June 2018: Digital storytelling PD workshop

Kathy's Katch

I have addressed digital storytelling in the past for Discovery Education and on this blog. In January of 2013,  I wrote about the research which supports digital storytelling and the CCSS. And, in the same month, I moderated a digital storytelling session as part of the Discovery/Wilkes Masters program in Instructional Media as seen below.

WHY I LOVE DIGITAL STORYTELLING

I love digital storytelling for many reasons. The first is the research that supports teachers using storytelling to teach. The research states, when listening to stories, many areas of the brain are activated and we search for personal connections to our previous experiences, which then leads us to learn and retain the content more easily So why not use storytelling to teach content?

If you need information and ideas for how to tell get the point across to students and tell a tory well, there are some great resources available. Amy Yorke and Molly Brennan have some useful tips on The Scholarly Teacher Blog.

Here is a quick overview of their tips.

  • Use what they use: Use social media to tell your stories to meet the students where they “live”
  • Be purposeful: Make your students understand the purpose of you telling the story. Include a contextual introduction to the story and a summarizer to help students link what they heard their current knowledge.
  • Be clear and succinct: Keep the story short.
  • Practice makes perfect: Practice the story a few times to make sure you are comfortable with it.

The second reason I love digital storytelling is, when creating a digital story, students are using all types of skills that we want them to acquire, as well as showcasing their acquisition of content knowledge! The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling site from the University of Houston outlines some of these.

  • Digital Literacy: the ability to communicate with an ever-expanding community to discuss issues, gather information, and seek help
  • Global Literacy: the capacity to read, interpret, respond, and contextualize messages from a global perspective
  • Visual Literacy: the ability to understand, produce, and communicate through visual images
  • Technology Literacy: the ability to use computers and other technology to improve learning, productivity, and performance
  • Information Literacy: the ability to find, evaluate and synthesize information

I would also add that students have to be creative and learn how to communicate their story to an intended audience, as well as reflect on the process.

The third reason I love digital storytelling is that it is content-neutral. Digital stories can be used across the curriculum as a formative or summative assessment. I believe it is one of the best ways for students to show their content knowledge.

So, with all these great advantages of digital storytelling, I wanted to share a sample professional development workshop with you. Feel free to edit it as you wish to make it your own. I believe it is  important teachers practice with digital storytelling so they understand the concept before using it for a student assessment. In addition, they can create exemplars to show to students or use as unit introductions!

DIGITAL STORYTELLING PD WORKSHOP

This workshop would be a 2-3 hour workshop with two created projects. Both use the Adobe Spark suite which works on laptops and Chromebooks and iOS. The online suite of the Post, Page, and Video tools are integrated. On the iPad, there are separate apps for each tool that need to be downloaded. Adobe’s Education Exchange provides a great introduction to the Adobe Spark suite and the Education Exchange also includes tons of lessons from teachers who use the tools.

To prepare for the workshop, send out a link to the online tools and apps and have users create accounts and download what they need. Also, create a shared workshop document or Padlet where participants can share their project URLs. In addition, I have tons more digital storytelling resources on my Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything site.

PART 1: LEARNING OBJECTIVES FOR THE WORKSHOP

  • Engage learners in designing and creating media-rich products using technology tools to encourage collaboration and voice.
  • Foster and develop competencies and mindsets for productive, innovative, and effective use of digital technologies with students.
  • Objectives borrowed and edited from a Rutgers class unit by Joyce Valenza.

PART 2: IMAGE AND TEXT PROJECT

Laptops, Chromebooks, ChromeOS Tablets, Surface Tablets

Online tool: Adobe Spark Post

  1. Write a six-word story. (Here are the instructions!)
  2. Open Adobe Spark Post and create an account.
  3. Pick a template, change it, use a photo from the Adobe Post collection or from Discovery Education Streaming’s image collection for a background that represents your story. (My sample) Don’t forget to note the URL of the image you use.
  4. Type your 6-word story on the image.
  5. Type the citation to the image in smaller type on the Post. You may want to use http://bit.ly to shorten the URL.
  6. Share the created image via the LINK option, pick “publish options” to pick a category, and the 6-word story will be live.
  7. Copy the URL and add it to a shared workshop tool page titled Adobe Spark Post with your initials.

iOS Devices

iOS app: Adobe Spark Post

  1. Write a six-word story. (Here are the instructions!) (My sample)
  2. Open the Adobe Spark Post app and pick a template to edit or click the green + sign to start from scratch.
  3. Find an image by searching in Adobe Post or in Discovery Education Streaming’s image library (save it to your Camera Roll and update it into Post) to represent your quote. Don’t forget to note the URL of the image
  4. Using the text tool, put the URL of the image in small type, in the bottom right-hand corner of the image. (Use http://bit.ly to shorten the URL)
  5. Add your 6-word story to the image.
  6. Save the completed image to the Camera Roll and/or pick LINK and either attach the image to an entry on the shared workshop tool page or share the URL from the iPad’s clipboard. Don’t forget to put your initials and title the entry Adobe Spark Post.

PART 3: VIDEO STORY PROJECT

Laptops, Chromebooks, ChromeOS Tablets, Surface Tablets

Online tool: Adobe Spark Video

  1. Write the script for your story
  2. Find 6-10 Creative Commons-licensed images by using the Creative Commons search in either Google or Flickr and pick images that are licensed for re-use with attribution. You are going to “tell a story” in a unit you teach, i.e. the invasion of Normandy, places a character in a book visited, the history of the personal computer, the evolution of infectious diseases, etc. Save these images to the desktop or in an online file storage site.
  3. Make sure to keep track of the URLs of the images you use for citing later.
  4. Open the Adobe Spark Video tool and create an Adobe account if you have to.
  5. Skip the first prompt to tell about your story. Pick a template to use or start from scratch.
  6. Create a video by uploading the images in order and creating a voice narration behind each one, telling the story. You can pick background music that matches the tone of your story if you want to.
  7. Make sure the last slide includes the text of the citations of the photos you used.
  8. When you are done, pick SHARE and enter the information requested. Be sure to tap CREATE LINK to copy the link to your finished story.
  9. Copy the URL and add it to a shared workshop tool page titled Adobe Spark Video with your initials.

iOS Devices

iOS app: Adobe Spark Video

  1. Write the script for your story.
  2. Find 6-10 Creative Commons-licensed images by using the Creative Commons search in either Google or Flickr and pick images that are licensed for re-use with attribution. You are going to “tell a story” in a unit you teach, i.e. the invasion of Normandy, places a character in a book visited, the history of the personal computer, the evolution of infectious diseases, etc. Save these images to the desktop or in an online file storage site.
  3. Make sure to keep track of the URLs of the images you use for citing later.
  4. Open the Adobe Spark Video tool and create an Adobe account if you have to.
  5. Hit the plus sign to create a video. You can pick a template to use or start from stratch.
  6. Create a video by uploading the images in order and creating a voice narration behind each one, telling the story. You can pick background music that matches the tone of your story if you want to.
  7. Make sure the last slide includes the text of the citations of the photos you used.
  8. When complete, pick the share button and “copy link to clipboard. You can also pick to “save to camera roll”.
  9. Copy the URL and add it to a shared workshop tool page titled Adobe Spark Video with your initials.

PART 4: REFLECTION

After the two projects are complete and some have been shared with the group, have the participants do a large group reflection on the following questions. Make sure someone is scribing in the shared Google Doc or Padlet.

  1. What are some different types of digital stories and the components of each? (A personal narratives, a story to inform/instruct, a story to document an event)
  2. How can digital storytelling be used as a student assessment?
  3. How does one assess a digital story?
  4. What other types of tools can students use to create digital stories and why?
  5. What are the challenges to utilizing digital storytelling in my educational environment and what are some practical solutions to overcome these challenges?
  6. What do I need to learn about the process of digital storytelling so I can help my students with their stories?

Do you have ideas or other methods to teach teachers how to create digital stories? Do you have teacher-created samples to showcase? Please share in the comments!

Authors

Related posts

Top