After the success of Google’s animated and automated Search Story via YouTube, it’s no surprise that they would produce something similar using another one of their popular services.
This time, the animation features the real-time collaboration capabilities of Google Documents. Called “Story Builder,” you can add up to ten different “participants” with customizable names and then write your story within ten “actions” that include additions and deletions to the fake document as well as a small but decent selection of free music to use for your story.
As with Search Story, Google’s Story Builder is incredibly user-friendly, so the most curious experimenters can give this tool a try. There are innumerable ways to use this in education, from inclusions on student projects (as the Story Builder does not require an account or any identifier) to engaging previews or introductions to particular lessons.
I am using Story Builder for the first time in a concurrent session I will be giving at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference entitled “Mobile Communication Inside and Outside of Your Classroom.” The Story Builder video will be a part of my session and has served as a preview of my session that I shared on Google+ and Twitter.
The only negative to Google Story Builder is the inability to download your creation, upload it to your YouTube account (the latter of which was one of the best features of Search Story) or grab an embed code. Instead, you are given a permalink to a Story Builder page that has your video as well as information on Story Builder. You can work around this issue by using screencasting tools (such as Screencast.O.Matic, Screenr, or my favorites SnagIt and Camtasia Studio). I used SnagIt to grab a quick copy of my video, so I could embed it within this post.
Happy Story Building!