John Pappas and Stephanie Grimaldi
Final Session Link: UDL Guidelines

ONLINE CONTENT CONSTRUCTION








“Making videos. Very cool.” ~Josh, 8th grade student

Josh’s positive sentiment is representative of a growing trend among youth who embrace video as a natural mode of communication and self-expression. The seductive nature of the video medium for students and the potential for subsequent engagement in content driven curricular outcomes, when students generate their own productions, is exponential. There is a growing need for innovative instructional practices with reading and writing that are aligned with student interests and the activities they engage in outside of the classroom (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010; Lenhart, Arafeh, Smith, & MacGill, 2008). There is also evidence that links the use of technology to improvements in curricular outcomes for learners (Kulik, 2003). Educators are familiar with the transition students go through from “learning to read and write” to “reading and writing to learn” (see Vacca & Vacca, 2010). As a result of emerging technologies prompting new avenues for teaching and learning, students are now positioned to be engaged in “creating to learn," with video and multimedia being important tools for literacy development. Connecting video production to reading and writing experiences in school taps into a student’s natural predisposition for media consumption and production. The stage is set for students to create their own content as a dynamic mode for learning in conjunction with explicit instruction provided by teachers in how to effectively locate and synthesize web-based (and print-based) information (Lawrence, McNeal, & Yildiz, 2009; Spires, Hervey, Morris, & Stelpflug, under review).

In this session, we will explore ways for students to "create to learn" through digital storytelling, with a focus on video production.

I. Activating Background Knowledge (20 minutes) In this segment, you will consider what you know about storytelling as you understand it; specifically, you will:

  1. In table groups, using the guided questions provided, discuss the use of storytelling both culturally and academically, and how storytelling has changed in the past 15 years. By the end of your discussion, create a list of the five most important words that summarize your discussion.
  2. Looking at your five most important words, what conclusions and/or generalizations can we draw about storytelling and how it has changed? What are our collective new ideas and understandings?

II. Setting the Context (10 minutes) “Artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big-picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys…meaning is the new money…stories matter.” – Daniel Pink

In this segment, we will add to, enhance, and/or clarify your understandings of storytelling and the potential of digital resources to support students’ comprehension and composition.

We'll look at:

  1. Cultural Shift of and for Storytelling
  2. Shift in Access and Production of Information
  3. Pedagogical Shift for Students and Teachers



Get inspired! Susan Conley, the founder of Portland, Maine's The Telling Room, a non-profit "storytelling lab", talks about the power of storytelling to transform students' lives here.

And here, students from North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School in Chicago enrolled in the Free Spirit Media program talk about the engagement and empowerment they feel while telling their stories through dynamic persuasive and informational videos designed to educate their peers about the images of masculinity, femininity and race in their media environment.

III. Storytelling and the New Media (10 minutes)
In this segment, we will examine new ways to tell your story or the story of another. How do these diverse ways of sharing content support our learners' ability to share their stories (personal or otherwise)? How is the nature of text and narrative changing because of new technologies?

  1. Social Media: Facebook and Twitter (Jennifer Egan's serial story "Black Box" was tweeted for an hour each night, over the course of 9 days, before being reprinted in the New Yorker magazine here.)
  2. Presentation Software: Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel A Visit From the Goon Squad features a chapter in Powerpoint. You can see it here.
  3. Blogs, Podcasts, Cell Phone Apps (Read about Japanese keitai shosetsu or cell phone novels here!)
  4. Digital Journalism: Wow! Digital and streaming video, text and still photography combine to tell the heartbreaking story of this Olympian. What can be gained from telling her story this way? Here, the New York Times follows suit, embedding video links and samples of the alluded to material in this article about harassment in the world of online gaming.
  5. Interactive narratives and poems, augmented reality books, hyperlinked narratives, and non-linear narratives; for example, look at this non-linear documentary exploration of life in the California Prison System (language advisory) and Edward Picot's interactive page for Wallace Stevens' poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird". Also, here is a link to an augmented reality book of poems entitled Between the Page and Screen by Christian Bok. Note how the visual design of the animated text can enhance, amplify or recontextualize the meaning of the words in the poems. Another example can be found in this version of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Watch here to see a video of editor David Granger demonstrating Esquire magazine's augmented reality issue from December, 2009. Ready to experiment with AR in an educational context? Check out these tools here!
  6. Video games: What narrative possibilities are presented by gaming technology? You can watch a brief presentation about video games and the stories they tell here. Here's another great link about video games, storytelling and education. How might students be able to access texts or experiences through the application of game theory? Here is a trailer for a game based on Thoreau's Walden from the Game Innovations Lab at the University of Southern California. What would other books or experiences look like as games? What are the rules of the book's world? What would you need to do to score the maximum amount of points in a game version of this book/play/poem/experiment/activity? What are your obstacles/enemies? How can students write, direct and produce a trailer for a game that would persuade a gaming company executive to green-light the production of the game? Also, can we use video games to teach principles of aesthetics, art and photography?
  7. Transmedia: Stories that evolve over multiple platforms or types of media. Remember Thomas Dolby? He continues to blind us with science and technology by creating an interactive social networking website and video game to accompany and expand his 2011 album "A Map of the Floating City". (For more examples, look at section IX. Additional Resourcesat the bottom of this page.)
  8. Animoto or Xtranormal movies/ “plays”: See VIII. Extending Learning and Application Across Digital Tools for more details.
  9. Comic Makers: Pixton
  10. Infographics: How do you best present graphical information in a creative and engaging way that is consistent with the tenets of digital storytelling? Try here and here for some examples that will get kids thinking about how to present information of all types and complexities.
  11. Digital Storytelling with Video, in Plain English

IV. Effective Digital Storytelling(5 minutes)
In this segment, we will look at the elements of effective digital storytelling and think about the best ways to assess student work.
What are the elements of effective Digital Storytelling?

  1. Point of view
  2. Dramatic questions
  3. Emotional content
  4. Voice
  5. Soundtrack
  6. Economy
  7. Pacing


While the assessment of your students' work might vary because of grade level, helping your students discover what makes an engaging and effective digital narrative prior to their creating one is critical. Check out this great resource from Dr. Gail Mathews-DeNatale for tips on assessing student work, sample rubrics and other information about using digital storytelling in any content area!

V. Activity (60 minutes)In this segment, you will "create to learn" by making your own digital story.
How can we use digital storytelling to support student achievement within the new MA ELA and Literacy Framework? How can digital storytelling help teach explanatory and persuasive writing?
Step One:
Using Flipcams or the cameras in your iPads or laptops, write and film a 2 minute persuasive or explanatory video. Choose from below:


  1. Write and film a video for an audience of teachers convincing them of the benefits of teaching digital storytelling in their classrooms.
  2. Write and film a video for an audience of administrators convincing them of the need to include in their budget money for a proposed digital storytelling lab.

Here are some FLIP camera directions and tips.

In your group, each member selects a role to play during the activity:

  • Facilitator - Guide the group to complete the process and collaboratively answer the question within the designated time frame.
  • Time Keeper - Keep the group on schedule.
  • Provocateur - Help provoke the group to think deeply about what they are learning.
  • Scriptwriter - Take the lead in creating the group's constructed response.
  • Videographer - Take the lead in directing/recording the group's two-minute video response.
  • Researcher - Take the lead in finding some facts to support your response and check for copyright and fair use.

Step Two:
With support and guidance from facilitators, begin the editing process of your short video using iMovie, Movie Maker, or other video editing software. (Check out this great tutorial on iMovie by Wesley Fryer. It will get you up and running in no time.)
Step Three:
Save your video, post to your YouTube channel and share the link here or email to: newliteracies@lpvec.org

If you are tweeting, make sure you tweet a link so others can enjoy your video! (The institute's hashtag is: #MNLI12.)

Step Four:
Reflect with your group on your learning experience. What were you most excited about? What was difficult for you? What will excite your students? How will they benefit from their digital storytelling experience? What problems can you foresee? How can you overcome them?

Homework: If you are not finished editing, or would still like some more time to explore the editing process, do so tonight, and find John or Stephanie tomorrow. We'll store your videos on a flash drive and post them on the wiki!

VI. Reflection (10 minutes)In this segment we will reflect upon our experience and think about how we might use digital storytelling in our classrooms.
What did you learn? What are you still thinking about? How can you use digital storytelling to teach effective writing, research and problem solving skills?

VII. Wrap Up (5 minutes)In this segment, we will reinforce your understanding of digital storytelling by looking at a program where students used digital storytelling to respond to a novel by Neil Gaiman.

Digital Storytelling in the Classroom
(View student work from the Neverwhere project featured in the above video at their Tumblr site here!)
VIII. Extending Learning and Application Across Digital Tools
In this segment you may work with a partner to create a content related short video using__Animoto__ (Animoto automatically produces well-orchestrated, unique pieces from your photos, video clips and music) or Xtranormal.
Step 1:
Go to__Animoto__ or Xtranormal and register.
Step 2:
Here is an example of a content clip.

Step 3:
With a partner(s) create a 30 second video related to academic content that you teach. You can use Flickr Commons (__www.flickr.com/commons__) to find photos with no copyright restrictions for your video. Some suggestions for content clips are:


  • Book Trailer
  • Public Service Announcement or short documentary film
  • Literary Elements
  • Grammar Mini Lesson
  • Dramatize a poem
  • Favorite scene from a book, play, or movie
  • Story Remix
  • Game Trailer
  • Document an event, field trip
  • Talk show or demonstration
  • Other ideas?

Step 4:
Reflect with your partner on how you can use this type of exercise for students to view and/or produce academic content.

Google Custom Search Stories Click Here

IX. Additional Resources

Harry Potter -- A Transmedia Experience
Books

Harry_Potter_books.jpg
Website

Harry Potter Website
Parodies





Fan Fiction (Transformation of Harry Potter stories into original fiction pieces)

Harry Potter Fan Fiction

Music

Harry and the Potters Website


Harry and the Potters perform "Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock" live

Wizard Rock!


Online Communities
Harry Potter Role Playing
Harry Potter Fan Chat

Physical Experience
Universal Studios


Other resources:

Check out these eight great places to make and edit videos in the cloud!
Here's a great site with resources to take you from theory to assessment from the folks at the University of Houston.
Google Search Stories Search Stories

Storybird This site supplies the artwork, you add the words.
Learn to code in quick, easy and engaging lessons! These lessons are non-intimidating, and fun. Start here with Code Academy!


Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/
Associate steps of your stories with locations on a map. Editing each one allows annotation of locations with mages (e.g. using links from flickr), and other rich text features. Now they provide cut and paste code (via the "Link to this Page") so you can embed the maps in any web page. Examples: America's Highway: Orak Histories of Route 66 and Whirligig Lit Trip
MANew Lit 2010 Content Collaboration Page: __**http://newlitinstitute2010.wikispaces.com/Digital%20Video**__

Greg McVerry's Resource Page: https://sites.google.com/site/mcverrydigitalstorytelling/home/pedagogy

Common Craft and Public Domain Sites (Resources cited from Free Technology for Teachers -a fabulous resource!)
Google Advanced Search, Morgue File, Wylio, Animal Photos, and Yahoo Images (similar to Google's Advanced search)
Free Digital Books/Texts: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

X. Connections to College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards from new MA ELA and Literacy Framework by Section

Section I.:
Reading


  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Speaking and Listening

  • Comprehension and Collaboration
2: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
3: Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Section II.:
Reading

  • Craft and Structure
4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Writing

  • Production and Distribution of Writing
6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
8: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
Speaking and Listening

  • Comprehension and Collaboration
2: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
3: Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Language

  • Knowledge of Language
3: Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in a different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

Section III.:
Reading

  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Writing

  • Production and Distribution of Writing
6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
8: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
Speaking and Listening

  • Comprehension and Collaboration
2: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Language

  • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
5: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Section IV.:
Reading

  • Craft and Structure
4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
8: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Speaking and Listening

  • Comprehension and Collaboration
3: Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Section V.:
Writing

  • Comprehension and Collaboration
1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

  • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

XI. Required Reading:


Spires, H., Hervey, L., Morris, G., & Stelpflug, C. (In press). Energizing project based inquiry: Middle grade students read, write and create videos.pdf. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

Young, C. A., Long, S., & Myers, J. (2010). Editorial: Enhancing english language arts education with digital video. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 10(1). from http://www.citejournal.org/vol10/iss1/languagearts/article1.cfm


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