Since digital stories are an effective way to engage students, this project asks teachers to develop digital stories that focus on their content area vocabulary. It also requires teachers to use potentially unfamiliar technology programs to help them connect with their technology-native students. Finally it invigorates asynchronous online discussion among my students as they review each other’s work.
Since many of my online college students are technology immigrants and unfamiliar with the technology that their own students are using, I developed a digital story activity that “forces” them to use video, audio, and story telling. After showing them several digital stories I have created, I ask them to choose 5 vocabulary words from their high school content area and create a story that encompasses these words. Then they must use PhotoStory to create a digital story, complete with pictures, music, and their own voice. Afterwards, they upload it to Teachertube.com and post the URL to our discussion boards, where they will receive peer reviews.
My purposes for doing this assignment are threefold: a. to immerse my students in potentially unfamiliar technology b. to build the base of Teachertube.com resources available and c. to incite online interaction among my students (Haythornthwaite, Kazmer, Robbins, & Shoemaker, 2000). Students have reported to me that they plan to use their digital story in their future classrooms. They also plan to have their students create digital stories for future students. This project has the potential to reach numerous students as it will build from year to year.
Learning effectiveness: This project follows effective pedagogy practices of modeling/demonstrating, guided practice, independent practice, and presentation. Access: free technology programs and tutorials on the Web, free upload to Teachertube.com. Faculty Satisfaction: I have convinced two other faculty members to create their own digital stories and they are considering using a similar assignment in their classes. Student satisfaction: end of the semester evaluations gave this assignment a high student rating. Some said this was the most useful assignment they had completed in their college careers.
Haythornthwaite, C., Kazmer, M. M., Robbins, J., & Shoemaker, S. (2000). Community development among distance learners: Temporal and technological dimensions. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 4 (2). Retrieved June 14, 2006 from http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol6/issue1/haythornthwaite.html.