this project would have been had we been in a physical class and had opportunities to discuss our story as we progressed as opposed to creation in isolation?

With limited characters on Twitter, I found myself adding more to the contribution as I read it wondering if the contributor meant “this” or rather “that”. It reminded me of the old choose your ending graphic novels but in a much more robust manner.

While this application is not practical in the land of Corrections due to the need to prohibit internet access as well as communication that could contribute to coded instructions I could see an application for this in Reentry programs.  The creation of a running story as a method to discuss transitional behaviors and situational judgment would be fascinating.  I am going to catalog this a potential element for the common practice of discussion questions in Reentry Curriculum.