Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wednesday Morning – Storytelling

I was in a number of sessions this morning, and a couple of them dealt with storytelling. The keynote of course (Digital Storytelling - Giving Purpose to Pixels - Joe Lambert) and Video Storytelling (Patricia Kougar-Melton). There is a is a really mass of people working with storytelling in some way, shape or form here. During the keynote, Joe asked the crowd how many people were in some way involved with storytelling. Almost everyone raised their hand. On my to do list, there is a stillborn paper that is about 2 years that I wanted to write on how digital technologies are helping us become a more oral society once more and all the storytelling sessions seem to support that. There are several forms of digital story, but generally they are less than 5 minutes in length. Essentially they are all short films that have been liberated from the film/art schools and brought to K-12 thanks to digital technology. Joe’s stories were all personal accounts of an event or person and Patricia’s were more like trailers or podcasts (I’m starting to loath the term). Key to creating these however, is not only ensuring that the teachers understand the art and the work involved and can assess it, but also to help the students be more media literate and understand what works and doesn’t in the given time for a piece. It is very true that the kids today are going to be far and away more adept than many teachers at the tools, but the use of the tool isn’t what they are going to need help with, it’s the content. So for those people who are worried about learning a new program every six months, just understand that you need to understand content and be able to adapt the basic that you know about one program and move that into the next. I was in another session on Class Sim that I’ll get a login for soon I hope that is similar in many ways to the simulator from the other session, but is more limited in it’s design (essentially a very complex Choose you own Adventure). These sims really seem to point to the need to be able to take risks while learning to teach, because if you think about it, right now when students are in their field experience it’s no different than open heart surgery. Granted you can try peer teaching, but because the school is so infinitely dynamic it is hard for students to repeat what they tried to see if something ma have changed had a different decision been made. Granted it’s the same in medicine, but there are seemingly far more simulators there (because of the money) than in education. It may take years before a similar situation comes up again in a class (or a clinic) and one bad experience could send away what may have been a great teacher. Working in reverse a bit, the first two sessions that I went to also offered some interesting ideas. One presentation from Germany and Japan made use of DVDconnector (I’m trying to get an educational copy) and the other dealt with communities of practice in pre-service classes to help students help themselves with technology, a model that I think would really work well in any school. Technorati Tags: , ,