How Digital Storytelling Improves Learning

Eric Braun Blog

There’s been growing talk about Digital Storytelling lately. iPads, Chromebooks and laptops are everywhere, and educators want to take full advantage of their capabilities. With the landscape the way it is, I’m sure many wonder if this trend is more about the technology or the story. Everyone would agree that tech for tech sake is not the way to go. Using computers and the Internet do teach kids how to use devices and infrastructure that have become fixtures in the world around us, but… “Is that all there is?” I hope not, and I think not! Why does a story matter? It’s all about the process. Let’s look at what it takes to create a story. We all know what a story is and that it has a slew of parts (beginning, middle, end, characters, conflict, etc.), but what happens when we create a story? What process do we go through? The truth is that it’s a highly iterative and active process. Here’s an example: Assignment: Tell a story that shows you know about the planets in our solar system. Show you know what order they are in. Show you know at least 2 facts about each planet and about the Sun. Include Pluto if you’d like. Make sure you tell a story rather than just providing the facts and information. Make it fun and memorable. Sample Process for non-digital story could be: Think of a story concept that interests you. Be creative! Think outside the box! Think about how to include the solar system, …

Class Activity: English or Drama

Gaby Charmont Blog

Have your students practice scriptwriting and storyboarding while creating their very own scene to a play. Through acting out their lines and recording the scene, they will be able to perfect their drama skills while learning intonation styles and proper word pronunciations. The Activity: Aimed at English or Drama classes, this activity will pair seamlessly with reading and learning Shakespeare or while working on other plays and learning drama skills. The activity is for students to work together in small groups to write their own scene to a play. This could be reworking an existing segment, for instance changing the ending scene of a play, or even imagining an entirely new story and creating the play and scenes themselves. The Level: This activity can be modified to be geared towards younger learners but is aimed at students who are learning more complicated plays, such as the works of Shakespeare. This will get students to understand the way plays are written and have them be able to create their own scenes and play through scriptwriting and storyboarding, while expanding their skills in acting and drama while performing and recording the scene on video. For younger learners, this activity can center around fables or simpler plays that the students could imagine alternate scenes to and be able to write and act it out. The Procedure: Students will begin by writing a script to a scene which they have imagined or are taking some inspiration from. Try to divide the class into smaller groups where …

From Failure to Fantastic

Gaby Charmont Blog

Have you ever gotten a poor grade on an assignment when you think it truly deserved better? Did you take an honest look and were able to admit you did everything you could to make it great? I bet there is reasoning behind those grades received, and often a quick read through of a student’s work can confirm the amount of revisions that were done before submitting, that number usually being none. Here’s the thing, we’re not perfect and neither is anything we do on the first try. This is why iterative creativity is so important, especially in the classroom, and far beyond. This iterative process works as a cycle where you design your project, build it, test it, and then repeat. You can get an idea for a project, build the presentation, have your peers make edits and suggestions on your work, and then repeat with consideration given to creatively improving the parts others pointed out. While this cycle might need to be repeated a few times, I promise your project will be much closer to perfect than it was on your first attempt. Although it was a hard lesson to learn, I eventually discovered the power a do-over has to add value to a project. I was discouraged throughout grade school when I would turn in my work, thinking it was comparable to that of a creative genius, and would receive suggestions for improvement. This made me feel like I would never be as creative as my peers. In reality though, …