Digital Storytelling: What (and How) are Students Learning?


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Presentation given by Gail Matthews-DeNatale at the 2007 Colleges of the Fenway Conference on Teaching and Learning.

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Digital Storytelling: What (and How) are Students Learning?

  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 Natives, Digital Immigrants COF Conference 2007 <ul><li>Digital Storytelling: What (and How ) are Students Learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Gail Matthews-DeNatale </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Director </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Technology, Simmons College </li></ul>
  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>What are digital stories and how are we using them at Simmons? </li></ul><ul><li>What does it feel like to make one? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the educational value? </li></ul><ul><li>What lessons have we learned? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Part I What are digital stories and how are we using them at Simmons?
  6. 6. <ul><li>Unconventional “Digital Story” Story Map Mash-up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First year, first semester, short first assignment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culminating experience, end of semester </li></ul></ul>Storytelling + Digital Media + Internet
  7. 7. <ul><li>“ Digital Stories” in the CDS Sense of the Term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty Institute on Digital Storytelling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Stories of Service Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Cases SOM, Corporate Social Responsibility </li></ul></ul>Storytelling + Digital Media + Internet
  8. 8. Faculty-Produced Digital Story Reflection on an Unresolved Life Experience
  9. 9. “ Creating a digital case was a great experience. Never before have I been so into doing a final project, but I found myself putting other things aside so I could work on it. The feeling of accomplishment is much greater than just writing a paper and it was such a different kind of assignment, it was fun to work on. ” Feedback from Students
  10. 10. What can story-makers tell us about what it feels like to make a story? What do we learn from listening to learners? Part II
  11. 11. Digital Storytelling and Writing Flow, Senses, Represent Internal/External
  12. 12. What’s the value of (digital) storytelling for higher education? Part III
  13. 13. 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?
  14. 14. The Value of Digital Storytelling Memorable, Reflective, Transformative …
  15. 15. <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
  16. 16. Story-Making Learning Cycle Reflection & Analysis Share with Others Experience Deeper Personal Understanding Future Stories
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. What are the “lessons learned,” our tips and recommendations for support? Part IV
  19. 19. <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
  20. 20. “ 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