Book Trailers – A Web 2.0 Journey

22 Nov

(An article written by Anne Weaver, published recently in Access)

Web 2 technologies offer great opportunities for teacher librarians to promote learning outcomes. Book trailers were introduced as a competition category in the QIEU, Courier Mail, ETAQ Book Review Competition in QLD in 2009. Armed with this incentive and also a PD session promoted by Jenny Stubbs, co-coordinator of the Ipswich District Teacher Librarian at UQ Ipswich, our Library staff ventured into the world of Book Trailers. This activity provided many insights into both interactive and collaborative technologies for student and staff learning, and also copyright for authentic audiences.
What? Book trailers are like movie trailers; except book trailers promote books.

Why? The Book Trailers Professional Development session provided by author, Penny Masson and Jenny Stubb’s team, had revealed how software could be used in a fun and contained context that would promote reading, and also teach students engaging and useful technology skills. The skills learnt by students can be applied in a vast array of other situations, in both authentic and assessment situations. Book trailer skills can be taught quickly and efficiently, and are fun to create. It was found the basics of Photo story and moviemaker could be taught to a group of 12 Year 7 students in a hands-on manner in 35 minutes.

When, Where, Who and How? Library staff decided to teach book trailers to interested students from Years 5-12 at lunchtime, and also via classes with interested teachers. The book trailer lessons were linked to a Year 10 English multimodal assignment occurring at the same time. This also involved co-operation with the e-learning staff who undertook PD for teaching staff in Photo story. It involved collaboration between e-learning and Library staff to reach common understandings about referencing, which were formalised in a referencing PowerPoint for use by the school that included referencing for multimodal tasks. Moviemaker and Photo story were used as they are free for Microsoft clients. Word 2007 PowerPoint features, which include improved audio options, would be covered in Year 10 English classes.

Finding Images and Music for Authentic Contexts Interestingly, one Year 7 student constructed a book trailer using images and music from the web. The student then constructed another book trailer, but drew her own pictures and then scanned the drawings. It took about the same amount of time to draw original images as it took to find and edit images from the internet. The following is is not an exhaustive list, but includes user friendly resources that provide images and sound that can be used in public and commercial contexts and can be altered.

Youtube YouTube is blocked at many schools which is a shame because Guerillabill can teach the basics of Photo story in just over 6 minutes For those with YouTube blocked, this handy site may be of interest The copyright implications are covered here

Music Photostory contains 2 songs that can be mashed by students which provide an easy option. Jamendo permits use of music, so long as credit is given. Jamstudio as shown above, allows students to make their own music. Once students choose the chords, they can select instruments by clicking on the speakers beside them on the left; then music style, and whether to loop or not. Then, by clicking on MP3 MIX towards the top middle, students can have their music emailed to them (they will need to subscribe to a free trial). The MP3 file in the email can then be downloaded for inserting into moviemaker and photo story.

Images A google search for “royalty free” sites on the internet will produce mostly sites that charge for use of images. However, smartcopying has a great new resource that shows how to find images that students can use in any context To give a short example, simply go to google images and click advanced search . Go to usage rights and choose the bottom option, “labelled for commercial use with modification’ as shown, then search as normal -very easy! This creative commons site also helps search the main sources for “license friendly” resources for photos, images and music.

Referencing There is not a lot of information on multimodal referencing and it varies. Our school procedure for referencing is that where possible, the reference for images, text, sound etc should go as close as possible to the item. Where this is not possible, as is often the case in multimodal presentations, there should be a credits section at the end of the production. This follows the system used in movies. The credits section must be part of the production, not separate. Items need to be identified in the credits eg. Slide 14, Clapping sound, Microsoft, 2009. This would equate to the in-text reference. Then, there would follow a full bibliography that included all texts; audio, video and images. This is simply one method for managing this referencing and it would be interesting for there to be more exchange about how other schools manage this.

Publication Finally, the book trailers need to be presented for entry. This involved several options. If uploading to YouTube – students could either do this themselves at home, or provide a signed note from parents for Library staff to assist with this. The note had to specify if the student’s name could be included or not. Otherwise, the book trailer can be saved to a DVD and the entry mailed. Uploading to YouTube provides an authentic publication context, but there are content issues.
Useful resources Johngregory teaches moviemaker in just over 9 minutes E. A. Van der Veer shows how to add continuous sound in PowerPoint 2007 in 3 minutes The following resource on authentic copyright is also very good

Thus, this activity provided a valuable learning and teaching opportunity, collaboration with many staff and students, and an opportunity to promote the profile of the Library and reading. It provided the opportunity to engage in discussion about referencing for authentic audiences, instead of simply teaching students how to reference for assignments. Web 2 tools and new and search options mean that following copyright is now much easier for staff and; and they can easily find material for different purposes. However, it is still essential to record sources of material used so they can be referenced. However, hopefully, these advances will encourage staff to set more assessment which is for authentic audiences and which permit students to be taught about real world copyright requirements.

Access (Journal of the Australian School Library Association, Volume 23, Issue 3, 2009, pp9-13)


Posted by on November 22, 2009 in Reading, Teaching


Tags: , , ,

3 responses to “Book Trailers – A Web 2.0 Journey

  1. Carole Bird

    November 24, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you for such an informative posting – lots of helpful hints and links to follow up, and right on target for my needs at the moment.
    You have anticipated all my questions too!
    Congratulations on your blog.

    • anneticipation

      November 25, 2009 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks for your feedback,


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