Digital Storytelling in the Classroom
This is my digital story about digital storytelling in my classroom. My advantage in this project was that I taught a digital storytelling elective at my school last year. It was new for me and I did a lot of learning along with my students. Two of the most useful resources for me were Jason Ohler and Alan Levine‘s websites regarding Digital Storytelling. I also learned that the drive behind digital storytelling is developing the story. The digital component is about how the story is delivered. As Jason Ohler emphasizes,
No matter how sophisticated our technology becomes, the future of digital storytelling will involve writing and conventional forms of literacy.
I found my students were happy to run out with a video camera (or even their iPhone) and make a funny, silly video. But the art of telling a story takes a lot of planning and revising and reflecting. Additionally, they need to use critical thinking skills in developing their final digital product. From “7 Things You Should Know About…Digital Storytelling”…
Students creating digital stories develop proficiency with multimedia applications, but the deeper impact comes from their thinking critically about effective combinations among audio and visual elements. Each story challenges a student to cull—from personal collections or from other resources—artifacts that meaningfully support the story and to assemble them in a way that achieves the desired effect. In doing so, students develop a discerning eye for online resources, increasing their technology and media literacy.
Given the writing skills and media literacy needed to create a good digital story, this process can be used in any content area.
The project described in this video was quite extensive and involved but we were assessing several benchmarks (Digital Story Project Rubric). The amount of time we spent on this project was worth it because of the results in both academic work and problem-solving skills the students demonstrated.
I have used a very abbreviated digital storytelling process with students using content (i.e. daily life in ancient Greece) and giving them 30 or 40 minutes to write and practice a short skit to teach other students (which we video to share).
Putting this video together was quite a task since I wanted to be clear about this experience. It was also a huge learning experience for me as I tackled using iMovie after only a few basic experiences with it. (Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials!) So without further a do….
A Few Recommended Resources
Jason Ohler: Digital Storytelling
Alan Levine: 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story
Wes Fryer: Digital Storytelling on a Shoestring
Grazing for Digital Natives: Digital Storytelling
iLearn Technology: 31 of My Favorite Digital Storytelling Sites (grades 3-8)