production is about to begin on digital stories! The grade four students who I am working on this project with have finished writing their persuasive essays. Finishing their essays was the prerequisite to be able to start creating our Digital Essays.
Students were very excited to learn that they would be creating Digital Essays using the persuasive essays they had written in class. They were very excited to get started, as I had anticipated, since they love doing projects where they can create content using technology.
Day 1 – During our introductory lesson, as students were using the Visible Thinking Routine, Think Pair Share to discuss what they already knew about digital storytelling with their partners, I noticed that many students knew that in order to create digital stories they would need their essays they had already written and their IPads. Most students did not mention any of the different elements that make up digital stories.
After watching the video, What is Digital Storytelling? , we came up with a class definition. Digital Storytelling is telling your story using different elements of technology and then to share it with the world.
Day 2 – While watching the video, Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling we created the chart below so that the students would have a reference for later in the unit.
Students used the Connect, Extend, Challenge Visible Thinking Routine to show their thinking about digital stories which was very helpful and telling to me! As I mentioned earlier, one connection that most students made was that they would need to use their IPads to create their digital stories.
The two things that the majority of students felt like was new information to them was..
It didn’t surprise me that they had never really thought about how long a digital story should be. However, it did surprise me that they didn’t realize that soundtracks or music could evoke emotion. I guess it was something I just took for granted! Once we discussed this element and came up some different examples of music that could evoke different kinds of emotions they definitely had an AHA moment
The three main elements or concepts that the students felt were challenging to them were:
Since many of the students are feeling challenged by the same things, it showed me that I needed to build in some extra time to go over these challenges before the students begin independently creating their digital stories in the next couple of days.
Looking forward to seeing how the actual creating goes and sharing their final products!