Multimedia Story Platforms for Students’ Projects

Multimedia Story Platforms for Students’ Projects

By Sean MacEntee

One of my tasks as the instructor of this spring’s Senior Capstone course is rounding up online locations and services where my 15 students can publish their final projects. (I’m also working on them with portfolios, and have blogged about those options before.) Most students’ projects emphasize creating long-form writing, video, and/or audio, as opposed to hand-coding complex presentations for content themselves.

One of our challenges, then, is finding places that make publishing these projects possible with a minimum of effort and code. I hope to help students get their work out there in a way that suits their production choices, is visually appealing and interactive, and that at least approximates some of the gorgeous interfaces professionals use today. Oh, and either for free or a very low cost!

I’ve compiled an initial list of services the students and I are checking out. I’d love to hear more about what others have used in their classes — and to add your examples of projects on these various platforms.

    • Self-hosted WordPress (some cool themes for stories, perhaps: EliteOneEngine; some students may use, but I’m encouraging a shift to self-hosted to enable more features and to build familiarity with WP)
    • Wix (one of last year’s seniors, Sara Miller, created her project with Wix)
    • Creatavist (I think a few of my students this semester will be using Creatavist. Here’s a student’s project, shared by my colleague Elizabeth Hendrickson of Ohio University); here’s a terrific UNC project, too, shared with me by Crystal Fawn at The Atavist)
    • Weebly
    • (pretty; a sample story)
    • Medium (here’s a PBS MediaShift story about a prof using Medium for a class blog)
    • Storybuilder (looks to be in its early stages, but interesting)
    • Klynt (14-day free trial, but subscription required afterward; student pricing available)
    • iBooks Author (has platform/device limitations, of course)
    • For map-based stories: I’m intrigued by Story Maps ArcGIS
    • For students curious about app creation: AppMakr, also recommended to me by Elizabeth Hendrickson based on her students’ experiences
    • For students who do want to dig into code, here’s a student-written tutorial on building an interactive story

I wish I had time to really experiment with all of these, but alas, that’s not the case. So, please share your experiences with these platforms in the comments, and feel free to post links to examples of finished projects, too! I’ll update the post with your feedback.

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