Well Intentioned Paperwork III


We probably all associate a favorite quote to people we listen to and read. For better or worse. “Well intentioned paperwork” is my favorite from Jason Ohler. He uses it to describe most of our “traditional” assignments and assessments. I bring this up because I am beginning to teach my 9th section of Digital Storytelling for the Discovery Education/Wilkes U. masters program. Students have begun to post their first reflections on this week’s assigned textbook reading from Jason’s Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity. I highly recommend that book to you too if you are looking for a good read on digital storytelling that pretty much covers all the bases in a very practical way. And while I look forward to 7 weeks of reflections from my grad students that begin something like, “As Ohler says on Pg….,” I anxiously anticipate even more the videos that will “resonate” with their classmates and eventually get their own students resonating.


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  1. Julie Getz said:

    I took Digital Storytelling through Wilkes a few semesters ago using this same book. I remember doing the door scene, and feeling a little strange creating it. However, we then added to the scene to improve it. The second time around I really focused more on the aspects of good digital storytelling. I had a lot of fun. (But I think my neighbors thought that I was nuts–I filmed a good portion outside at night!) I had a lot of fun though. Good luck teaching the class!

  2. Joe Brennan said:

    The door scene is actually in the AFI manual and, yes, it almost guarantees strange looks from people when you shoot it.

  3. Justin Huyett said:

    I took Digital Story telling last semseter at Wilkes and this is a great book to have as a resource for your classroom. I have been using and will continue to use things that I learned in that class and from this boo in my classroom for years to come. the students really enjoy telling stories digitally.

  4. Tara Kramer said:

    I haven’t taken Digital Storytelling yet, but plan to this summer. I’m wondering exactly what the class is about and what applications are used. To be honest I’m kind of nervous about this class. Any suggestions?

  5. Joe Brennan said:

    You’ll need some basic facility with the free editing software that came with your computer (either iMovie on a Mac or MovieMaker on the PC) and access to a camera that you can capture video on and then import into your computer for editing. After that, it’s just a matter of applying good writing techniques to the movie making process.

  6. aunttammie said:

    I started doing some video work with theatre students “back in the day” when all we had were those HUGE video cameras and two VCRs hooked up to edit. Then on to the little mini tape cameras and computer programs that took 24 hours to render 2 minutes of video (when they didn’t crash!) Now on to Flip cameras and simple editing programs…all this in just a little over ten years! Amazing!

  7. Lori Woodward said:

    @Tara – Don’t worry Tara about the class. First, Joe is a great instructor and will help you walk through any problems you may have. He is very patient too!
    Next, it will challenge you but you will have so much fun if you let yourself. I have actually been able to use many of the techniques I used for that class with my own students. Storytelling should be at the heart of all we do and digital storytelling is the way our students will do most of theirs. This class will help you to ‘catch up’ with your students and really be able to enhance many lessons to make them relevant, engaging and fun! Enjoy this summer! You will love it!

  8. Norma Gomez said:

    I also took a class through Wilkes and Discovery titled Digital Storytelling. I actually thought that it was going to be different. Throughout the class we were expected to make movie videos using picture clips and digital video cameras. I thought that we would have to portray a story that we would use in the classroom using the skills. I would have rather created a story that correlated directly with something I do in my classroom but the experience was fun and I did learn a lot.

  9. Joe Brennan said:

    After learning the basics, we usually finish with several videos that should directly correlate to what you do with your classes.

  10. Maria Pazlopez said:

    Hi, Joe. Maria, here. Good to “see” you again. I was in the Summer 2009 Wilkes Digital Storytelling class. I can’t thank you enough for all the info and tips and for allowing me to flex my creative muscles. I am beginning to apply some of what I learned in the class. I’m trying to get more digital video cameras for my students first. Did you hear about the educators’ deal with Digital Wish? It’s a 2 for 1 deal on the Flip Ultra 120 minute camcorder. Here’s the link: http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/product?id=4310. You can get a 2 for 1 accessories pack, too. I bought two to try out first, but I’ve heard they’re easy for students to use. Thanks again.

  11. Joe Brennan said:

    Hi, María. How’s Che? Thanks for the tip. I edited the URL – I hope that’s the page you meant. You shared some great work with us this summer. I’m sure your students are definitely benefitting.

  12. Maria Pazlopez said:

    Hi, Joe. Thanks for editing the URL. But it came up as an error page. Try the link to the Digital Wish home page http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/home and then you have to click on Shopping, then Hardware and then Flip under camcorders to find the deal. Hope this works. I’m still so new at this and I’m never sure how to post a link. By the way, Che’s doing great! My son and I watch the video every once in a while. He gets such a laugh out of it! Thanks again for the best grad course I’ve taken so far. Let me know if you’re ever going to do another.

  13. Dave Ickowski said:

    Hi Joe,

    I took the Digital Storytelling course with you this past Fall and loved this book. I really appreciated this course because instead of just having us read about Right Brain learning, it gave a chance to utilize the Right side of our brain! I lent my copy to our school’s reading specialist so that we can begin implementing digital storytelling into our language arts curriculum across the grade levels at my school. If you have any interest in incorporating technology into your classroom this book is a must have!

  14. Tara Kramer said:

    Thanks Lori, I don’t know what it is but I’m a little scared of using MovieMaker. The funny things is I’m pushing myself to feel more confortable with it so I have my students doing a project with it and told them that we would learn together. Thanks for the kind words.

  15. Kathleen Wojciechowski said:

    I also took Digital Storytelling through Wilkes and used the same book. I found the book to be very interesting and extremely helpful. The door scene was one of my favorites and something I will definitely remember doing for a long time. I am also happy to say that I have used many of the tools I learned through the class.

  16. Joe Brennan said:

    The “door scene” is in the AFI manual available through Discovery Education streaming. Just search on “afi” and it’s the teacher’s guide.

  17. Bridget Kaufhold said:

    I absolutely loved this class through Wilkes. I found the door scene to be a very interesting, yet exciting way to teach storytelling! It can be mysterious, funny, or simple and can be shot through the eyes of a camera at any angle!! It was a really good class that I hope to use more of this year or next year with my students! I think it teaches them how to use the camera and the movie making software. It also encourages their creativity!

  18. Keith said:

    I am taking this course next in the Instructional Media Master Program at Wilkes and Discovery Education. This will be a resource that I can use.

  19. Lori Woodward said:

    The digital wish link is great! Thanks Maria. Fun to see some former classmates active here! And nice to be able to laud the greatness of Digital Storytelling! Thanks for a great class Joe!

  20. Mary Solymossy said:

    I enjoyed the Digital Storytelling Grad. Class at Wilkes. I have used many techniques I learned with students and templates on storyboard. I like the DAOW concept of Web 2.0 Literacy as well.

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