Digital Storytelling … part 1

Topic 2 in etmooc is digital storytelling. This is another one of those terms that crops up and gets thrown around, yet it is an apt moniker that highlights some of the affordances of digital technology for learning. The digital, of course, just highlights the medium used to create & tell the story. The important part is the ‘storytelling’, which has always been around as one of the ways we use to pass knowledge and ideas along (well – that was not a very connectivist statement – but what should I say – perhaps to share or demonstrate knowledge?). Stories, to me, can be a myriad of things; fiction, non-fiction, an explanation, an image, a metaphor … stories are such a powerful tool for teaching and learning. Many years ago, before I became a school administrator (and subsequently a prof) I was involved, with 2 colleagues, in a fantastic project of storytelling. In our project the entire grade 12 class was involved through their English courses and the video production course that I co-taught. Students were involved in pitching ideas, story development, script writing, acting, props, filming, editing, producing  – and finally premiering – a full length movie. The project succeeded because the entire class was involved, it was supported by other staff and the administration, and the community – who attended the premiere at the local movie theatre (or school gym once we purchased a full size movie theatre screen). What a learning experience and fun, collaborative project. The power of story is still very evident as I use the stories of teachers (case studies) in my dissertation, we can learn much from the stories of others. The affordances of digital technology offer so many ways to create stories using several types of media, but it is ultimately about the stories that people tell.

I hope to explore this topic as much as time allows – it is also the topic we are exploring in the ed tech course I teach at BU. I love how the ETMOOC topics are paralleling much of what I am doing in my own courses.

A Few of My Story Attempts:

Six word stories

Ok, one of the challenges in etmooc was to create 6 word stories, I wrote a few attempts:

  • New career, five years, now tenured!
  • My grandson: smiles, laughter, and love!

I had some more, but I thought: why not put together the idea of 6 word stories with images and audio. I recently purchased the app ‘Sonic Pics’ on my iPad (on the suggestion of @dkuropatwa and @amckiel, who gave a P.D. session to pre-service teachers at BU recently – I think it was also a trial run of Darren’s etmooc presentation). Anyway, I decided to try out this app and created the following story. One thing I did discover, and will have to check into, is that the text, which shows on the app – does not show on the final product 🙁

Animated GIF

Wow – I haven’t made one of these for many years – back when I taught an animation course as a high school teacher. So, I used an online GIF maker I came across to make this ( – it was very easy to do, upload, order, a few settings, then wait.. Mine is called:

“Evolution of a homemade pizza!”
RmeCvk on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Well, those were fun, now back to my real work – but I’ll be back, this mooc is making me into a (sort of) prolific blogger!