My world has been completely flipped upside down, inside out and all-around since June 4th when I accepted my position at PLAEA as the newest instructional technology consultant. The ride, so far, has been incredible. My brain hurts at the end of the day (literally, I’ve had more headaches than ever – I blame the computer screen), my knowledge of apps/software/programs/extensions/etc. has ballooned, my colleague bucket went from 20-some to 280-some (and that’s just the agency, it does not count my school administrators, teachers and students), and you can find me going to bed smiling almost every night. I am confident that I am on the correct path.
This week I had the pleasure of researching and preparing for a presentation on digital story-telling. The topic isn’t completely new to me, only fairly. Last year, when I wore the hat of an elementary computer teacher, I had my second graders write a digital story on their iPads in conjunction with a classroom project. Time constraints come with teaching full time and I didn’t have the time to research the latest and greatest app. I committed to the first “good” app I saw in the App Store and went to town. In hindsight, there are many different things I would have done with that unit (like finding a better app) but overall, the unit was a success and I would encourage teachers to explore the possibilities of digital story-telling.
Through my recent digital story-telling presentation prep I came up with an equation:
Designing + creating + presenting =
- Research Skills: documenting the story, finding/analyzing information
- Writing Skills: developing a story/point of view
- Organization Skills: managing the project, materials and timeline
- Technology Skills: learning to use a variety of tools
- Presentation Skills: deciding on how to present your story
- Interview Skills: finding sources and questions for interviews
- Interpersonal Skills: group-work dynamics and deciding roles
- Problem-Solving Skills: decision making at all stages of the project
- Assessment Skills: increase knowledge when critiquing their own and others’ projects
Pretty incredible equation, huh? All that with one simple implementation. I know, for some it might not seem simple, you might have limited technological experience, but for most, this is very do-able. For those others that might be “less-techy”? Dive in, try it – you can’t break an app (mom, did you get that?;-)
My crazy, flipped upside down world landed me on this path and digital story-telling research is just a pebble. What happens when you take a pebble and put it with a bunch of others? Eventually they will lead to something….