As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts for this course, the topics from this course around visual literacy really had an impact on my teaching. While teaching middle school Humanities at my previous school, I offered a digital storytelling elective and was able to integrate digital storytelling into my Humanities class as a way for students to share their learning. I also began to facilitate professional development sessions on digital storytelling in the content areas. (Here is a link to my Google Site for a workshop I did a few years ago – it does need some updating but it contains examples and many of my go-to resources for digital storytelling).
With the technology tools we have available and some preparation and planning, digital storytelling can be a powerful way to engage students in sharing their learning. There are many benefits to using digital storytelling beyond creativity and technology skills that can help students share their learning and teachers assess it. (6 Reasons You Should be Doing Digital Storytelling with Your Students; Digital Storytelling: An Efficient and Engaging Learning Activity)
Here is a story about one of my learnings from using digital storytelling…The first time I taught a digital storytelling elective was even before I started COETAIL and it was a steep learning curve for me. A couple of my students had iPhones with iMovie on them and even though I had set up a process for them to develop their story first, they said they’d have their story done by Monday. Keep in mind, I was not experienced with iMovie or how this worked on an iPhone at this time. On Monday, they shared this movie they created about spies in their apartment building including falling and exploding cars. At first I was impressed with the technology and what they were able to create visually. But once I watched it again, as a teacher assessing their work, I realized their story did not make much sense and it was mostly them improvising. Also, it was difficult to hear their dialogue and keep track of the characters. Was it impressive visually? Sure – mostly because it was a new format for me. Did they communicate their story effectively? Nope. So we as teachers we must keep in mind, that creating a digital story is more than just the software or app that is being used. Even if students are tech saavy in creating digital media, they still need guidance on creating an engaging story.
Here’s a TedEx video of iPad storyteller Joe Sabia about the evolution of technology and storytelling which relates to our essential question for this week: How does this new form of storytelling differ from forms in the past?
Looking forward to reading more about your learning and experiences with digital storytelling!
Note: For more about the power of storytelling > The magical science of storytelling By David JP Phillips at TEDxStockholm (shared his presentation “How to avoid death by PowerPoint” in my Week 3 post.)