Digital Storytelling: A Student Project

In a recent post, I set a few goals for myself, goals that would help me move toward integrating technology in the classroom to engage and empower students. I still think these are good goals but to be honest I’ve dragged my feet a bit and done little in the way of implementation. Fortunately for me, motivation has come in the form of a graduate school assignment. The assignment is to plan a digital storytelling project for my students. This blog will outline my preliminary plans for this project.

You may wish to view the short presentation on my last blog post, but at a minimum, you should know that digital storytelling is the use of media and technology to “tell a story,” but as it relates to education, it is a learning tool for students.

Digital Storytelling Project for Algebra Students
• 7th grade Algebra students will work in groups of 3 or 4 to create a digital story (lesson) using Prezi or PowerPoint.
• Student groups will select a concept previously covered or one that will be covered before the due date of the project.
• The purpose of the digital lesson will be to (1) provide a review of the concept, (2) present a real-world problem, and (3) demonstrate use of the concept to solve the real-world problem.
• Students will use their online textbook resources, Algebra Nation online tutorial videos, Khan Academy videos, and other web resources to gather information regarding their concept and to decide how best to present the concept (All resources used will be documented.).
• Students will use the same resources above to either locate or gather ideas about how their selected concept can be used to solve a real-world problem. Additionally, students may look at print or online magazines and newspapers.
• Students will select a real-world problem or write one of their own (Problem to be approved by the teacher.).
• Students may use webcams, tablets, cell phones, and flip cameras as needed to record audio and/or video needed for their digital story. (Students may use their own devices and school laptops and desktops will also be available for use.)
• Students will be shown examples of digital stories in math and other curriculum areas for ideas for their own digital lessons.
• Students groups will be scheduled dates to meet with the teacher for project updates and advice, though teacher facilitation and advice will be ongoing.
• The digital lesson will be created using Prezi or PowerPoint and must include audio and video elements.
• The digital lesson must allow for either (1) a stopping point for class discussion and/or (2) a short end-of-lesson assessment.

With digital storytelling, students gain valuable technology skills, use creativity, work cooperatively, gather and communicate information, and make decisions. These aspects of digital storytelling will benefit students, but they will also work nicely as I implement my own technology goals (Use technology to empower students and encourage creativity and use technology to connect students to new concepts.).

I welcome any suggestions, resources, and ideas for this planned project.

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2 thoughts on “Digital Storytelling: A Student Project

  1. Hi Lynn. First if all, please know you’re not the only one with big goals and a not-quite-so-big implementation so far! Ditto here. This is a very well thought out plan, though. I really like the idea if relating math to a real life problem and then having to show how to solve that real life problem. Those of us who are not “math folks” frequently complain that we’ll never really have to use Algebra in the real world, but clearly that’s not true. That portion of the project alone is a great way to connect those dots for students. Being able to use school equipment is definitely a plus and levels the playing field. I also like that you’re giving the students so much leeway in both what they choose and how they choose to tell their stories. Teenagers are so tech savvy and have so much innate creativity; I think you’ll be amazed at what some of them come up with!

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