Microsoft’s Photostory 3 was a great tool for digital storytelling in many classrooms around the globe. When Microsoft withdrew support for Photostory a number of years ago I like many colleagues were disappointed. Having discovered Adobe Spark during the summer, I think I have finally found a very suitable replacement that has great potential as an ICT tool for use in the classroom. Adobe Spark has three different components:
- Spark Page (create eye catching web pages including images, text, background colours etc. to bring essays, reports, assignments to life.
- Spark Post (using your own images or images sourced online, add text and use the inbuilt toolkit to create social graphics
- Spark Video (using your own photos, drawings, images sourced online, add text and narration and background music to create digital stories
Getting started with Adobe Spark is very simple, just sign up with your e-mail address to register, fill in the details requested and create a new personal user account at https://spark.adobe.com/sp/login.
Adobe don’t want children under 13 to create their own accounts. They welcome primary school pupils using Adoble Spark to create digital stories etc. but children should be logging in on an account created and supervised by a teacher or parent.
Adobe have published a comprehensive guide – Adobe Spark – A Guide for Schools and Educators which has some very practical and useful advice in the general area of pupil privacy and personally identification information. Teachers are advised that they must make sure that younger pupils don’t share any information that would identify particular pupils. When publishing Adobe Spark projects online they can be flagged as public or private. Projects flagged as private cannot be found using web searches, nor will they be published on the Adobe Spark gallery. Teachers are advised to check younger pupils’ projects for personally identifiable information and are advised to flag them as private.
Adobe also have a premium version of Adobe Spark, this generally is a paid for version but they offer it for free to Education users. I haven’t explored this yet but intend to do so very soon and may return here with an update in a future posting.