Teaching through Multimedia Storytelling (or getting the dog to whistle!)


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This presentation describes benefits and practical aspects of using multimedia storytelling in higher education. It progresses through examination of the “why, what, when, where and how” of multimedia storytelling to demonstrate the value of storytelling as a teaching and learning tool in higher education.
Telling stories encourages shifts in perspectives while fostering strong connections between teacher and learner, learner and learner, and learner and others. This presentation challenges readers to expand their repertoire of effective teaching techniques while deepening student engagement. By developing storytelling techniques that bring content to life, teachers model analytical thinking and convey principles, values and skills for students who learn and enjoy participating in the learning experience.
Today’s teaching can enhance the use of storytelling by employing multimedia software. The presentation also notes some of the features of such software for use in effective storytelling.

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Teaching through Multimedia Storytelling (or getting the dog to whistle!)

  1. 1. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. Teaching through Multimedia Storytelling (or getting the dog to whistle!) The Easy Steps Way® Susan Lieberman June 2012 The Business School Humber College ITAL
  2. 2. Storytelling SessionThis session exploresteaching through multimediastorytelling– Why? What? When? How?– Focus on presentation software PowerPoint, Keynote…– Sourcebook • PowerPoint Worksheets, articles, bibliography & more … Let’s get started … 2
  3. 3. Tell me a story!Let’s start our exploration of “why stories?” through a story ... 3 Great matching song is “Tell me a story” by Lonesome Val, NYC album
  4. 4. Napoleon Why stories? Children, when was Napoleon Bonaparte born, asks teacher. A thousand years ago, the children say. A hundred years ago, the children say. Last year, the children say. No one knows. Children, what did Napoleon Bonaparte do, asks teacherPoem by Miroslav Holub from Barton, Bob and Booth, David, Stories in the Classroom, (Pembroke 4Publishers Limited, 1990), p11. Image www.historyonthenet.com/Sources/primary_or_secondary_source.htm
  5. 5. Napoleon cont. Won a war, the children say. Lost a war, the children say. No one knows. Our butcher had a dog Called Napoleon, Says Frantisek The butcher used to beat him and the dog died Of hunger A year ago. And all the children are now sorry For Napoleon. Miroslav HolubBarton, Bob and Booth, David, Stories in the Classroom, (Pembroke Publishers Limited, 1990), p11 5
  6. 6. What would a student remember about Napoleon? So, why use stories? ... 6
  7. 7. Buzz Session• Turn to a person sitting in a near-by seat• Identify at least 2 reasons why we would use a story in our teaching 7
  8. 8. Why use a story? What does a story give?A story provides ways for students to – assign context for meaning – receive memory cues – connect to unconscious through visualization or mental imprint with perceptions and emotions – see multiple sides to quandaries – develop alternate thinking routes – find epiphanies – increase respect for others – model critical thinking skills – see self in a new way – give advice and comfort – influence people – shape emotions – foster imagination To summarize… 8
  9. 9. Getting the Dog to Whistle StoryCaryn, her dog Eddie and her friend Ayesha are outside at the parkCaryn turns to Ayesha and says, “I taught Eddie how to whistle”Ayesha says “No way! Show me”They both look at the dog standing there wagging its tail with its tongue hangingoutCaryn finally commands “Okay, Eddie, whistle!”The dog does nothing but wag its tailCaryn says “Whistle, Eddie”The dog still does nothingThis goes on for quite a whileFinally, Ayesha turns to Caryn in disgust and says “Hey, you said your dog couldwhistle but we‟ve been here for 10 minutes listening to you tell him to whistleand he hasn‟t done anything!”Caryn looks at Ayesha with a grin on her face and says “Of course he can‟twhistle. I told you I taught him how to whistle. I didn‟t say he learned it”So, how do we go beyond teaching to learning in a classroom? 9 Story adapted from Wacker & Silverman, Stories Trainers Tell (Pfeiffer, 2003) p. 340
  10. 10. Teaching? Getting the dog to whistleGetting your students to LEARN!!!!How do students respond to teaching through storytelling? 10
  11. 11. Do students learn from the stories?“The stories and case studies in this course helped my understanding of the material” Agree Disagree 33% 3% Strongly Disagree 2% Strongly Agree Strongly Agree Agree 62% Disagree Strongly Disagree Based on feedback received in Student Feedback Questionnaires over 6 years (857 responses) 11
  12. 12. Student comments about stories? “Helped me to think critically” “Some were so outrageous it just sticks in your head”“every time I studied Ireferred to the storiesand everything justpopped in my mind” “Great. They helped me a lot and attracted me. I love the idea of 12 bringing stories in”
  13. 13. ESL/Multicultural Response “It was very helpful because for my case, I have language problem therefore, the stories helped me to understand ... much easier”• Stories provide rich context- embedded comprehensible input • And stories have been shown to have physiological importance… 13
  14. 14. Storytelling & Physiology• The Brain – Left “side” processes text – Right “side” provides context – Need to teach to both “sides” • Content within meaningful context – Scientific American Mind • The Secrets of Storytelling Aug/Sept 2008• Storytelling (especially with PowerPoint) reinforces both text and context for students And some consider stories to be even more important… 14
  15. 15. Jacques Cousteau“My grandfather shifted a paradigm in our worldon how we understand our oceans, and he did thatby telling stories and engaging people to think aboutthe issues and to take action in their communities...”(Alexandra Cousteau, G & M, July 17, 2010) 15 Photo purchased from iStock
  16. 16. “OK, so what’s a story?”• Narrative unit with – Beginning, middle and end – Conflict or challenge – Rhythm – Emotional context/shaping – Sensory details• Refer to – Kieran Egan‟s an imaginative approach to teaching – Robert Fulford‟s The Triumph of Narrative (1999 Massey Lectures) 16
  17. 17. But, what about ….• Other „story‟ forms, such as – Examples, case studies & problems used for problem- based learning (PBL)• For me, stories – „Fly‟ – more freedom to play with imagination – Enhance connection to learners – Deliberate – Don‟t need listeners to go to outside research … So “when” do we tell stories? ... Anytime  17
  18. 18. Video Stories to Introduce a Lesson• Videos - Capture quickly what could take much longer and be less meaningful or “distant” if using words• Eg To introduce the topic of safety in the workplace – Start with a quick 31 second visual story – “Because there are no such things as accidents” YouTube video is an ad for WSIB Workplace Safety –available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1Z8xxWhh5k 18
  19. 19. Stories to Develop Concepts• Issue: Conflict resolution – When, how and why use different options?• Sam bought a new cell phone from the manufacturer‟s outlet, Cool Energy Life Ltd (CELL). She paid a lot of money for the phone and it stopped working after three days! She is miserable!!!• What can Sam do? – Negotiation … Yes, stories work anytime in a lesson, not just as “after the fact” examples And remember …. 19
  20. 20. 3 Ps & 3 Cs... lan ahead onnect story to learning outcome reate a focused strategic pathway to the story larify the story‟s purpose ractise out loud unch the clock– Keep track of time 20 So, where do we find good stories?
  21. 21. Where do we find stories?☺• Everywhere!!! – Newspapers, books, magazines – TV, radio, YouTube, videos, in ternet – Home, work, leisure activities and places – Food, clothing, pets – Friends, family, colleagues, – Examples already used, and – Our friendly dinosaurs 21
  22. 22. How to tell our stories?• (Almost) Dramatize Anything goes! Describe – Tell it – Read it Pause – Sing it Gesture – Act it React – Show it – Play it (Avoid – Make it up sarcasm) And be culturally sensitive ... 22
  23. 23. Cultural Sensitivity• Check that stories are appropriate for our learners• Eg Vietnam experience – When planning, I asked my translator whether the Napoleon poem would be appropriate – He said “OK to use Napoleon, but change story from dog to a bird, preferably a parrot” – Here is the version I used … 23
  24. 24. Naploeon cont. Won a war, the children say. Lost a war, the children say. No one knows. Our neighbour has a parrot Called Napoleon, Says Binh The parrot is famous because It can dance. And now all the children Want to meet Napoleon the parrot.Adapted from Barton, Bob and Booth, David, Stories in the Classroom, (Pembroke Publishers 24Limited, 1990), p11
  25. 25. What would be remembered about Napoleon? So be sure to make use of multimedia storytelling with PowerPoint (or Keynote)!!! 25
  26. 26. Unleash the POWER in PowerPoint• PowerPoint features? ☺ – Organization – Sound and music – Picture – Video – Animation – Hyper-linking • Websites, documents, other presentations & slides – Transitions – Underlining, highlighting – Charts, graphs … Have fun and ..... 26
  27. 27. Take risks• Our students want entertainment and involvement!!!!• We “teach” while they (& we) have fun AND learn• Use PowerPoint slides to imprint stories• Be flexible, take risks and enjoy! 27
  28. 28. Wrap-up• Teach through Multimedia storytelling!• Have fun with your PowerPoint slides• And remember - It‟s all about getting the dog to whistle! Great matching whistling tune is “Main Hoon Na” by Javed Akhtar 28
  29. 29. Citations•The original presentation includes several animations and sounds.Images, Cartoons & Sounds not already cited are from thefollowing subscribed (s) or royalty-free (r) sources Microsoft Office clips (s) www.iStock.com (s) www.Animation.com (s) www.cartoonstock.com (s) The Nightingale Voice Box (s) ClickART Cartoons (s)This presentation is also available in the form of aSquidoo lens athttp://www.squidoo.com/TeachCollege
  30. 30. Thank You & The End 30