Digital Storytelling and Live Recording Software

If you like the idea of setting up a camera and mic, and telling your story (scripted or not), Vlogit by Serious Magic (now owned by Adobe) is worth a look. This software makes it easy to quickly put together a video with animated captions, background sounds and music…much like you see on the evening news. You can have yourself telling the story, with an animiated caption sliding from the side at the bottom of the screen. When you get to a certain part of the story, you can have a boxed image appear in the corner of the screen and dissolve at just the right time.

A favorite feature is the chroma key tool. With the purchase of a $20 green tarp, you can videotape yourself with a transparent background, then add a still or animated backgrounds. If you are talking about a trip to Haiti, have the background be a slide show of pictures from the trip. You can tell your story from a virtual beach, the moon, in the oval office, from the Serengeti, or inside the human body.

  • Download a trial version or view some of the examples at their site.

Additional Comments

  • I use this software on a newer Dell laptop with 1GB memory and things start to slow down quite a bit when I am trying to edit video in VlogIt. There have even been a few times that everything locked up. Then again, this might have to do wtih settings and memory resident programs on my laptop.
  • There is a learning curve. It took me 3-5 hours to get used to the basic features, and another 20 to feel comfortable using the chroma key feature and some of the other settings. To tell the truth, I am still trying to perfect use of the chroma key tool. It isn’t as simple as Photo Story, but it does so much more. Then again, it has less of a learning curve than Adobe Premiere.
  • If you are simply putting together a digital story with audio narration and still pictures, don’t bother with this product. You’d be using a jackhammer to open a jar.
  • Like much technology, the great features do have an intial distracting effect. If you choose to go with this product, don’t allow the great effects to overshadow your story (Look for an upcoming book review on this subject).
  • The built-in teleprompter is terific! Type up your script, cut and paste it in the prompter, and start recording.

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About Bernard Bull

Dr. Bernard Bull is an author, host of the MoonshotEdu Show, professor of education, AVP of Academics, and Chief Innovation officer. Some of his books include Missional Moonshots: Insights and Inspiration for Educational Innovation, What Really Matters: Ten Critical Issues in Contemporary Education, The Pedagogy of Faith (editor), and Adventures in Self-Directed Learning. He is passionate about futures in education, educational innovation, alternative education, and nurturing agency and curiosity.