Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is a project based style of learning that will impact our students in many ways. It allows them to process, research and gather a variety of multi-media forms of information. It builds on student collaboration and allows them to synthesize their knowledge as they work together retell events in history or even create an original story that illustrates concepts they have been studying in the classroom. Digital storytelling also incorporates many different learning styles allowing for a wide range of creativity.
Digital storytelling can incorporate all types of media, from video, pictures, audio and music. Student motivation and the quality of work displayed are improved when incorporating these types of technologies. The final project is rewarding and can easily be presented.
The great thing about this type of project based learning is the availability of the final product. It can be displayed for parents, friends and even extended family like grandparents who live far away. Audiences can also include other classmates or other students studying the same topic from other schools or even for the general public. Many times by having an audience this grand you will solicit higher quality work and effort from the students on their work.
Stories in history can be retold through the research of pictures and video clips. Students then can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding as they create a storyboard of their own to retell an event. New stories can be written based on favourite characters from books or movies or even tv shows. This creativity will call upon a higher level of thinking from each of the students.

I think that digital story telling would be an appropriate activity to engage my grade 5 & 6 students. Some of the formats would be quite technical and difficult for them to work with but I have seen them all get excited about creating a PowerPoint presentation so I would incorporate the technology of a Slideshare. A Slideshare presentation would be an excellent form of displaying the creation of a story and could be used as a creative writing assignment with grades 5 & 6. The story could be written up on paper and then can be recorded as an audio narration with pictures or video clips illustrating the story. Many of these stories could be created for younger audiences and could be posted for the lower grades of their school to view and enjoy. Writing younger, children stories for a younger class in the school has worked well before and I can see how the digital storytelling would be a big success. The students would be very excited to incorporate pictures, photos, drawings or even video clips to go along with a story they have written. It would be quite exciting for the students to create it and because of its high motivation factor; it would bring out the best story writing in my students. They would also be very excited and proud to present these stories to a younger class.
I could see the presentation of these stories done in a number of different ways. You could use a projector and set up a presentation class period where you could invite a younger class to watch the various digital stories. You could also work on a rotation in a computer lab and have one-on-one sharing of the digital stories. I would have each of my grade 5 & 6 students log in and open up their digital story while the a younger class could rotate throughout all of the computers to see each of the different stories. We could encourage the younger students to ask questions about the story and about the process of creating the story.

My Review of Examples of Digital Storytelling

A History of Radiology – from the website Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling
This eight minute presentation narrates and illustrates the history of radiology and its impact on health and medicine. It is quite informative and displays pictures of the scientists involved in this research. I think this would be a very appropriate way of presenting this information at my school. It could be used as an additional link for students to view at home for an assignment if they are to study and learn about radiology. It also could be used as an example to show how an informative digital story can be told.

Architecture in Math – from the website Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling
This five minute presentation illustrates the different types of architecture that specific mathematical equations produce. I can’t see this specific video used in my school as it deals with high school math. It would be very useful to a high school math teacher who is introducing a practical usage of the formulas they are graphing and studying.

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