Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Digital Storytelling

Given the clear fact that the number of resources for digital storytelling has significantly increased since just a year ago, I have to conclude that the idea of using digital storytelling in education has blossomed. As instructional technology blogger and guru Wes Fryer notes, "one of the best ways to enhance student learning, boost student achievement, and improve student engagement is to incorporate digital storytelling as an instructional strategy."

I have seen first-hand how digital storytelling can motivate and students and allow them to demonstrate knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and improve their digital literacy skills. Like Wes Fryer, I believe VoiceThread is a terrific platform for digital storytelling in eductioan. See my previous blog post for an overview of VoiceThread. Then I strongly recommend that you register for your own VoiceThread account and start your own digital story.

Read this Edutopia article to learn more about the benefits of digital story:Digital Storytelling in the Classroom

VoiceThread is an ideal way for teachers and students to create and participate in digital storytelling. This simple VoiceThread file will give you a basic idea of how VoiceThread works. Little Bird Tales is another favorite digital storytelling forum which is ideal for younger students. Wordle can be a simple but powerful way to tell a "story" with words. Simply type or copy and paste words into the Wordle screen to create a Word Cloud that can be saved to the Wordle library, dowloaded as an image file, and/or printed to use as a poster, book report cover, or however you want to tell your digital story.

Planning a Digital Storytelling Project
Detailed suggestions for planning a digital storytelling project in your classroom are available online, including this guidebook published by Simmons College.
Alaskan-based educator and author Dr. Jason Ohler very generously shares his excellent resources for digital storytelling, including story mapping. Checkout his website for guidelines on preparing a digital storytelling project in your classroom.

You may want your students to develop a storyboard to help them organize ideas, images, text, and and other elements. You can use Word to create a storyboard template by following these instructions.

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