I used some pictures of my little girl and created a little story book for her. I recorded my voice reading it. I guess I did something simple to try it out and see if I could figure out what I was doing. Doing that gives me more confidence to go back and try it with something for my classroom. I feel pretty comfortable so far. I need to go and try adding sounds other than me reading.
After I finished my PowerPoint book, I went and created one in Microsoft PhotoStory. I just selected the pictures I wanted to include (still images), and then the program led me through adding narration and background noise (it even gave me options to choose from). I liked the ease with which I was able to complete a book-like presentation. I used pictures of my little girl and I read poems for her dad's upcoming birthday. My only problem so far is that I can't figure out how to save it outside of that program (if that makes sense) to share with others or to upload to badongo.
I think learning to use these tools has the capacity to improve my instruction this year. If (when) I have struggling readers, I can send them to the computer to read along with my recorded voice (which will also provide a good reading model hopefully). I could also use it to record student voices reading aloud or telling stories aloud. It some times helps to tell a story aloud prior to writing it down, and recording it would help students with memory problems. It is also good for students to read aloud and be able to hear themselves. They can (hopefully) hear/see what they need to work on.
I also think students would really enjoy doing activities that involved recording their own voices . . . and that can be a big motivator.