Create Capzles and turn ordinary content into interactive, flash-based timelines. The program lets you assemble videos, pictures, audio and text into one neat package. Then your material is placed over the backdrop of your choice. You can customize the font, the color scheme and even add background music to really set the tone. Once you are finished you can share with your students in class or broadcast your work to the world.
As a viewer, this program is quite appealing. Content is organized into “moments” and you can move from one image or video to the next at your own pace. This left-to-right format makes for an ideal timeline but also works well for social storytelling or digital portfolios. Any of the “moments” can be viewed individually in chronological order, or all of the moments can be viewed in progression. As the content creator or designer, the themes may be a bit limiting but the site is very easy to navigate. It’s also easy to share since you can plug right into a number of platforms. However, there are known glitches with posting to Facebook so you may want to do a test run before committing to a full project.
Teachers will find that this is a great way to present a lesson and students seem to enjoy building presentations with this platform. Because it is web-based, it lends itself to group projects. Students can send internal messages so they can collaborate right inside the program and they can access a My Stuff tab on the navigation bar, which allows them to view their friends, their profile, and their favorite capzles. Students could theoretically use this to record experiments, or to cluster information into classification systems, and as a step by step problem solving exercise. It also works well for storybooks, digital scrapbooking, and as a means to showcase fieldtrips. Many schools also make use of the video add-ins to share school performances.
If you decide you want to give this a try, you will need to register and then simply click on “create” to get started. You will need a title and you should have a list of keywords, or tags, if you want to make your Capzle searchable. Then upload your content, add your text, and select your theme.
This video tutorial will show you the basics.
There are similar programs. Flickr, for example, will allow you view a slideshow and YouTube will let you place “moments” in chronological order by editing your clip. But Capzles seems to set itself apart because it does a spiffy job of combining different types of multimedia material into an easy-to-follow storyline.
If you run into technical issues, you may end up waiting a while before their tech support responds. Therefore, you will want to do a short test run before going live. Once you’ve created your capzle, you can count on it to run in your classroom but you may hits snags with the share feature. The free program got a jump start from $1 million in venture capital funds and the site’s advisory board includes Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra and UltraStar COO Herve de Clerck. So the program should continue to expand and improve with time.