My Digital Storytelling Past…
Over the past 7 years I’ve been honing my movie-making skills and in my role as EdTech Coach am more focused on helping teachers realise the potential for digital storytelling and movie-making in the classroom.
I’ll never forget that very first iMovie I made, on an aging white MacBook (first generation) back in 2011. It was a competition for my G4 class based on Daniel Pink’s “What’s Your Sentence” competition:
This 2 minute video took me 6 hours. But practice made progress. And with time using iMovie became easier. I couldn’t wait to re-design assignments and tasks the following year. I wanted to provide opportunities for students to use this amazing tool to showcase their work.
The following year, I was in Beijing teaching a class of third graders. Needless to say they picked up this tool way faster than I did and were able to create a music video and dance using the Green Screen for our “How We Express Ourselves” Unit of Inquiry. Since this experience, I’ve led several workshops on using the Green Screen for different kinds of storytelling and showcasing. This Google Doc I created for teachers has some useful links and ‘How Tos’ for using the Green Screen and accompanying app:
Probably the most involved video I’ve ever created was using Final Cut Pro X in 2013 to showcase the G5 PYP Exhibition Journey for opening night. This took me several weeks as I needed to collect footage of students and edit their responses to fit within a reasonable timeframe. At the time I was aware of Copyright laws, and did ask permission from the original creator of the Rube Goldberg Vimeo, 2D House, if I could use some of his footage for my video. He was thrilled! It was a perfect example of the benefits of shared creative content and remixing for different purposes. In hindsight, I should have created my own music or used CC music for the video. At that time I wasn’t aware of accessible CC platforms like The Diner or Soundcloud.
Other forms of Digital Storytelling I’ve used are eBook Platforms such as Book Creator and My Story. As I’ve discussed and showcased in my professional blog Innovative Learning in the PYP Digital Storytelling tools allow students to document their learning and synthesise learning. Here is a movie I created using Animoto to showcase how eBooks promoted applied literacy skills and connected to the PYP Units of Inquiry.
The Future of Digital Storytelling…
Now that many students have had experience in movie-making, blogging and creating eBooks..what is the future for digital storytelling within a global network? DSJ writes:
“Networks for sharing and collaboration extend that voice; that voice can contribute to a conversation as a contributing member of a community.”
I decided to investigate and find that ‘perfect’ platform that encompasses many of the presentation tools I like to use, including banks of Creative Commons Images. After much searching through blogs, my PLN and various twitter feeds, I remembered that an EdTech Coach friend (and Coetail Grad) Sonya TerBorg (@TerSonya) had mentioned her love for different Adobe apps. I scrolled through the AppStore and was thrilled when I discovered Adobe Slate as the perfect combination of all presentation platforms:
The App’s tagline is:
“Make a beautiful visual story. In minutes.”
From a teacher perspective, it enables students to combine a variety of features onto one slate:
Slideshow + Keynote + eBook + eMagazine + Blog/Website + Photo Collage
What excited me about this platform is the opportunity for publishing something in a unique way that also meets the CARP principles of good design. It addresses the modern way we look at images and text and stories…by scrolling through them, and accessing relevant links at the appropriate time. Even having a bank of CC images to complement any text you want to associate with your idea, helps to reinforce visual literacy skills. As the author writes in Towards a Framework for Visual Literacy, “Emotion, depicted through visual means, sells the message.” Furthermore, the features of Adobe Slate allow the creator to work in multiple mediums, adding links to videos/websites, images, text and the ability to share it easily with a wider audience helps to make the “content transportable” as DSJ also explains in his article.
Another Coetailer, @tracyblair, shared a fantastic example of an Adobe Slate Digital story example from the blog All Things Elementary. I love how this teacher transformed the journey of a Sunflower seed into something students of all ages, and languages, could draw meaning from.
Click here or the image below to view it.
I see a lot of potential for upper primary students, especially the G5 PYP Exhibition Students who will be looking to create a platform for showcasing their learning journey. I’ve also shared this app on Twitter and look forward to hearing feedback from friends and colleagues across grade levels on how this modern platform could change the way we, and our students, showcase learning.