Digital Storytelling Project

Overview:

The primary purpose of this project is to explore the potential for digital stories to more deeply engage students in content and encourage them to go beyond what would otherwise be possible as well as to develop some familiarity and proficiency with video and/or audio tools. For this project you may use any tool you choose that can edit and export a video (such as iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, websites like GoAnimate or Xtranormal, or others you may be aware of but NOT PowerPoint or Keynote). If you are unfamiliar with using these types of tools, this is your opportunity to become fearless and teach yourself (part of being a 21st century teacher). Also, skills you have developed using similar tools are somewhat transferable to new tools.

We are using the digital storytelling theme for a couple of reasons: it provides an opportunity to explore the potential for learners to use digital stories to develop and expand 21st century skills, align content teaching with National Educational Technology Standards, build your confidence in working with new tools, and it’s fun. You will be able to work in small groups (2-3) if you choose.

The project is very open ended. The rubric is simple and you are primarily graded on completion (see rubric below for complete details). In other words, the attempt is more important than the quality. You will 1) select a standard from a content area and grade level of interest to you. You will 2) write an objective that includes digital story creation as part of the behavior. You will 3) “meet” your objective by creating a digital story in a manner consistent with what your students might be expected to do. While not a direct requirement, a good story would have some sort of emotional connection? Why an emotional connection? Because it is your emotional connection that gives the story meaning and engages the audience.

We will be using the “educational uses of digital storytelling” site for background and tools for developing stories. Please spend some time exploring this site. http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/

One problem with this site is their improper use of the terms goals and objectives. The ideas presented are fine, but they are not goals and objectives so don’t let their language confuse you.

For your storyboard, you may wish to explore vertical storyboarding. You can easily do this on a legal pad where you do your scenes top to bottom on the left with details on the right and then flip to the next page to continue. I like how this approach doesn’t imply a set number of scenes like a horizontal 6 or 9 grid sheet. The site linked above has lots of info and links on storyboarding so be sure to explore. Here is an example.

Basic steps:

  1. Select a topic
  2. Identify resources (personal photos or video clips, audio clip such as music or spoken words, other information or background research)
  3. Create a storyboard that meets your objective
  4. Create additional images, video or audio as necessary (will involve shooting your own video or taking photos – nothing borrowed)
  5. Import and edit using chosen software
  6. Add additional audio (music or narration)
  7. Share, elicit feedback, revise as necessary

Resources and templates, such as for storyboarding, are available on the site linked above. Your final video is Due at the end of the day on Oct 18. Please note that each tool has certain limitations. iMovie, for example, is available on campus Mac computers but you are tied to a particular computer until you finish and export. In other words, you cannot easily move an iMovie project from one computer to another (not an issue if you use your own). You may want to plan a time to start and finish the editing in one sitting to avoid loss. Windows Movie Maker does not have this limitation but is cumbersome in other ways (my opinion). Web-based tools such as GoAnimate do not have this limitation either but are limited in other ways such as video and audio sources available. Do NOT use PowerPoint. Take a risk and try something new. You are graded on the attempt not how nice it looks.

Some examples.

Due: Oct 18 – Points: 100

Requirements:

  • Identified standard (be specific and pick a single outcome or two at most) – 10 points
  • Properly written ABCD objective that reasonably leads to meeting the standard and uses digital storytelling as a behavior – 10 points
  • Storyboard (scanned or photographed) – 10 points
  • Final video uploaded to your Google Drive (or other site such as YouTube) and shared (anyone with link) and link posted as a comment here:
    • Video is the result of a standards based project and there is a clear connection to the standard and objective (0-20 points).
    • Video is exemplary of what students meeting the objective would produce such as the pizza video above (0-20 points).
    • Video is creative, unique and entirely original work. No content from other sources may be used (such as images downloaded from the web). You may include music you own or that included with the software you use. Include citations for music. Include a disclaimer stating all artwork and/or images are original (0-30 points).

No required length but 2-5 minutes would be ideal. Video should be at least long enough to meet the above requirements.

Any plagiarism or use of unoriginal content (e.g. you cannot download images from the web – draw your own or take your own photos) will result in a grade of zero and possible disciplinary action. Use of images and animations provided by websites such as GoAnimate are allowed as they are licensed for use by the hosting site. Projects that use or are based on a published story or poem are allowed but include a citation.

Turn in the first three items as documents, photos, or scanned images as a shared Google Doc (shared with just me). Be sure all members are identified if you worked in a group. No more than 3 people per group. Upload your final video to Google Drive and share it (public or anyone with link would work). Post the link in a comment for others to view. You can also post a link to a GoAnimate or YouTube video.

Example:

NOTE: we will discuss more about objectives before this project is due.

I will use the 7th grade science standard 2.4.b.

2.4.b – Use direct and indirect evidence to describe the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular respiration within plants – and between plants and animals.

Keep in mind that not all standards will lend themselves to a digital story. Choose wisely. Also keep in mind that you are approaching this as if you were one of your students. It’s easy to get sidetracked and create a video about the students rather than as a student. Do not create a tutorial. Students sometimes lose site of the assignment and create a video that teaches students how to do something (such as solving a math problem or doing a science experiment). Do not do this. A tutorial is not a story. Look at the examples above. Four of them are stories such as the sheep-sitting business but it included math objectives in the story. The claymation video is more a tutorial, but it teaches how to do claymation via a story. Consider how it might look if it was a pure tutorial. I know that can be a bit confusing. Khan Academy videos are great examples of tutorials (though not necessarily great tutorials  but that’s a different issue).

Objective: After conducting research on photosynthesis, cell respiration and the relationships between them, 7th grade students will create a digital story that effectively, accurately and completely explains how plants produce energy and their relationship with animals.

Not being a science teacher perhaps that isn’t as good as it could be but hopefully you get the idea. Higher order objectives tend to have a rather open ended degree which means a detailed rubric is often necessary. In this case, what constitutes effective or accurate? in order to fully implement such a lesson there would need to be a detailed lesson plan covering how and when the students will conduct the research, gather evidence, create the storyboard, film or draw and scan images, assemble the final story and a rubric detailing the various expectations for the research process, the storyboard and final product. Also note that 21st century teachers will assess process rather than product. In this case, you would be assessing various “milestones” in the process such as: research and notes, their storyboard/script, evidence or examples, and the extent to which their final product matched the project objectives, expectations for content, alignment with the storyboard, etc. You do not need to create the lesson plan or assessments for this assignment. Just recognize that such a lesson would be necessary in order for students to ultimately meet your objective.

Finally, complete a digital story similar to what you expect students would do if they were given this assignment. In other words, after creating the objective, switch roles and BE the student not the teacher.

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12 thoughts on “Digital Storytelling Project

    • I can’t view your video. Seems it’s not public. Can you change that? Also, your google doc isn’t editable so I can’t give you any feedback.

    • Rachel Even and Kelsie Hinkle

      https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8zL9V0MQ0jHRjRwZXlnYTNUYXc/edit?usp=sharing

      Standard 1a: Observe, investigate, and describe how different objects move
      Kindergarten Physical Science

      Objective: After learning about different forces and how they act on different inanimate objects kindergarteners will create an accurate story about what forces it takes to make a specific object move or be in motion.

      A. Kindergartners will be learning this.
      B. The learner will demonstrate how to explain movement of an object.
      C. This will be demonstrated by using technology of the students choosing and putting it together in movie maker.
      D. Student should be able to accurately explain how the object moves.

      • I’d love to watch your video but it’s a Windows movie project not an actual video. Can you go back to WMM and “export” your video using one of the options. The “windows phone large” seems to work well.

  1. Rachel Even and Kelsie Hinkle

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8zL9V0MQ0jHMjdmY0tOeU04N0k/edit?usp=sharing

    Standard 1a: Observe, investigate, and describe how different objects move
    Kindergarten Physical Science

    Objective: After learning about different forces and how they act on different inanimate objects kindergarteners will create an accurate story about what forces it takes to make a specific object move or be in motion.

    A. Kindergartners will be learning this.
    B. The learner will demonstrate how to explain movement of an object.
    C. This will be demonstrated by using technology of the students choosing and putting it together in movie maker.
    D. Student should be able to accurately explain how the object moves.

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