Ohler, J. (2005). The world of digital storytelling. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 44-47.
What the Author Says:
Digital Storytelling: A form of short narrative, usually a personal narrative told in the first person, presented as a short movie for display on a television or computer monitor or projected onto a screen.
(2004, p. 1)
*Should be used to enhance students’ skills in critical thinking, writing, and media literacy
*In the beginning the focus should be on the story. The problem for many students is their focus on the power of the technology rather than the power of their stories.
*The two important components of teaching storytelling are story mapping and practicing written and oral story- telling before bringing in digital elements.
Story Mapping: A storyboard, used commonly in the movie and TV industry, is an ordered presentation of drawings or photos that each summarize a major story event.
+Enable teachers to quickly assess the strength of a story while it is still in the planning stage and to challenge students to strengthen weak story
+Helps students plan the events of a story
+Enables teachers to quickly assess the strength of a story while it is still in the planning stage and to challenge students to strengthen weak story elements.
+A call to adventure. Normal life is interrupted by a significant event, initiating a physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual journey for the main character.
+Problem-solution involving transformation. Characters encounter problems that are solved through a personal transformation of some kind. Transformation can happen in a number of ways, including skill acquisition, maturation, learning, and self-discovery.
+Closure. The story comes to a meaningful conclusion, not necessarily through a happy ending. Often, closure involves the main character's realization of something significant, a moral, or evidence that something or someone has changed.
Written and Oral Storytelling
+The most important tool used in the creation of a digital story is writing scripts and story treatments.
+Oral storytelling is a powerful way for students to develop their own voices and discover what events and details are essential to their stories.
Creating a Tie-In to Academic Skills
The lessons need to be tied to the curriculum and used to strengthen students' critical thinking, report writing, and media literacy skills.
Creating digital stories is a perfect opportunity to engage students in media literacy, in learning about how the media influence our perceptions of the world
Tapping Dormant Skills
Through creating narratives, students develop the power of their own voices and become heroes of their own learning stories. Most important, digital storytelling helps students become active participants rather than passive consumers in a society saturated with media.
What I say:
While working with these types of projects I think the most important fact to remember is that it needs to be made worth it. These tools needed for projects can be expensive to come up with, so what the student is doing with them needs to be worth it. While using this technology in the classroom can seem fun, the fun cannot take away from the learning. Just like the author said, lessons need to be used that are implanting the curriculum used in class, that are teaching the students’ critical thinking skills, and about technology.
I also agree with the author on the importance of the written and oral storytelling. These parts of the digital storytelling are crucial to the students learning. These are the activities that help students review what information they know, and what they are trying to tell the audience, and then implement that. The students need to work on the writing aspect and practice visualizing what they want to tell, then talking about it, and then transferring it to paper. This can help students learn to vocalize what they know and feel, while teaching them writing skills.
I liked the aspect the author brought up about teaching media literacy, how when the students are doing the projects, to help them see how the media works in our lives, and how they use information to create mind frames in viewers. I think this is an important aspect for students to understand. As students work on these projects they will learn how media can be used to enhance a story and create and draw emotions from viewers. Students need to see how the media does this so that they can know when they are seeing it on TV and in movies.