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Digital Storytelling in K-12 schools

posted Apr 30, 2009, 11:43 AM by Helen Barrett
This message is from a friend and colleague, Jeannie Biddle, who is a pioneer in Digital Storytelling through Scott County Schools, in response to a question on a listserv.

You don't say what age/grade level so, I'll figure they are K12...we've done digital storytelling with G&T students and the products are awesome!

The basics as always revolve around the story - succinct, clear, and a deep nugget of knowledge with an unsuspecting twist! Have them work together in a "kiva - like" environment for sharing their written work and seeking excellence via writing with suggestions from their peers. Guide if necessary through samples - lots and lots and lots of samples! Oh yes...we also video conferenced with an author-friend who shared writing tips/tricks! They loved it!

Give them the basics of iLife once the written work is completed and remind them to be unique in their use of images, effects, voice, sound, and artifacts - they are so creative and often ask "can we do this" - to which the answer is absolutely - keeping in mind the "format" of the DST. They became specialists of areas in which they had the greatest interest (iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb). They seem to take to the iLife apps intuitively and often surpass the average teacher in understanding the capacity/potential of iLife.

We also included more indepth digital citizenship this go around as well as copyright discussions as "responsible digital citizens".

This was the first time, the stories revolved around a theme - student idea and chosen by them through consensus and buy-in. Very powerful!

I was able to integrate additional elements with this conferencing, collaboration, consensus/team building, critical thinking, peer mentoring that I hadn't with other students and raised the bar to encourage them to bring on another student (not G&T) and teach them the process.