I chose to tell a personal narrative of my experience as a chaperone for a high school national youth gathering where I learned a lot about what it means to be a servant. Those interested in community service, youth leaders, volunteers, high school students, and anyone else who has a caring heart and passion for working in the community would be interested in viewing it. This could be used in a formal educational setting when teaching about work in the community, how people affect one another in community, or teaching about the diversity we have in our large cities in the country. I demonstrated competency on ISTE NETS Standard 1 for Teachers by modeling creative and innovative thinking, engaging students in exploring real world issues, and by promoting the use of a digital tool to tell an important story.
The process of digital storytelling began slowly. I came up with the content pretty easily because this event took place just last summer. The bulk of the work came from searching for a program that could meet the requirements of the assignment. At first I tried Microsoft Sway, uploading photos into the order that worked for my story. Unfortunately after doing this I could not find a way to add narration, music, or record it, so I had to move to Windows Live Movie Maker and start again. It took me a lot longer than I anticipated mostly because I was unfamiliar with the software. Most of the time I was experimenting around and searching for the right tools. Having experience or training with the program definitely would have helped complete the assignment.
The most significant things I learned while completing this project was having an open ended, student choice topic allowed me to have full creativity of the assignment. I could choose a topic that was important to my life and creatively present it in a format of my choice. Having so many options allows a student to truly create a project that they are passionate about and that is meaningful to their lives. Having some practice ahead of time with Windows Live Movie Maker would have been helpful, but experimenting with something new is a great learning method as well. Creating this digital story was a great experience to look back at my trip to Detroit and a project I can come back to when reflecting about my service in the Motor City.
Triggering Event Question: How can third grade students use the internet, power point, audio, and video files in presentation to creatively demonstrate knowledge of a particular topic?
Students use technology every day and finding methods to incorporate these devices in classrooms can greatly benefit learning. ISTE Standard one states: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity. Technological resources are available and can be used by students to creatively express their opinions and ideas. Alaa Sadik (2008) conducted a study in Egyptian classrooms to find the effectiveness of Digital Storytelling, the ability to use the internet and photos to craft a narrative presentation. Results of the study included an increase in student motivation and engagement, deep thinking around personalized topics, and more compelling and interesting presentations due to the wide variety of tools available. However, teachers wanted additional professional development and training to effectively manage and instruct use of these computer resources. Digital storytelling is a great way to inspire student learning and creativity in the classroom that creates an engaging experience for all students. Educators need effective training regarding this tool to thoughtfully find ways to apply it in their classrooms.
A member of my learning community posted an article by Robert J. Marzano (2009) regarding the use of another classroom tool, the interactive white board. A study was conducted involving 85 teachers and 170 classrooms where teachers used interactive whiteboards to teach a set of lessons which they then taught to another group of students without this technology. Results found that there was a relatively equal amount of positive results from the classes with the use of the whiteboards and those without. This shows that teacher instruction and planning is still a crucial aspect of the classroom. The whiteboards can be a tool for both teachers and students to present information but again needs to have adequate training to effectively use these classroom tools. Best classroom practice should be continued with the appropriate and effective use of new technological resources.
Marzano, R. (2009). The Art and Science of Teaching / Teaching with Interactive Whiteboards. Educational Leadership. 67: 80-82.
Sadik, A. (2008). Digital storytelling: a meaningful technology-integrated approach for engaged student learning. Educational Technology Research and Development. 56:487–506.