You've heard of book trailers, right? Well, book trailers are to bookcasts as appetizers are to the main course. Book trailers grab the attention; bookcasts engage the mind.

Here's another way to think about this performance piece called a bookcast -- bookcasts demonstrate the highest form of thinking which is creating. You may have heard teachers mention Bloom's Taxonomy and now the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy, sort of the holy grail of educators. Creating is defined as "putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning, or producing (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001, pp. 67-68).

In a bookcast, you are using your creativity to share your response to a book. Not a summary nor an interpretation but a personal response. Here are the three briefly described:
The summary: to summarize the book would be to demonstrate understanding.
The interpretation: to interpret the book would be to analyze
The creative response: to create is to integrate what you bring to the book and design and produce something new and different and original. Here's a good example of a bookcast inspired by Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" -- "A Hard Choice."

These creative responses may be text-to-text, text to world, or text to self. In the Exemplary Videos shared, Lara and Michael have made strong text-to-self connections while Stephanie has made a compelling text-to-world connection.

Format

Bookcasts may be produced in any format as long as they can be uploaded to YouTube.

Audio slide shows (think still images with narration and music) can be easily produced with the free tool PhotoStory (PC) or iMovie (Mac).

Animations can be produced with free tools like ToonDoo or PikiStrips (upload your own photos) and then added to PhotoStory, iMovie, or MovieMaker (PC) to create videos.

Or you can simply video with a video camera (digital cameras often film video and there are inexpensive Flip Cams/Flip Cam-like video cameras, too) and edit. Really well-planned and storyboarded bookcasts may not even need editing.

Regardless of what production format you choose, a great resource for learning to tell a story using new media is DigitStories

See an evolving list of tools and tutorials on our Symbaloo Webmix.