Digital Storytelling via the iPad Part 1: What’s My Story?

digitalesI recently attended a one-day workshop at the TIES Technology Conference in Minnesota on Digital Storytelling and the iPad.  The workshop was lead by two talented trainers from the TIES technology integration team, Caroline Little and Kari Huinker.  They based their workshop on the work of Bernajean Porter, the guru of digital storytelling who provides inspiring insights and direction in her book, Digitales, and her website of extensive resources and related articles.

In the next several blog posts, I want to share my current thinking about exploring alternatives to traditional approaches to storytelling, about iPads and the creative process, and about the specific apps I recommend to implement a digital storytelling unit in your classroom with iPads.  There are lots of wonderful iPad apps to use with primary students but my focus will be on those strategies and tools that I think work best with grades 4-12.

We often tend to think only about personal stories when talking about student storytelling.  In fact, in units that have been created through the PerpichCenter’s arts integration project, students have been very successful telling personal stories and using digital tools to integrate artwork and music.  Here are some examples from our Rothsay team in Minnesota.

I’m interested in trying my hand at a different type of storytelling and exploring how it might be used in the classroom.  Bernajean Porter, in her article “Beyond Words, The Craftsmanship of Digital Products”, identifies several types of student stories that go beyond personal narratives.  Here are a three communication types that Bernajean identifies that I think would be particularly applicable for middle and high school science or social studies classrooms…

Describe/Conclude: A very thorough, detailed description of a single topic culminating in an evidence -based conclusion that is well argued

Analyze/Conclude: Not only is the problem or topic described, but multiple choices or factors are analyzed for new meaning and thinking about the effects, leading to recommended conclusion

Analyze/Persuade: Similar to analyze/conclude, with the structure of the information designed to sway an audience to share the authr’s position along with an emotional or intellectual appeal for a “call to action”

from, “Beyond Words, The Craftsmanship of Digital Products” May, 2006, Learning and Leading with Technology

For this blog, I’m going to develop a storytelling example that will analyze the impact of humans on the environment and attempt to persuade my audience to take personal action to help mitigate the long term environmental effects of this human impact.

I’ll exclusively use an iPad to plan, create, and publish my story–and along the way I’ll create blog posts to describe my processes and tools.  I hope you’ll come along for the ride!

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