Digital Storytelling


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Presentation given by Gail Matthews-DeNatale, Sylvia Maxfield, Melissa Perna, and Melissa Makofske to the Harvard Business School "Brain Gain" presentation series.

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  • GAIL This presentation is designed to represent a range of perspectives on digital storytelling in higher education. Present with you today are three “takes” Support Staff and Instructional Design (Gail) Faculty (Sylvia) Student (Melissa and Melissa) In preparation for this presentation, we interviewed several faculty and students.
  • GAIL Thanks to Rachel, Ellen, and Vaughn For lending their voices to this presentation so that you could hear their perspectives. So, in essence, there are six presenters for this session!!! This is why you may hear more from some of us than from others.
  • GAIL Presentation in three parts: 1. Gail: What are digital stories? What does it feel like to make one? What’s the educational value? 2. Sylvia: How and why I added a digital case option to my class. 3. Melissa2: Our digital case and our perspective on the experience.
  • GAIL Digital storytelling IN GENERAL is the use of digital media and the Internet to serve storytelling purposes. It could involve web pages, maps, mobile phones … the possibilities are endless. HOWEVER, “Digital storytelling” has come to mean a 3-5 minute video produced in final cut or iMovie, often using voice-over narrative and still images. It’s a distinct GENRE of video production. This is because Joe Lambert, of the Center for Digital Storytelling, uses this format for his DS workshops. What follows is an example of a story produced by a faculty member during the 2006 Simmons Faculty Institute. CLICK TO SEE EXAMPE – WARN THAT IT’S HEAVY
  • GAIL? Produced over three days in the context of a summer institute, facilitated by Joe Lambert of the Center for Digital Storytelling Warn that this is a powerful piece After video – Ellen has since used this piece for a number of purposes. She shared it with her brother, which set the stage for a “healing” conversation that she says would not have been possible otherwise She also presented it at a faculty lunch during which she described the process and benefits with her peers
  • GAIL?
  • GAIL? Why get into this? Two reasons: 1. UNDERSTANDING THE GESTALT OF DIGITAL STORYMAKING IS A RESEARCH INTEREST OF MINE. I don’t think we devote enough attention to how learning _feels_. There is a physicality to experiential learning that can’t – and shouldn’t – be denied. It can be difficult to express in words, but we need to do what we can to understand this aspect of the learning experience. Without a nuanced understanding of how different modes of learning feel, it can be difficult, from an instructional design perspective, to understand what types of learning experiences would be best suited to a particular learning goal. 2. In open-ended interviews with students about their digital story-making experiences, the comparison between writing and digital story-making came up often. HERE’S WHAT OUR INTERVIEWEES HAD TO SAY (CLICK)
  • Here is what our interviewees had to say: TITLE: What’s the difference between writing and digital storytelling? TITLE: Difference in flow Vaughn - 00:11:09;26 While you’re writing, either through a keyboard or sitting down and writing in a book, it’s all in your head and coming out through your eyes onto the page. The images that are in your head are becoming the words that your hands are writing. But with iMovie you can take actual images out of the world that you see and show them to other people. 00:11:39;28 Ellen - 00:02:31:? You know it was hard work, but it was good hard work. It was very focused hard work – the kind of thing you can see losing time with. …. Much more time than you have. 00:02:44:17 TITLE: Goes beyond the “five paragraph essay” Rachel - 00:08:52:? When you’re writing a term paper, you’re just using words and you have a structure to do it. But with storytelling, it’s a completely blank board and you can do whatever you want with it. You have all these thoughts in your head about what you want it to be, and you have all these experiences, and you have your journaling, and other things throughout the way. For you to get across your message and what you’re trying to say in a way that’s visual, audio, and with text, I think is really using different parts of your brain.…Using all the senses vs. just reading it. 00:09:43:? TITLE: Can represent internal and external worlds Vaughn - 00:11:52;02 There are so many times when I wish I could record my thoughts, like attach something to my head and let people see what I’m seeing while I’m writing. But with the iMovie I can actually do that. Though it’s not exactly the way I picture it in my head, it’s the best interpretation I can give them. It’s also very real, because it can come out of the actual world 00:12:17;05
  • GAIL?
  • GAIL? Engagement, time on task, refuting and/or refining ideas Metacognition – understanding how they learn, “owning” their learning, learning how to learn Making learning both memorable and manageable DURING INTERVIEWS, WE REALIZED THAT DS ADDRESSES THESE NEEDS IN A PROFOUND MANNER – warn that this is the longest clip of the presentation (CLICK)
  • Here is what our interviewees had to say: TITLE: What’s the educational value of digital storytelling? TITLE: Makes learning memorable Vaughn - 00:34:34;00 It was a memorable time and this is actually something that I can remember. I can’t remember much else about my life, but I can remember certain parts, and this is one of the things that I remember because I have things to remind me and I did have mishaps, and I did have misadventures, and it made it more fun – it was a great semester. It was a very profound learning curve for me that semester. 00:34:55;00 TITLE: Production process fosters reflection … and transformation Ellen - 00:08:48:? There was something about working so intensely and in a concentrated fashion with both the dialogue and then matching photographs to it or some kind of visual image that as a producer or whatever, you are, you know you’re so present with the material and the message you’re trying to convey and how you’re trying to convey it and what you want to say that you also have to think much more deeply and complexly about what it is that you want to say. And I think through that process of analyzing it, you can come up with different versions – gez, I’ve thought about it so much, I actually feel a little bit different about it – now I want to say something different than I thought I was going to say when I started. And I think that’s the feedback loop that the more that you’re with the content and you’re really introspective and you’re reflective about … The telling of the story transforms you and transforms the story. 00:10:00:00 TITLE: Demonstrates the progression of learning Vaughn - 00:02:35;20 I put a lot of effort into it, but in two different ways. Into one class, and then also into life outside of class. And the movie at the end showed my effort and told my story, not only my story, but the story of the kid whom I was tutoring. It showed progression and it was a marker for that whole semester. And it’s a great thing to have, to keep. 00:03:05;18 TITLE: Encourages clarity of expression Ellen - 00:28:33:? I think it is also good to help students organize what they want to say because you have to get very clear about what’s the message. What am I trying to say and why am I trying to say this?… a theme in many fields 00:28:34:? TITLE: Increases student engagement Rachel -~00:05:18:? I think I was a lot more connected to my final projects than I was with a research paper, because it was really from my thoughts, at the end of the day, after I had done the steps along the way, versus an outline that I had turned in.~00:05:29:10 TITLE: Fosters student-centered, authentic learning Ellen - 00:14ish:?:? You’re speaking to a larger audience in some way. … thinking about my own beliefs about what people need to succeed in graduate education and how that’s changing … the work has changed … populations people are serving has changed. It doesn’t mean decreasing standards, it means rethinking standards. And so a process that isn’t strictly a written paper speaks to allowing people of very different kinds of learning abilities to engage in something – as opposed to “write this paper, memorize this for a test. 00:16:15:?
  • GAIL? Addresses a range of learning styles The physical process involves/requires intense review of material Multi-modal, media literacy – DS makers gain new insight into the conventions and “grammar” associated with multimedia authoring. After having the production experience, they are better positioned to evaluate the credibility of the web pages and videos of others Students can embed their own experiences into the work As opposed to a term paper, others outside of class/academic may find the product compelling
  • GAIL? I’ve talked about the connection between _FEELING_ and _LEARNING_. Research indicates that experiences that are strongly felt (emotionally charged) are more memorable. But memory alone does not constitute learning. For a strong memory to be translated into learning, there needs to be another component – reflection and analysis. Experience Research, Reading, Class Discussion, Lab Experiments, Service Learning, Study Abroad, etc. Reflection/Analysis Sifting through “evidence” (aspects of the experience) to make connections, look for patterns, question prior assumptions, change your mind in light of evidence Enhanced Personal Understanding Becomes part of repertoire, applied to other settings/domains Contribute to Learning Community Share ideas and insights with others (cycle -> learning -> teaching) Henry James once said that “Stories Happen to People who Know how to tell them.” Likewise, learning and meaning-making happens to people who know how to express what they’ve learned. This process shapes the story-maker’s world view – they start seeing stories (and opportunities for learning) in the world around them. EXPERIENCE INCREASES ATTENTIVENESS MOVING FORWARD
  • Importance of THE PROCESS: Instructional design is an important component because, in putting together assignments, it can be challenging to get the mix of planning, training, and production “right” (and tempting to shortchange planning). Also, while some students may produce good results with little guidance, most benefit from feedback – peer and faculty. COLLABORATION: These assignments require collaboration with trainers, coordination of lab time, etc. This also increases pressure on planning in advance. It can be a new, perhaps uncomfortable, feeling for faculty to have a portion of the class success not within their control. EXPERIENCE: Faculty and students may have difficulty understanding the time commitment and the value of the process until they’ve had the experience. People are surprised by the time involved, mishaps, etc.
  • Time for questions and comments
  • Digital Storytelling

    1. 1. “ Stories are the large and small instruments of meaning, of explanation, that we store in our memories.” Joe Lambert / Roger Schank “ Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. Tell me a story and I’ll remember forever.” Saying
    2. 2. Digital Storytelling Gail Matthews-DeNatale, Ph.D. Associate Director, Academic Technology Sylvia Maxfield, Ph.D. Associate Professor, School of Management Melissa Perna Melissa Makofske School of Management Graduate Students Simmons College
    3. 3. <ul><li>Additional Perspectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rachel Franchi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sophomore </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vaughn Rogers Sophomore </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ellen Goodman SSW Field Education Faculty </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Presentation Overview <ul><li>Gail: What are digital stories? What does it feel like to make one? What’s the educational value? </li></ul><ul><li>Sylvia: How and why I added a digital case option to my class. </li></ul><ul><li>Melissa 2 : Our digital case and our perspective on the experience </li></ul>
    5. 5. Part I What are digital stories? What does it feel like to make one? What’s the educational value?
    6. 6. Faculty-Produced Digital Story Reflection on an Unresolved Life Experience
    7. 7. In comparison, what are the similarities/differences between the experiences of academic writing and digital story-making?
    8. 8. “ Digital stories” are manifestations (evidence) of student thought But the same can be said of writing. What’s so special about digital storytelling?
    9. 9. Digital Storytelling and Writing Flow, Senses, Represent Internal/External
    10. 10. What’s the value of (digital) storytelling for higher education?
    11. 11. Challenging Questions for Educators How can we help students increase the amount of time they devote to reflection and critical thinking? How can we help students articulate what they are learning? How can we help students remember and care about learning?
    12. 12. The Value of Digital Storytelling Memorable, Reflective, Transformative …
    13. 13. <ul><li>Combines visual, aural, and kinesthetic learning </li></ul><ul><li>Iterative production process encourages revisiting, reflecting on meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Increases literacy/fluency across media </li></ul><ul><li>Connects prior life experiences, course, and other co-curricular learning </li></ul><ul><li>Can be shared beyond academia </li></ul>The Value of Digital Story-Making
    14. 14. Story-Making Learning Cycle Reflection & Analysis Share with Others Experience Deeper Personal Understanding Future Stories
    15. 15. A Word on the Value of Rubrics Wise Economy/Detail - pacing - pare away AND - dig deeper Use of Images/Video - w. voice, adds new dimension - visual flow Quality Script/Voice - well spoken - good pacing - music, if any, furthers message Engaging - interesting - surprising - thought-provoking Has A Point (of View) - purpose - stance Why? Poor Satisfactory Outstanding Criteria Storyboard/Script Feedback
    16. 16. What are the “lessons learned,” our tips and recommendations for support?
    17. 17. <ul><li>Inevitability and Importance of </li></ul><ul><li>The Process (instructional design, feedback) </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration (the joys and pitfalls) </li></ul><ul><li>The Experience (intense and somewhat out of control) </li></ul>Observations and Recommendations
    18. 18. “ Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts. ” Salman Rushdie Final Words