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Showing posts with label digital storytelling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label digital storytelling. Show all posts

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My MOOC Experiece: Etmooc

This has been an amazing journey. And I really wanted to sit down to see what I have learned or contributed during my time with etmooc. Well, please excuse me as I will discuss applications as they relate to concepts.
Session one already had me. I had a great time watching the etmooc sessions on blackboard; I switched my social bookmarking from delicious to diigo. I installed and I love it. My switch in social book marking allows me to underline text, make things to “read later” and well, I really like the lists., well, what an easy way to share. I have also enjoyed buffer for tweets and have become slightly addicted to pearltrees. See my social media pearltree here. I like that I can organize information in a visual manner and I like the branching, it reminds me of mind mapping which I have always taken too.
I ended up installing silver bird to twitter chats (see my post here). Oh, I learned I am not a fan of twitter chats and that’s ok, but I had no idea they even occurred.

I actually use my twitter account at least three or four times a day during what I have termed my “blogsphere” time. I literally went from tweeting 3 times to having over 120 tweets. That means I shared 110+ times, not bad. Oh, and I now dedicate 1 hr a day to commenting, blogging or reading and I love it. Why I did not take this time before is beyond me.

I learned to blog again but with passion. I’ll be honest, I was a disenchanted blogger, it’s the darn comments, I feel irrelevant if I share but no one is reading, That's me.

The topics we have covered really leave for reflection and in-depth learning if you choose to do so, but how could you not. We had/have great teachers/facilitators that engaged us in new ways to share, learn and engage. I was the disenchanted blogger which is a shame as I have taught it for years. I love blogging now and am really enjoy just opening up a post and considering what I have found to be significant or fun information I might like to share. Sue Water’s gave great presentations that reminded me to be a better blogger, link to people and reflect, some of the things I had forgotten. My blogging community has grown and I really enjoy commenting on blog posts, I find the more you comment, the more you learn, but that might be me. I’m a reflective learner.

I have come to know the power of comments and a community sharing thoughts on the same subject. It is a truly powerful thing and you cannot teach collaboration, you can only guide it.

I truly feel that my social media skills have been given a full make over. I learned that I love Google plus communities and it’s an amazing way to share and create circles of knowledge.

I finished my course proposal for Social Media and Responsibility in Education. I could not have done that without all of the sharing of knowledge and great content that was provided to us. It gave me and extra nudge.

Ah, and rhizomatic learning. I am a rhizomatic learner and the topic is so in depth and interesting that I could research and write about it for hours, luckily, Dave Cormier has already done that and I have read and blogged a great deal about this fascinating concept that makes so much sense to me. We spread so many different ways when we learn, we shoot off in different directions and we all take various paths when we are allowed to have a say in our learning. Each person will have a different outcome but it will definitely be in depth.

Digital storytelling took me down a very familiar road and reminded me why I love it so much, again, so many resources and great content, that I reframed a digital storytelling course proposal that span’s 12 weeks. Thanks Alan, your work in this field is already amazing. I redefined digital storytelling and have decided that if you really need to stick to the basics of a “story” before you digitize it. I’m sure many may disagree. I feel we are doing an injustice to ourselves and our students if we let them think any words with a set of pictures are a true story. It may be fun, it may be explanatory, but the story as the literary component and story boarding cannot be ignored.

I went outside my comfort zone and created a story about a very unpleasant experience. I haven’t done so much storyboarding in a while and it so reminded me of how important it is. My digital story took a lot of effort, time and pain but I think it was very therapeutic. Feel free to see my goanimate story here. I shared so much of myself, some may say too much, but I needed it and I was hoping to inspire some or get suggestions, I didn’t and that’s OK. I have to deal with things on my own terms.

I made animated gifs and played with gimp again, something I had not done in years. I like animated gif’s, I think they are fun and a great way to express an idea, thought, emotion.

I’ve decided to make this a series of blog posts as I had no idea this had become so long. I have so much more to reflect on from the past few months with etmooc, stay tuned. Thank you to Alec Courosa and friends for making my journey possible.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Real Life Digital Story-GoAnimate

my life by mrshegstrom on GoAnimate

Animation Software - Powered by GoAnimate.

I wish it could say it was a happy ending. I teach at the master's level, but I miss being in the classroom with middle school and high school teachers. I wonder if your opinion of me has changed.. :(... Talk about true digital identity

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When is it a digital story?

In a previous blog post, I wanted to know if storyboarding takes away from creativity. Feel free to read here if you missed it. I got varying responses but it has been on my mind. I have moved forward as does my digital story for #etmooc. I'm using and it's fun. I think I picked a topic that is well quite revealing and quite personal so I'm never sure how much to add and where it ends. I've changed my storyboard several times so I'm starting to wonder if I should just do something made up? I guess we will all find out. Moving on, I have been reflecting a lot on the concept and definition of digital storytelling.

Alec Couros was kind enough to send me a link for Ira Glass on Storytelling. It was the first movie in a series and of 4 which I highly recommend. It discusses having an antedote ( a sequence that keeps people interested) and a moment of reflection, the point of the story. My question lies in do all digital stories have to true point? Is it OK, as I have been teaching it for a while, to just have a perspective or a sequence that is well predictable? As the technology educator, do I stick to the literary steps I know make up a good story or as a digital technology teacher, am I exempt??

I participated in the great session on digital storytelling by Alan Levine, find here it the #etmooc archives. He also discusses having a hook, "entice me" into your story, yet he also introduced us to "how to tell a story through flickr" where pictures appeared and the participants made up a few sentences on the pictures surrounding the topic "connections". When we did this were we participating in true digital storytelling or were we just having fun?? I again have taught the same but I feel like I'm being hypocritical to the literacy aspect of a true story.

I'll explain, I teach Scratch Programming by MIT, and each story must indeed have a full storyboard, a hook, an antedote and a good conclusion. These stories vary but feel free to take a look at one of the stories HERE.

I also teach digital photography sometimes and I have my students do what we call "stories" from a series of pictures. I have embedded one here. Yes it is mine.

See it is cute, but it really is sentences that seemed appropriate for the picture. Does it tell a story?

Last year, I worked on some integration projects with voicethread and students decided to do their essay's on planets in voicethread. Again emebedded below, and begs the question as they are truly giving us facts, are they not telling a story?? It took a lot of storyboarding and collaboration for the students to bring it all together in a logical manner.

So do we stick to the steps of digital stories via literacy practices everytime? Do we hold to the storyboards, the hook , the antedont and the climax and ending or do we in the 21st century decide that we need a better definition for digital stories?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Does Storyboarding Take Creativity Away?

As I pondered the new assignments from #etmooc on Digital Storytelling, I found myself reflecting on the many ways and forms I myself have learned and taught digital storytelling. From Scratch to Animoto, Voicethread, Photostory, GoAnimate and anything really within the web 2.0 realm. I started to ponder a question I would like to throw out to the many.

How important is storyboarding? While I teach Scratch from MIT, you work with character’s called sprites and bits of code that can change your background, move each character, add have them think or talk. This I know I need a storyboard for and have always loved watching students think they have it and start programming then back to rewrite, as they change their minds. Scratch story embedded here took a great deal of storyboarding but it was again, worth the effort and I am not sure with the complexity of the visual components they could have done it without good storyboarding:

Scratch Project

I have also taught what I consider to be “collaborative stories” on wikis. In this process, each person, begins a story and then each student in a class from 11-20 middle school students are told to add 5 – 10 sentences to the story. Within a few days you can really see which stories are taking off. So soon we are usually down to 3 to 5 stories which get added to by all members of the same class. They write their comments and then we moved them around to create pages(the full story). Feel free to view my old wiki here, story Mars done by 6th graders. Now look at the history of Mars, it took group effort. I have also left their story Dewey the Alien and the history here, you can actually see how 15-18 different wiki threads turned into some cool stories.

The stories come out really cool or silly but if you think about it no one needed to sit down and think about how many characters, setting, backgrounds or conversations they were going to have. They wrote truly from their heads with no determined plan. Are these methods two different styles both with great results or is it the complexity of move advanced software that will be seen by the eye that lends for storyboarding?

I believe and I may be wrong, that we might be taking away creativity when we ask our students for thought out well planned storyboards before they begin, for some are we losing the creative component that is the strength of digital storytelling? Curious..

Monday, February 4, 2013

Digital Storytelling Resources and Scratch Animation

I'm so excited about our new section in the MOOC I have been a part of, #etmooc. As an educator that has worked at the middle school level, undergraduate and graduate level, there a few things I have found to be more empowering and exciting than introducing digital storytelling to audiences that have not experienced the pleasure before.

What I truly love is the many web 2.0 an free online software applications that are now availabe online.,,, and so many much more (please note, each link is an example from myself or student work)

So I am going to start this new blog post by sharing what I have shared and taught so far. First, let me say, Storyboarding in creating a digital story is so important. This is where you should see yourself or students spending the bulk of their time. I do.. See various links I use with my students below:

  • Integrating Digital Storytellingby Mark Standley, yes it is from 2003, so wow, 10 years ago, they knew we had to give students a new voice, a better or cooler way of communicating.

  • Digital Storytelling 101 - By Discover Ed. Take a look around.
  • Digital Story Telling PDF Digital Storytelling in the Classroom, This has some great storyboards!
  • Education Resources for Digital Storytelling - This discusses some of the basic steps of digital storytelling from developing your story to brainstorying, storyboarding, drafting, revising, editing, timing, images and narration.
  • Storyboard That - This was a great find gosh back in 2008 by Free Technology for Teachers.
  • And I cannot forget my absolute favorite. Scratch Programming from MIT. See my example on cyberbullying here.

  • Learn more about this project

    Scratch is a programming language that is free,fun to learn and affords for integration across all content areas. I have used Scratch Programming with middle school students and adults and the inspiration and reasoning skills that are built are truly 21st century skills and the best part is it really is a easy as buidling lego blocks and that's exactly what it looks like. I have so much more I'd love to say and teach you. Next blog post.... For now, I have left the links for the 21st century guide and 1 project done by one of my 7th grader's years ago and one by an student/middle school teacher and can add more. Enjoy.

  • Scratch Programming and 21st Century Learning.
  • Weather and the Atmosphere
  • Texting While Driving