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Digital Storytelling Personal Narrative Essays

News & Announcements

2016 Announcements


Conference Announcement 

The II Sessions on Personal Digital Storytelling in Formal and Social Education, will take place on 28th and 29th of November, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. 

The conference will include conference sessions, roundtables and presentation of communications on creating personal digital stories (autobiographical narratives, life stories), with educational and expressive purposes, in formal educational contexts, or educational intervention in other areas such as social education, health services, social work, civic associations, to name a few.

The event is aimed at teachers and workers of different educational levels, trainers, master and Ph.D. students (especially those in areas such as Teachers’ Training, Education, Social Education and Social Work),  as well as researchers and professionals interested in the subject.

Conference Website: http://greav.ub.edu/jornadas/eng/

Abstracts submission: until July 15th, 2016
Notification non-acceptance of proposals: July 25th, 2016
Sending the final communication: until 30th October, 2016
Last day to register for the sessions: October 30th, 2016
Objectives of the sessions: http://greav.ub.edu/jornadas/eng/communications/

 


Digital Storytelling MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling is a free 5-week MOOC that introduces educators to digital storytelling and explores ways that educators might use this technology tool to enhance their students’ learning experience. The MOOC will provide a solid foundation in the basic components of digital storytelling with tutorials, example stories and links to additional readings. The MOOC will also provide hands-on opportunities for learners to create their own digital stories.

The MOOC may be taken for free and the only requirements for participating are a PC or Mac desktop or laptop computer, an Internet connection and an interest in learning to use digital storytelling tools and techniques to support teaching and learning. This MOOC is intended for K-12 teachers in all disciplines, although it is open to anyone with an interest in digital storytelling. Course participants will use WeVideo, a free web-based video editing program to create a digital story that can be shared online.

Teachers in the state of Texas may be eligible to receive Continuing Education Units if they complete the major requirements of the course.

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling is currently being offered on-demand so interested students may sign up for the course at any time.

For more information or to enroll in this MOOC, please go to:
https://www.coursera.org/course/digitalstorytelling

 


2015 Announcements

Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 9am-4pm
Thursday, March 5, 2015, 9am-noon
Campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The Humanities And Technology Camp is an open and inexpensive meeting where practitioners in the humanities and technologies collaborate in impromptu sessions to learn, build, and solve problems together. THATCamp is intended to open conversations on how scholars are using technology to work through problems and learn new skills. The first day will consist of sessions on how Humanists use digital technology in their work, while the second half-day will consist of workshops/training on specific tools and software.

For more information about THATCamp, contact Dr. Thomas Cauvin (cauvin@louisiana.edu) or visit the conference website here.



Joe Lambert, founder of the Center for Digital Storytelling, will conduct a digital storytelling workshop at Texas A&M University from March 9 - 11, 2015. The workshop is open to the public, although registration is limited. Click here for more information.


2014 Announcements

The Seventh International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling
Singapore, 3-6 November 2014
http://narrativeandplay.org/icids2014/index.html

ICIDS 2014 will take place in Singapore at the National University of Singapore, and marks the conference's first venture to Asia. The conference is hosted by the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore (http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/cnm), in collaboration with the Keio-NUS CUTE Center (http://cutecenter.nus.edu.sg).


Digital Storytelling MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling is a free 5-week MOOC that introduces educators to digital storytelling and explores ways that educators might use this technology tool to enhance their students’ learning experience. The MOOC will provide a solid foundation in the basic components of digital storytelling with tutorials, example stories and links to additional readings. The MOOC will also provide hands-on opportunities for learners to create their own digital stories. 

The MOOC is free and the only requirement for participating is a PC or Mac desktop or laptop computer, an Internet connection and an interest in learning to use digital storytelling tools and techniques to support teaching and learning across different grade levels and multiple content areas. This MOOC is intended for K-12 teachers in all disciplines, although it is open to anyone with an interest in digital storytelling. Course participants will use WeVideo, a free web-based video editing program to create a digital story that can be shared online.

Teachers in the state of Texas may be eligible to receive Continuing Education Units if they complete the major requirements of the course.

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling is scheduled to begin on September 8, 2014 and end on October 12, 2014.

For more information or to enroll in this MOOC, please go to:
https://www.coursera.org/course/digitalstorytelling

 


Fulbright - National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

The U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society are partnering to launch the inaugural Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship competition. This new component of the Fulbright Program will offer up to five awards to U.S. citizens. Over a nine month period, awardees will create multi-media stories on globally significant social or environmental topics including biodiversity, cities, climate change, cultures, energy, food, oceans, and water.

The Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship provides a unique platform for U.S. Fulbright awardees to build awareness of transnational challenges, comparing and contrasting cross-border issues. Fellows will share their stories through National Geographic’s platforms, using a variety of digital storytelling tools, including text, photography, video, audio, graphic illustrations, and/or social media.

The deadline for submission is February 28, 2014.

For more program information and to apply for the Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship, visit
http://us.fulbrightonline.org/fulbright-nat-geo-fellowship


2013 Announcements

Storytelling: From Oral to Digital
Presented by Public Partnership & Outreach and the College of Education, Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, Texas A&M University

Through narrative, we learn from experience by reflecting upon experience, declaring what it means, and distilling it into a symbolic form to be expressed and remembered. Digital storytelling integrates oral storytelling with technology. Constructing a digital story requires individuals to organize information, write and utilize technology, but most importantly authors must reflect on experience (Barrett, 2005). 

Unlike oral stories that are subject to varying interpretations, digital stories are permanent artifacts capturing a specific moment in time; one telling of an experience that stands as an object for personal reflection and evaluation (Lathem, Reyes, & Qi, 2006).

Workshop Presenters:
Dr. Lynne M. Walters
Dr. Martha R. Green

Date: Wednesday, July 24 & Thursday, July 25, 2013
Time: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location: General Services Complex
Fee: $125.00: Includes curriculum materials & lunch both days
CPE/GT/ESL Credit: 14 hours
Register online: https://secure.touchnet.com/C21490_ustores/web/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=3273

For additional information, contact Dr. Martha Green at mgreen@tamu.edu or 979-862-6700.
Workshop flyer available at: http://worldroom.tamu.edu

Workshop focus:
This workshop will engage participants in the development of a digital story, provide theoretical support for the use of digital storytelling in education and qualitative research, and demonstrate pedagogical approaches for using digital storytelling in the writing and social studies classroom.
Topics include:
• Designing a Digital Story using Audacity & Windows Moviemaker 2.6
• Theoretical and research-based support for Digital Storytelling
• Using Digital Storytelling to teach the narrative writing process and increase voice
• Digital Storytelling as a Qualitative Research Methodology
• Qualitative interview methods
• Digital/visual literacy: using authentic images in storytelling
• Copyright issues in digital video production

Martha R. Green, Ph.D. is a program coordinator for Public Partnership & Outreach, Office of the Provost and Confucius Institute, Texas A&M University, and a lecturer in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture. She conducts workshops, does research, and teaches about digital storytelling and documentary development as tools for critical thinking, reflection and transformative learning.

Lynne Masel Walters, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, Texas A&M University. From 2011-2013, she was a visiting associate professor, Universiti Utara Malaysia. With a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin, her research and teaching focuses on media, technology and culture.


Welcome to the 2013 version of the Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling website. This new version has been in development for many months and although it is still a work in progress, I hope that you will find lots of interesting material on the site related to the use of digital storytelling in educational settings. The site is aimed at those just starting to explore this technology as well as long-time users as well as educators and students who are interested in exploring articles and research studies that deal with digital storytelling.

I would like to especially thank several of my colleagues who have helped make this website possible:

Arthur Beltran, who is the chief designer of the website; Rashmi Chhetri, who has cataloged all of the digital stories on the site and made them ready for web delivery; Sara McNeil, who has provided academic, professional and technical support for the website and all of our digital storytelling efforts at the University of Houston; Michael Rapp, who makes sure that the website is accessible 365 days a year;
and all of my current and former digital storytelling students who have contributed much of the content on the website.

And for those visitors who may want to access content from the previous version of the EUODS website, it is still available at: http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/archive

If you have any questions or comments about the website, or would like to suggest that additional information be added to the site, please contact me at: brobin@uh.edu

Thanks and happy digital storytelling!

Bernard Robin, PhD
Learning, Design and Technology Program
University of Houston College of Education
Houston, TX, USA

Digital Storytelling MOOC

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling is a 5-week MOOC that introduces educators to digital storytelling and explores ways that educators might use this technology tool to enhance their students’ learning experience. The MOOC will provide a solid foundation in the basic components of digital storytelling with tutorials, example stories and links to additional readings. The MOOC will also provide hands-on opportunities for learners to create their own digital stories.

The MOOC may be taken for free or as a paid signature track student who will gain greater access to course content and peer feedback. 

This MOOC is intended for K-12 teachers in all disciplines and at all grade levels, although it is open to anyone wishing to learn to use digital storytelling tools and techniques that can be used in educational, personal or professional contexts. Course participants will use WeVideo, an inexpensive web-based video editing program to create a digital story that can be shared online.

Texas teachers in the United States may be eligible to receive Continuing Education Units if they complete the major requirements of the MOOC.

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling is scheduled to begin on September 8, 2014 and end on October 12, 2014.

For more information or to enroll in Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling, please go to:
https://www.coursera.org/course/digitalstorytelling

For more information about Massive Open Online Courses, please see: The Ultimate MOOC Handbook
http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/moocs/

Permission to Use Material from this Site

Permission is granted to all educators and students who wish to use or link to any material on the Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling Website, including text, images, digital stories and other resources, for personal, educational, and/or non-commercial purposes. Please note that if material is published in print or online, appropriate attribution to this site is required and should include the following information:

Robin, B. (2018). The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling Website
University of Houston College of Education
http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu

Digital storytelling takes advantage of the vast array of today’s technological options to tap into storytellers’ creativity. This technique uses animation, video, music, images, and other multimedia to compile a narrative. The following 5 examples of digital storytelling in the classroom demonstrate that it can be used for its surface purpose: to develop narratives or practice a foreign language, as well as in content courses to present and discuss abstract concepts and material.

1. Creative writing assignment

Individually or in pairs (if this is a first digital storytelling assignment, pairs is probably a better idea), students tell a particular type of creative story, per the assignment. Assignments can include telling a story about a personal experience that they have had and embellishing it so it is partially fictional, or something completely fictional. They can also write something creative as a spin-off or supplement to another class concept, such as telling a fictional story about a day in Socrates’s life to supplement a unit on studying some of his philosophy. This is also a good assignment for a language learning class, where the telling of the story itself is the goal, rather than the ideas that are contained within the story. Target genres can also be assigned if you like, such as humor, adventure, drama, or fantasy.

Rather than writing the entire story and turning it in in written form, students develop the script, then illustrate the story and narrate it as appropriate.

For this assignment, students will employ a variety of software options to tell a creative fictional or personal story. One option is to have the story be no more than 95% narrated, and can be much less than 95% narrated if you wish. The additional portion of the story should be told nonverbally using images on the screen. A minimum of 3 different software formats should be included (e.g. animation, PowerPoint or other presentation software, images, music or other sound track).

Suggested requirements:

  • Final video length: 2-4 minutes.
  • Time for completion: 1 month

2. Science assignment

Digital storytelling assignments do not have to stop at personal or creative writing. These types of assignments can add flair and creativity to other subjects as well, and present concepts in new and interesting ways. Such creative presentations of topics within the disciplines will help students acquire the material, for both the group of students constructing the story as well as the recipients of the story. For digital storytelling within the disciplines, it is recommended to assign the story to small groups rather than individual students, because these are more challenging assignments and more contributors should make for higher quality production.

In small groups, students use digital storytelling to define and describe a particular scientific concept.

Examples:

  • cell growth and division
  • habitat and diet of a certain animal species or species family
  • skeletal system growth, wear, strengthening, and deterioration
  • Anything that has a process is a good topic for a digital storytelling assignment, as is anything that needs description, such as a certain animal’s habitat to support its diet.

Suggested requirements:  

  • Length: 4-6 minutes
  • Full script is due one week after the assignment.
  • Full story is due one month after the assignment.

This can also be used for larger concepts, and extended to a quarter-long project if you like. In this case, the total length should be 12-15 minutes.

3. Math or Statistics assignment

In small groups, each group is assigned a particular statistics concept to present. All groups can approach the same concept if it is particularly difficult and students are generally struggling with it, or each group can present a different concept.

Students must creatively develop a story to illustrate the concept. This is a large extension of a word problem. Students create a story, with characters, action, and character problems to solve, to illustrate the need for the concept and the particular use of the concept. Statements of “why only this will help and no other approach” should be included. This will include statements of other options and why those other options are infeasible for resolving the problem at hand.

Examples:

  • develop a scenario for which regression statistics is necessary, and no other statistical test will resolve the problem. Include statements of why no other statistical test will resolve the problem
  • develop a scenario requiring linear algebra to resolve. Include statements of why no other approach will meet the needs of those in the situation.

Suggested requirements:  

Students should use a minimum of 3 different software tools in their presentation.

Length: 2-4 minutes (you don’t want the students getting bogged down in the narrative, as will likely be the temptation with a longer assignment. So, keeping it short is designed to keep the focus on the concepts, with the narrative supporting the concepts.)

  • Full script is due one week after the assignment.
  • Full final product is due one month after the assignment.

4. History/anthropology/culture compare/contrast assignment

The social sciences are an easy and logical extension of the digital storytelling technique since the social sciences are inherently about people. Thus, it’s a short jump from the personal or creative fiction narrative to illustrating a concept in the social world. History can easily be told using this technique, as the students make a certain set of events in history come alive in the present via digital storytelling. Similarly, studies of faraway lands and their people can be brought into the classroom using digital storytelling. This enlivens the topic for the learners, as they are participating in both the story construction and in viewing the story being told by their peers. It can be a highly effective way to teach these topics and achieve and retain student engagement in areas that may be traditionally low in terms of student interest.

Individually or in pairs (especially for younger learners), students discuss two particular related topics via digital storytelling. The assignment is to create a character or cast of characters, and tell the story through the character(s) developed, as if those characters were living and experiencing these events first-hand.

Examples:

  • Compare and contrast the social mores of 19th century Victorian England with those of 21st century Elizabethan England.
  • Compare and contrast Islam with Judaism.
  • Compare and contrast the rise of the Ottoman Empire with the rise of the ancient Chinese Empire
  • Compare and contrast Roman architecture with Bavarian architecture, circa 20th century
  • Compare and contrast the art of the Renaissance with the art of the Baroque period

Suggested requirements:     

  • Students should use a minimum of 3 different software tools in their presentation.
  • Length: 5-7 minutes (longer if the assignment expectations and timeline are larger)
  • Full script is due one week after the assignment.
  • Full story is due one month after the assignment.

5. Argument assignment

Argument writing is one of the most difficult types of writing, and argument storytelling one of the most difficult uses of the digital storytelling technique. This approach requires a great deal of creativity and a lot of thinking. First, the arguments need to be crystallized and solid, then creativity needs to be explored to determine ways to present those arguments via digital storytelling tools. It is recommended to have students peruse samples available on the internet to gain a clearer understanding of what an argument would look like in a digital story.

In groups, students illustrate a particular perspective and make a compelling argument using digital storytelling techniques. The script of a digital story argument will not likely look exactly like an argument paper will look. An argument essay has one essential audience member: the grader. A digital story, however, has numerous audience members. The argument needs to be presented in a way that is compelling to all audience members.

One way to achieve this is to create a main character. Through that character, the events that transpire involving that character, the character’s experiences as shown in the story, and expressions of the character’s thoughts and feelings, the argument can be conveyed.

Suggested requirements:     

  • Students should use a minimum of 3 different software tools in their presentation.
  • Length: 4-6 minutes
  • Full script is due 10 days after the assignment. (this script is a little more challenging, so a little more time to develop it is in order)
  • Full story is due one month after the assignment.

Assignments can be given to students individually, in pairs, or in groups of 3-4 students. Because this technique strays beyond the traditional assignment, it requires a good deal of outside-the-box thinking. Thus, the more challenging the assignment, the more students should be involved.

Assignments can be short, with 2-3 week deadlines, on a single concept. They can also be mid-range, giving a month or so on a larger or more complex concept, or even quarter-long assignments that emphasize core course objectives. As students gain experience in developing digital stories, the assignment time can be reduced.

The narrative is the most logical use of the digital storytelling approach. However, there are as many ways to use digital storytelling as there are genres of writing. Indeed, digital storytelling techniques can be used for any type of presentation, on any subject. Below are the genres of essay writing, and digital storytelling can be adapted to any of these. Due to the challenges of reducing an abstract argument to images and video, the argument and critical genres especially may be more effective with groups rather than as individual assignments, at least for the first assignment.

  • Narrative (the cleanest, most obvious connection for digital storytelling)
  • Descriptive
  • Definition
  • Process
  • Compare/contrast
  • Cause and effect
  • Argument
  • Critical

Any writing style can be adapted to the digital storytelling genre, with a little creativity.

Resources

A great way to develop digital stories is to use Microsoft PowerPoint together with iSpring Suite. This PowerPoint add-in that allows story creators to turn their PowerPoint presentations into an engaging video, mobile-ready interactive presentations, or more. It also makes it possible to create a story with a voice over like the one below.

Here are a couple more real-life digital stories developed for various purposes.

A Digital Story on Progression:

Conclusion

Digital storytelling is the modern version of the classic narrative, and can be used in any discipline or course, and with any genre of essay writing. In the classroom, digital storytelling assignments offer advantages that include heightened student engagement in the subject, creativity, problem-solving, and likely interaction and group dynamics skills, not to mention increased literacy with software and exploration of new software. Whether assigning each group different topics or the same topic to all groups, students benefit immeasurably from using this approach to the material – just remember to be respectful of the learning curve, which can be quite steep (and frustrating and time-consuming) when approaching new software.

If you have any other examples of digital storytelling in mind, feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.

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