Creating a Digital Story

Collecting Images

Collecting or Mixing Audio

Creating Movies

Helpful apps

Sharing via YouTube

Collecting Images

When collecting images for your project you must always keep in mind copyright and fair use guidelines. We highly recommend you collect images that are Creative Commons licensed images. Creative Commons licensed images can be found all around the web by simply filtering your searches to display CC images only. Note: Please remember that even though it is a CC image, you must still site and give credit to the artist. As with an essay or report, you should cite your sources at the end of your Digital Story.

Here are few ways to search for CC images:

CC Search - A great way to search for creative commons licensed images is to use the CC Search:

Google Images - Search using a keyword, then click Search Tools > Usage Rights > select Labeled for noncommercial reuse

Flickr - There are many images available on flickr using the Advanced Search > checking the box for Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content to filter for Creative Commons licensed images (note: you must set these advanced settings each time you search):

Other image databases:

NASA Images -

To access images not found on Google, try the CSU World Images Database -

Library of Congress on Flickr -

Additional Library of Congress Images -

Life Magazine and Google Image Archive -

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Collecting Audio files

When collecting audio files, you must always keep in mind copyright and fair use and guidelines. To avoid violating music copyright, we highly recommend that you use Creative Commons licensed audio, or you can use up to 30 seconds of a copyrighted piece of music. This short clip of 30 seconds can either be looped or combined with other short clips to provide music for the entire duration of your digital story. There are several websites where you can search for Creative Commons licensed audio, in which you can use one of these royalty-free music selections without having to cut it down to 30 seconds, as long as you credit the artist. As with an essay or report, you should cite your sources at the end of your Digital Story.

Youtube Audio Library (you must log into your Google account to access the audio library)

Royalty Free Music Clips (first page of website only)

Free Music Archive

Vimeo Music Store (Advanced Filters > License: choose Creative Commons License)

CC Search - Another great way to search for creative commons licensed audio files is to use the CC Search:

Recording or mixing audio

In your Digital Story you might want to include several audio files that overlap, such as a voice over narration and music. This can be tricky as you don't want the voice over to be over powered by the music, and vice versa. The latest Windows Movie Maker and iMovie video editing software does have the ability to mix two or more audio files, including recording narration. However, older versions and other video editing software might not have the ability for mixing. Therefore, you will need to create one audio file that combines the two tracks using software specifically designed for audio editing. The best free audio recording and editing software available is Audacity. Once you have the two mixed and balanced properly, you can export the final version as one audio WAV file, which you will import into your video editing software.

How to Use Audacity Audio Recording and Editing Software

Convert sound files (music or narration) to the MP3 or WAV file format (from AAC, M4A, etc.)

Many software programs that you might use require the sound files to be in the WAV or MP3 file format. If your audio file is in a format that is not acceptable to your editing software, that software will either refuse to import the file or it might distort the sound.

If you need to convert your audio file to a WAV or MP3 sound file, use one of the following websites to do so for free:
Online Audio Converters

Trim Audio Files

If you plan on using a copyrighted piece of music, you will need to trim it down to 30 seconds or less. Use the Online Audio Cutter to do this.

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Creating Movies


Windows Movie Makerfor PC users

Windows Live Movie Maker is the latest free video editing software provided by MicroSoft. If you have a PC running Windows 7, download the latest version of Windows Live Movie Maker.

Getting Started with Windows Movie Maker

Watch tutorial to add narration and music in Windows Movie Maker

Export your completed Windows Movie Maker video

iMovie for MAC users

iMovie is a video editing application that comes with the Apple Operating System on all new Macintosh computers.

Getting started with iMovieIMovie_Logo.png

Watch tutorial to layer audio files in iMovie
Watch 13 minute iMovie 11 demo

Export your completed iMovie video

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Helpful apps

Apps to Record Audio

Free Android apps:

Free Apple apps:

Apps to record video

Mobile devices that have a camera usually already have a video recording app. Please see your device manual for further information.

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Sharing your Digital Story via Youtube

If you have a Google account (which is free), you automatically have a Youtube account. To upload your digital story to Youtube, go to and sign in to your account.
  1. Once in your YouTube account, click on Upload at the top of the page.
  2. Click on "Select files to upload" and select your file or drag and drop your video file onto the page.
  3. Your video will then load and process. Please be patient while this process completes.
  4. Once uploaded, you can change the title, add a description, and select the category that best represents your video.
  5. Select the Privacy settings to determine whether you want your video to be public, private, or unlisted. Public videos can be searched for and viewed by anyone. Private videos can only be viewed by those users designated by the video's creator. Unlisted videos, our recommendation, can be viewed by anyone with the direct link to the video, but cannot be searched for and viewed by others.
  6. Make sure all changes are saved (lower right hand corner).
  7. Take the URL of the video and share it!

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