Multimedia Tools: Vuvox

Personal Learning about the Tool

Vuvox is a site that allows you to create annotated slideshows using your pictures and images from Flickr and Picassa. The slideshow can include not only photographs, but audio and video as well. Once again, it is a free sign up for an account.

Once you have signed up, you have three options: Create, Explore, and My Stuff. Create, of course, allows you to create your own pieces. Explore allows you to view the collages of others, and My Stuff is where all of your creations are stored. When you click on Create, you have three options, Express, Collage, and Studio. Express allows for a quick and easy install of pictures from a variety of RSS feeds. Choose your presentation style, and voila, a short 5 minute step to a photographic slideshow!

Collage allows you to upload photographs from your own albums, whether on your computer or in Picassa, Smugmug or Flickr, images from the web, audio, and video. Images, audio and video from the web must first be uploaded to your computer. Uploaded material is stored in ‘My Library’, ready for you to use in your slideshow. A canvas is provided, and you simply drag the media up to the canvas in the order you wish them to appear. This can be the end of it, or…you can crop or cut out pictures, add text, annotations, transition images, and audio.

I chose to use Vuvox to tell the story of my parent’s 50th anniversary. Although there is little text, it required thought as to what and how much to say, so the text did not overwhelm the photos, but enhanced them. I previewed and edited, previewed and edited again.  I added transitions between and frames to photographs, previewed and edited, previewed and edited again. I selected  ‘Publish’ and had the opportunity to make my collage public or save as a draft which only I could see. Either way, you have the opportunity to get the embed code, get the link,  or share it via email, or Facebook. Even after it is published, you have the opportunity to delete it, or edit it again, which was great for me, as when I went to view it, some text had moved or disappeared, so I was able to edit it, fix it and publish it again.  I found Vuvox to be fun and tedious at the same time. I am not much of one for photographs or scrapbooking (see my post on photosharing), so while I enjoyed creating it initially, the constant editing and finicky work of placing photographs or transitions just so got a little wearing.

Personal use of the tool

Ok, ok, I know I should get into scrapbooking and making these slideshows for my (future) grandchildren. My mother and father were thrilled with my Vuvox. My brothers and sisters in law, not so much. “Why didn’t you use a better picture of me?” “Why are there 3 pictures of your kids and only 2 of ours?” ‘Why didn’t you…” (‘nuff said). Still, maybe for when my younger daughters graduate from university, get married, or have babies, I’ll actually take pictures and put them in an album. Wait, come to think of it, I DO (believe it or not) have pictures from our trip to England and Marlon and Ian’s wedding…maybe…once this course is over…..

Professional use of the tool

I am in the process of using Vuvox in my kindergarten classroom. We went for a fall walk to talk about seasonal changes, and I asked them to find something they could see that told them it was fall. Most of them chose dead leaves J and a few picked a bare tree. I took a digital photograph of their choice and then asked them to tell me how this showed them it was fall. I placed the pictures in a Vuvox, and am in the process of adding their text. I used it as one of my assessments, and hope to share it during parent conferences. I could also have had them draw fall pictures and tell me about them. This tool is one is one that I think I could use with students for digital storytelling, whether using images from the web, or hand-drawn illustrations uploaded through digital photographs. There is also a timeline feature which students could use to show the history of Alberta, explorers, dinosaurs, etc. Or what about a presentation on hurricanes or other weather phenomena?

Vuvox does lend itself better to linear presentations, however, the ability to upload images, audio and video and then to add text to them allows students to create a dynamic multimedia presentation on many subjects.

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