Monday, 21 January 2013

Digital Storytelling

Darren Kuropatwa { @dkuropatwa } and Andy McKiel {@amckiel } Technology Coordinators for my home division, St. James-Assiniboia, shared 6 easy pieces for digital storytelling at BU last week.
The great part of the PD was the hands on nature. We got to try everything presented, which makes using these resources in our classroom much easier. We learn by doing, so how can we teach without having done it?

1 - What did you contribute to the learning of others?
This is a great question to consider. I realize that once I am a teacher it will be my job to contribute to the learning of others, but I want to extend this everywhere and apply it now. I am making a conscious effort to help fellow students in any way I can and I intend to continue this with my colleagues, both locally and digitally.
Our activity for this piece was to pick three prompts from this google doc, pick a partner and select one question, and then record our conversation about it. We did this through the iTalk Recorder app for apple devices. We limited ourselves to 90 seconds and then emailed it directly In less than five minutes we had posted a simple podcast!
REMEMBER: None of us are as smart as all of us!
Here's our conversation. I don't do a lot of sound stuff on this blog, but I want to do more. It's a great differentiation tool. I am very dissatisfied with the quality of my laptop microphone, so I guess I'm in the market for an upgrade.
My favourite story from this section was about using podcasting in a French classroom. Students were told they had a short time to think of a memory or feeling connected to thunderstorms and then they'd have to record themselves talking about it for a podcast. Having an authentic audience outside peers, family and their teacher motivated the students: they asked for extra time to look up vocabulary, to write out what they wanted to say, and even to practice it to make sure they were pronouncing everything correctly. The students were coming up with these requests themselves! So often we simply assign students to do these things, when they could be asking us to do them.

2 - What do you see in your world today?
Drop boxers, this is worth checking out!
We split up into the same groups and were given five minutes to capture 5 seconds of beauty on video. I enjoyed this a lot. I took a video of a public cup collecting pop tabs to help a young boy get a wheel chair. When we were done we used to send our videos to Darren's drop box.
 He then imported them into iMovie and quickly made a video of all our beauty clips. I do a lot of movie editing, but I'd never seen iMovie before not having a Mac. It looks pretty good.
When it came to music, we were given a great resource for finding creative commons music - I love not having to worry about copyright violations and will definitely add jamendo to my list when I'm looking for music to use in videos and presentations.
This is the beauty we found:

Again I've been inspired and am collecting moments of beauty to make a video response.

3 - Who are you?
How do we explain ourselves, share ourselves? A life can be written down in volumes of volumes (Winston Churchill's biography anyone?), but our task was share ourselves in 4 slides attached to a minute of narration.
I chose to share how I decided to become a teacher. I drew my slides, but we were shown various ways to find creative commons licensed images for our slides, including and Appropriate crediting was also covered. Two ways that make attribution easy are the flickr cc attribution helper and open attribute.
I drew the pictures myself and put them into Powerpoint. I then exported the file as a pdf. To record the audio I used It was very easy. We then logged onto slideshare and uploaded our pdf and added our audio to it. We listened along in the editor and set the slide lengths to match our narration and, boom, an audio/visual story about me!
This will be a great way to learn about my students. It takes some of the nerves out of having to speak in front of their peers, but I still get to hear students talk about themselves.

We sort of ran out of time at this point, but these are the remaining pieces

4 - What did you learn today?
Students pair a picture and audio on the class blog to share what they are learning. Examples were students reading from picture books with a picture of them reading it.

5 - Scribe blogs - Blogs are used by students summarize their learning and write their own textbook!

6 - The learning culture is participatory
The internet is no longer just a giant bowl of jelly beans where we pick out our favourite flavours, but a jelly bean factory where we work together to make amazing flavours for everyone!

I loved this session. It flew by. I wish it could have been twice as long. Thanks, Andy and Darren!

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