Thursday, February 07, 2013

ETMCHAT on a Wednesday evening

I participated in Wednesday's etmchat. I'm getting better at watching the tweets fly by, stopping to read some, skimming over others. It's a test of brain power. As I get older, I keep reading about doing activities that keep the brain flexible. Tweet chats have to qualify with the enormous amount of processing, multi-tasking and connecting.

As I read, I quickly click on links to be visited after the chat. So here are some I explored later.

Someone mentioned cowbird
http://cowbird.com/
I love their byline: Stories: How we make sense of our lives.
Later someone pointed us to the stories of Barbara Ganley on cowbird
http://cowbird.com/barbara-ganley/

The premise is simple - an image and a story. I've been doing that through a photo blog I have, though the story-telling has diminished a bit. It was an interesting process as with each image I was inspired to try different genres from story to editorial writing to poetry.  I started doing the photo blog because I firmly believe as teachers - if we ask students to write, we have to write too.

Bryan Jack shared a post on digital radio http://bryanjack.ca/2012/12/07/web-radio-in-the-k12-classroom/http://bryanjack.ca/2012/12/07/web-radio-in-the-k12-classroom/
I loved listening to the story behind DS106 - linked from his post http://cogdogblog.com/2012/10/21/ds106-radio-rockumentary/http://cogdogblog.com/2012/10/21/ds106-radio-rockumentary/

Someone else shared http://mediaspecialistsguide.blogspot.ca/2011/08/58-sites-for-digital-storytelling-tools.html 
I'm always a little wary about the lists of tools - concerned that the emphasis is on the tool and not on the content. I love digital storytelling - but we have to put the emphasis on the storytelling with the digital being the way we can make the stories more powerful - adding images, video, transitions, music with a purpose - so that each layer strengthens the story. We have to be cautious to avoid the powerpointlessness syndrome of animations and transitions that add nothing to the message. I have spent time reading Joe Lambert's Digital Storytelling Cookbook and one thing always stood out for me - "the gift of your voice"
Don't get me wrong - I love these tools - but we have to look at them with a critical eye and think about what each offers and how they can be used for specific stories. While I like Animoto - I don't like the fact that so much is canned - that most of the creativity is given over to Animoto. Not bad for a quick upload to show off photos from a day at school - but not great for a deep story.

Winter in Quebec

  Not sure if this link was shared last night - but from Wes Fryer http://teachdigital.pbworks.com/w/page/19791043/ds I highly respect the work he has done. His book Playing with Media has many great ideas for K12 schools

Some stories I have loved to share in workshops:
I adore Connor's story - a great place to explore and think about what the student had to do to prepare for this production. And think about what his voice adds!
http://www.dtc.scott.k12.ky.us/technology/digitalstorytelling/connor_T1.mov
 Visit SFETT - started by Marco Torres. There is a large collection of student made videos
or visit the youtube channel of the Center for Digital Storytelling (adult made stories).

So much to explore. So much to learn. Keeps me young!




2 comments:

  1. I love your reflection on the process. I agree we can't loose the story behind the tool... however sometimes when we are learning the tools our stories may be more shallow. Thoughts?

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    Replies
    1. I do agree that as teachers when we play with these tools, often the stories will be shallow. That is because we are concentrating on the tool and thinking about how we can use it with students. Our purpose for using the tool is not about the story but in seeing potential. But when we ask students to produce digital stories we need to emphasize the story and explore together how the tools can make the stories powerful. Students also need time to play and explore - but final products should demonstrate that good choices were made because the story speaks for itself.

      I also think that this is about scaffolding. When students are young, we introduce fewer tools. But as part of the process we talk about why the tools are good for certain things - developing a critical sense in students. Later students need to have more leeway to select the tools that best fit their needs and be able to justify why they chose a specific tool.

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