Sara Primerano’s Blog

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Digital Storytelling March 28, 2009

Filed under: Weekly Readings — saraprimerano @ 10:35 am

“Inside the Digital Classroom,” Dave Boardman

“Space to Imagine: Digital Storytelling,” Lisa C. Miller

Newkirk & Kent, chps. 14 & 15

“Giving the students a portal to the outside world seemed to change the idea that writing doesn’t matter” (p.164).  Dave Boardman is spot on here, for how many times have I seen students get back an essay with my editing comments, look at the grade, maybe glance at the comments (but most likely not), then ask “do I have to keep this?”  Despite my efforts to convince them to keep their work, take it home, put it on the fridge, at least keep it to study from for the final – more often than not, I find their essays casually (or maybe purposefully?) tossed in the trash.  Having writing matter to my students, beyond just getting the grade? Yes, please!

– How great would a classroom blog be?  We have a journalism class that produces our school newspaper, but how great would it be to set up a writing workshop in class that centered on creating a blog or website that covered different themes or topics each month?  Students could choose the topics.  Boardman’s chapter offers the following suggestions:

“Where are you going?” – narratives of graduating seniors

“What’s in your wallet? – getting different students to spill the contents of their wallets

“PDA” – not the technology but problems with public displays of affection

A team of three or four students could be editors for each topic, then the editing role would rotate to the other students, so everyone would share the responsibility.

I was introduced to Digital Storytelling this past summer at a professional development workshop I elected to take.  I had missed the end of the school year due to maternity leave, so I was attempting to ease my way back into schoolwork.  It was a perfect reintroduction – in fact, I couldn’t believe my school was actually paying me to learn this!

Digital Storytelling transforms the narrative – it requires you to choose very carefully what you want to say, what images best represent your story and what music will compliment your theme as well.  Then putting it together requires real attention to detail to make sure the story achieves the desired effect.

My first digital story was about my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter (surprise, surprise!)  It was incredibly emotional for me to put together and I was incredibly proud of my final product – thought it was an assignment I had to complete for this class, it was so much more than that to me.  Subsequently, I created a digital story to show at my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary party,  my brother’s anniversary party and my daughter’s baptism.  (It’s seriously addicting – my dad has even used them for business meetings!) Inspiring the same feeling in my students is certainly one of my goals, and digital storytelling is a great way to achieve this.


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