I’m always interested in free software and web tools that allow community members to become digital storytellers. If you have the skill to send an email file attachment (by choosing a file on your computer), you have the skill to create a YouTube video — for free — by marrying an image file and an audio file of your choosing. The web site I use for this is called MP32TUBE.com. (Below is a sample digitl storytelling project I created using this free service.)
I recorded the audio using the free audio recording/editing software called Audacity. The graphics in this video was created in the AppleWorks draw program — after scanning the two photos of my mom and dad. These days I would use the LibreOffice Draw program — or maybe Inkscape — both of which are free.
To record the highest quality audio, I suggest using a USB microphone, such as the Logitech Clearchat USB headset — or the Blue Snowball microphone. You can easily edit out the uhms, ahs and pauses in your audio recording by selecting the short segments and pressing the delete key on your keyboard. Make sure the sound level (sound volume) of your recording is good. That might mean visiting the Sound control panel on your computer to adjust the Sound Input slider.
Your Gmail login is all you need to create a YouTube channel. Surprise your friends by becoming a YouTube producer — without owning a camcorder. Possible digital storytelling projects? Interview a family member or friend. Tell an amusing story from your childhood. Record some a capella singing. Make up a funny tall tale. Surprise us with what you make.
I sure hope YouTube buys MP32TUBE.com and folds it into their digital storytelling tools. I love showing this tool to people, but cringe to think that one day it might just disappear.