As soon as I started reading the EduCase Learning Initiative article about digital storytelling, my gears started spinning. I knew exactly how this would fit with my teaching.
Last year out 8th grade worked on an oral history project at the end of the year as a service learning experience. This takes it to the next level. While we still will produce an archive of stories about Accra and Ghana, using this format gives the students a chance to put together not only audio they record during an interview, but video, images and voice over as well. This takes them to another level of creation and use of technology.
I also like the idea that David Jakes discusses in his post Towards a Framework for Digital Literacy Learning. Jakes reasons that students are creative and have something to say if we let them. The digital world is a perfect place for them to test their voice. A few simple clicks and their work is public and ready for the world to give them feedback. That’s a lot more powerful than just showing a couple of friends.
I’m excited now to start planning again for this unit of study. It will be important to work on building skills as we go a long. We’ve already started talking about the importance of design as students have started posting to our grade 8 blog. (I know it needs a lot of design work, but there are only so many hours in the day)
Students will continue to refine their visual design skills as they contribute to the blog, annotate images and create simple presentations. By the time this project roles around they’ll be ready.