My most recent assignment for the students in my two sections of Composition II has been the creation of a multimedia essay. For this project I encouraged students to use Photo Story 3 for the visuals and Audacity for the audio (both free downloads). I recommended that they write and record the essay in Audacity, add whatever background music was appropriate, and then add the photos and anything else in Photo Story. The idea here is to keep the writing, the essay itself, as the center of the work.
I had considered the use of Windows Movie Maker, but that program applies more to the use of video, so if students are just using still photos for the visuals, that program doesn't seem to fit. Some students appear to be planning to use PowerPoint, which can also serve well enough.
This week I finished a sample for my students, and I recognized that putting something like this together takes some patience and time. I wish mostly that I had spent more time on the essay itself and not as much on the production. If' you have made it reading this far, you must be interested, so I'll give the link to my sample. It's here.