David Jakes wrote, “There is a biological basis for visual communication.” in his blog post from 2008.
- auditory nerve connections to the brain = 30,000 fibers
- optical nerve connections to the brain = 1,000,000 fibers (Burmark, 2002)
The optical fibers in the human body are more than 3x the amount of the auditory fibers. This makes sense as to why vision plays an important role in our lives.
My digital storytelling roots start when I was a kid. My father had an 8mm camera and then later a Super 8 camera. I have found memories of getting out the screen and projector in order to watch the silent black and white movies. I was later impressed when color and audio were also included!
I also have to admit that I grew up experiencing 35 mm slides shows. Yes, the kind with two slide projectors so images could fade into the other. There used a time when I wanted to possess my own two slide projectors so I could make the same type of presentations.
Now with all of the technological advances available today, it easy to create multi-media presentations. Digital storytelling is no longer limited to only those possessing special equipment, but it can now easily be done on your home computer, iPad, cellular phone, etc. The tools needed to create digital media are readily available and additional content is available through a variety of resources on the Internet.
4 Generations: The Waterbuffalo Movie (HD) – I first learned about The Waterbuffalo Movie when reading David Jakes’ post. The story and visuals combined with Robert Thompson’s narration and background music create a compelling message.
One activity that I do with students towards the beginning of the year is to create a simple puppet show to have students perform their self-introduction. (first graders, beginning level)
This year I was able to try out an iPad 2 for a short time. I was able to create, edit, and share a simple story acting out the classroom phrases. Students enjoyed the activity and they liked the final product. Using iMovie on the iPad2 made editing quick and it was easy to incorporate background music to help create a more finished product.
With the fifth grade students having access to either an iPad 2 or a Macbook, a future project could be having the students create their own story about someone famous in Japan. Students would do the research and gather useful video clips, photographs, maps, and other media. They would be required to learn about the person’s life and perform a self-introduction as the person. They could use puppets similar to the ones used in the self-introduction video or it could be something similar to the Common Craft style. One goal would be to try and show how the person the student selected is/was important to Japan.
Like many other adults, it is amazing to watch my own kids easily taking movies with the iPhone, iPad, or DS. Out of the blue, my six year old just finished his video of the inside of our house. My dad started with a super 8 camera. My son started with an iPhone. I look forward to seeing what the next generation will have to play with.
Burmark, Lynell. Visual Literacy: Learn to See. See to Learn. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2002.