Road Movies – a quick, easy, and free digital storytelling tool

A few weeks ago, after a 7 hour coetail session on digital storytelling, I went to some friends’ house for dinner. As I opened their apartment door, I was greeted by an iphone camera pointing in my direction. After a full day of exploring various digital storytelling tools, it was surprising to see a real person making movies in the real world (as opposed to coetail people living in a coetail world).


My friend explained that she was using a new iphone app called “RoadMovies,” created here in Japan by Honda. Using your phone camera, you create a 24 second movie with short clips. You can choose 24 clips of 1 second each, 12 clips of 2 seconds, or 8 clips of 3 seconds.


When you are finished, you choose an instagram-esque filter, add a moody Japanese song as a soundtrack, and you’re ready to publish. Since it’s made by Honda (ostensibly for road trips (preferably in a Civic or Accord)), they also add the time and distance traveled to the end of the video.


It’s so easy, I downloaded it right away and made a film of my post-dinner trip back to my apartment:



My friend was the first person to tell me about this application, but a quick search showed that it’s the most popular free app in Japan and gaining popularity in Korea. And while it’s fun to document your dinner party or trip to the beach, I’m curious how this could be used in classrooms and schools.

Off the top of my head, I have a few ideas:

  • a fun way to record and share field trips or festivals
  • a communication tool to give parents a glimpse of what went on during a day in class
  • a creative challenge for students to tell a 24 second narrative
  • a brief highlight video of a sports practice or game
  • video mini-lessons; for example, how different types of music change the feel of the same video clip

I am planning to try a few of these, but please post a comment if you have other ideas.

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