Monday, November 11, 2013

Digital Storytelling

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Digital Storytelling:

Digital storytelling in the classroom idea of combining the art of telling stories with a variety of multimedia, including graphics, audio, video, and web publishing, the topics used in digital storytelling range from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from exploring life in one’s own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally, everything in between. Digital storytelling can be used in the full spectrum of learning, young elementary as an introduction to a topic to graduate students as an assignment. The lessons learned though digital storytelling are boundless. 

What is Digital Storytelling?

Video credit Jerome Gratigny

There are many value of digital storytelling in the classroom. Not just in young learning classrooms but in secondary and collegiate classrooms as well. There are also different forms of digital storytelling though lessons and assignments in a classroom.

Digital Storytelling in secondary schooling and collegiate level:

The shame about the growing mathematical, scientific world is that creativity is less valued. Yet in real world jobs, students/ future employees need to be able to be flexible and creative to find solutions and improve. A cool idea for high level classrooms, it take a complicated subject in biology or calculus and have the students try to make a story about it while using technologies. To make a story about characters with a plot line shows the full understanding about a topic, not just the definitions and facts. Although a subject does not seem like the place to write a story, it actually shows a deeper understanding to delve deeper and see character traits in factors or processes and make a plot line about a chemical reaction. It uses higher order thinking skills in Bloom's taxonomy.  

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Digital Storytelling in young grades:

In a younger classroom, a digital story can be used just in a different way. In elementary school a digital story with memorable characters can be a great way to introduce a subject, learn tricky vocabulary, or add to a lesson plan. The students could watch to learn rather than create a digital story to learn. In a controlled, monitored and supportive environment, young learners could create their own digital story. This approach has pros and cons with pros being creativity, organization and persistence with cons being labor intensive.

An example is in this digital story titled Margaret the Monarch Butterfly teaching students about butterflies metamorphosis and migration patterns with the help of her friend Sally Student.

Margaret the Monarch Butterfly

Video credit Leanne Stoltzfus

What can student learn from creating a digital story:

In class with guest Ms. Kerri Brown- Parker, we talked about the MANY lessons that students can learn with and through digital storytelling. The discussion we had with Ms. Brown- Parker's website, made me realize the full worth of digital storytelling so I would like to share it with you. 

These are the extra skills that are exercised though a digital storytelling assignment. These are the skills that are above and beyond the story's topic or subject. Students have five basic steps:
  • Story Planning with storyboards, story maps, collaborative brainstorming creates skills of critical thinking, summarizing, organization, logical progression, chronological thinking and increased vocabulary. 
  • Pre- Production with finding pictures, video or sound clips has skills of research skills, prioritizing and self analysis of individuals work. 
  • Production with the tools like imovie or moviemaker, has lots of technology skills, initiative, flexibility, revision and persistence.
  • Post production which is the finial editing and peer review, has revision skills, collaboration, handling constructive criticism and listening skills.  
  • Distribution develops skills for publishing with technology effectiveness.  

Why use digital storytelling in the classroom: 

In my eyes as a pre-service teacher, these are all skills that students should be learning and perfecting throughout their schooling. 

I really like how Bernajean Porter worded in her blog Creative Educator "The digital storytelling process helps us transform isolated facts into illuminated, enduring understandings. By “living in the story,” we make information come emotionally alive. By exploring “lessons learned,” we go beyond telling about content to find its deeper meaning."

And also this quote by Annette Simmons in The Story Factor “By telling thoughtful stories, we clarify our own thinking about what we have learned to share with others in a profound way that sticks with us over time.”

In this video by Carl Anderson titled Wes Fryer on Digital Storytelling In the Math Classroom speaks about how when subjects or topics are in a story, students and people are more likely to remember it. In math, concepts need to be tangible and he does that in his math classroom. I feel very strongly about "Memorable Learning" as I have coined it. I believe in doing anything and everything that a teacher can to make a topic memorable whether that be a field trip to the Capital, a nature walk or a digital story for a topic. I think that digital storytelling in all its forms and uses in the classroom will help students. And that makes it worth it.  

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