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Digital Storytelling: Campfires In Cyberspace

This presentation started with an overview of how human beings have always told stories; as a way to instruct youth, as a way to teach skills, and to maintain history and culture, before then moving into a discussion of how this is changing.  With the ease with which new technologies allow the capture and presentation of information, people of all ages can contribute to the storytelling, and even teach others.

The presenters stressed how effective it is to invite kids in our schools to become the storytellers.  Warren Dale was one of the presenters, and he provided examples of how he has worked with his own students to act as hosts and teachers for students in other states, and even other countries.  He seeks out groups interested in partnering on a field trip (next week he is leading a group to India, to visit the Taj Mahal) and then puts an Internet capable device, with camera, into the hands of his students, who then stream content to the students back in the classroom.  His students research the location they will be visiting in advance, so that they can act as tour guides as they visit the various locations on the trip.  Sometimes this is done with older students instructing younger students, and sometimes the other way around.  Either way, it sounds like it is working, and the kids really like it- so they are learning.  If you are interested in exploring the possibility of working with Warren, let me know.  I’ll try to put you into contact with him.

An activity that we did as attendees was one called, progressive storytelling.  They had us break into groups of three people, and they then showed a series of timed photographs up on the screen.  As each picture came onto the screen, a person in the group would create a story, adding to what had been told in the picture slide preceding.  In this way we managed to create an entire story from a series of photographs.  It seemed to work.  Everyone in the room appeared to be involved, and there was a lot of laughter as what we were doing was entirely fiction.  I could see this being a good ice breaker activity for staff, or for students.  It could also be used to review materials that students have been studying.

So…if you are interested in seeing the materials, visit Edmodo and use the code: 5ax6q9

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