Tag Archive: visual

Mar 31

From Pre-Analog to Digital Storytelling

Vision-

David Jakes wrote, “There is a biological basis for visual communication.” in his blog post from 2008.

There are…

  • 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.

Long ago-

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!

Sound Super Zoom - Super 8 Camera

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.

Kodachrome Slideshow

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.

Great example-

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.

 

Student work-

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.

Today-

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.

References-

Burmark, Lynell. Visual Literacy: Learn to See. See to Learn. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2002.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.coetail.com/dimanishi/2012/03/31/digital-storytelling/

Mar 30

Key Words and Visuals-What Contributes to the Story?

First of all, thank you, Garr Reynolds for (pooping a lot) providing many resources and examples to help guide my presentation development.  Having watched Reynolds-sensei present on TEDxTokyo, reading his blog, and watching and reading other interpretations of Zen and the Art of Presentation, I know that I have just scratched the surface on how to sharpen my presentation skills.   I appreciate the material made available for access on the Internet and I find value in what is being presented as Reynolds-sensei works to bring harmony with western and eastern thinking.

Searching for other Garr Reynolds resources on the web, I stumbled upon a presentation that Garr made at Google.  I found this presentation to be more educational for me as the hour workshop provided additional resources and it allowed for dialogue with the audience.  The presentation is embedded below.

YouTube Preview Image

Trying to apply some of the teachings of Presentation Zen, I worked to simplify and refine the content of the presentation.  One take away from Garr’s Google presentation is…What is the story that you want the audience to walk away with?  Sometimes I forget about that story and go straight to listing the facts or possibly including non-essential information.  When working on revising this presentation, I made an effort to decrease the amount of text and increase the visuals focusing on what contributed to telling the story.  I have included a select number of presentation slides below.  On the left are the original slides.  On the right are the revised slides (revision still in process).

 

 

(left)

I looked at this slide and I thought that while it was informative, but a little on the bland side.

 

 

 

 

(right)

The revised slide on the right is a step in the right direction.  It shows blue skies and a “positive outlook” for the school year.  There is the healthy green of the trees and the learning environment looks fertile.  :)

 

 

 

 

 

(right)

The revised slide makes the kids the focus and it clearly shows the students in their restaurant role play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(right)

Also, I decided to take the initial wording from the original slide, reduce the wording to only three key words, and include more visuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(left)

Original slide

 

 

 

 

 

(right)

Focus on the key imagery–listening and speaking.

 

 

 

 

 

(left)

For this slide, I remember pretty much reading from the slide.  As mentioned by many, it is important to keep the slide simple.  If necessary, the important information can be included in a hand-out for future reading/reference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(right)

Perhaps this is the slide with the most drastic change.  Meeting diverse needs, I ran across this picture of bamboo.  While I know that Garr presented on the lessons of bamboo in the TedxTokyo talk, I liken the bamboo to the elementary students.  Bamboo ranges from shoots to tall stalks.  Students range from first graders losing their first teeth to fifth graders bursting out of their chairs and desks.

 

The story behind the slide makes this slide much more interesting than the original slide.  The imagery of bamboo shooting up to the sky tells a more interesting story than the previous bullet points.

Reading over this post, I am happy with the visual results.  Compared to the original slides, I am much more moved and inspired by the revised slides.  (I am easy to please.)  This process has been good for me and I can see using this post as a future reference when I need another quick recap on how to purify my presentations.

While I understand that I still have much to improve with my presentations, I believe I have taken one small step towards presentation enlightenment.

 

Other Resources

Duarte

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.coetail.com/dimanishi/2012/03/30/key-words-and-visuals-what-contributes-to-the-story/

Mar 16

My Blog-Let’s Kick it Up a Notch

Permanent link to this article: http://www.coetail.com/dimanishi/2012/03/16/my-blog-lets-kick-it-up-a-notch-week-1/