Telling stories is the oldest form of teaching and common to every world culture. Educators now have the possibility to conveniently pair it with technology. It may sound convincing, but what does this mean exactly?
Digital storytelling is a multifaceted practice that is hands-on and interactive, combining art, technology, and education into one stimulating piece of work. It may help teachers integrate material and reach their study group, or allow students to develop multiliteracy skills. It’s possible to combine tradition with creativity by means of text, images, sound, voice, and why not animation?
And it’s not about being tech-savvy, but rather enhancing classroom culture and engaging students in a dynamic educational activity. Here are some steps for creating a digital storytelling project with an online editor such as Wideo.
Firstly, if you aim to get students to create a video, establishing a clear assignment timeline works best to get tasks completed.
- Brainstorming – students and teachers can work in teams to develop and present ideas with others in the class based on the selected topic.
- Scripting & Story-boarding: Students can author a 200-300 word script that will become the audio for their stories. On Wideo, you can upload your recorded voice-overs and include previously established soundtracks. Feedback from teachers or peers is essential at this stage! Alternatively, you may want to ask students to create storyboards using a comic strip format to “see” and plan how the video will turn out.
- Editing: This is the fun part! Upload or choose objects, colors, backgrounds to tell the chosen story. You can even add scanned images, or selected images that result from student research. Animate them with preset animations or our in/out effects. Remember, there’s a selection of templates that are designed to make editing easier on Wideo and can be adjusted to any need or assignment.
- Fine Tuning: Add transitions between slides, titles, extra text, or even credits.
- Sharing: It’s important to credit the work of your students and present the results with the class. With Wideo, online editing will save directly to the browser, and you can download the video file directly to your computer, which is significantly “lighter” than normal video files. Alternatively, you can upload your videos to YouTube and share online.
Of course, teachers may choose to create their own videos for younger classes with less developed technology abilities. The advantage of digital storytelling is that it can easily be adapted to any school level K-12 and become subject-specific. Science, Arts, Humanities, or even foreign language topics can be easily adapted to visuals. And it will promote students to inquire, research, wonder, and think critically. This article also explains how storytelling has such a powerful possibility to activate our minds.
Need some starter ideas? Here are some pointers for you to make as an educator or ask your students to create:
- Book summaries, poems, short stories – incite creative writing for older students based on a subject
- Recreate old tales or Aesop fables
- Create a historic event timeline or a relevant World Issue
- Simulate a story, interview or conversation
- Make Grammar lessons interactive
- Explain the Respiratory or Circulatory System in moving images
Digital Storytelling is not only a powerful technology tool to motivate your students, it’s also at your fingertips. Why wait? Get started today!
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