This week one of our two assignments was to create a digital story. Digital storytelling is a great way to express yourself or a subject where you are not simply confined to words. In class we were shown a tool, Google Search Stories. This tool allows you to create a story using a variety of Google’s searches. It is a simple tool to use and does an effective job of combining the text you type in with images, news, maps, blogs, products, books and web search results. You can also add music to your story and then upload it to YouTube to be shared with others. I think this a great story creator that almost anyone could use and you can create a story that is personal to you or about anything you can search for. The only thing I would like to see improved is that you could refine your search results to be more specific, for example showing a certain image or result as opposed to many.
I am a fan of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) Soccer and decided to create a quick video highlighting their latest triumph on their journey to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
I also wanted to take a look at another story telling tool called Dipity which allows you to create a timeline. This timeline could be about a specific person or could follow a series of events related to one topic. I really see the potential of using this tool in the classroom to track a historical event in Social Studies, to chart experiment results in Science or to track a sports teams’ results throughout the season. I also think students could make their own timelines about themselves as a way to introduce who they are to the class or they could track their learning through out the school year. There are so many possibilities for timelines in the classroom. I enjoyed this story telling tool and found it hard to narrow down what I put on my timeline as you can add so many points. It is great that you can combine a photo, a date, a map location, and text explaining the point on the timeline if you wish, or you could keep it simple and add just a photo or date for example.
Here is a short timeline about some important times that have happened so far in my life. Some of the pictures have information if you click on the photo, and some also have an address. You can zoom in on the timeline, and to see the “+” on the timeline (they are more events), just click on them.
Overall, I think digital story telling is a great teaching and learning tool that can benefit students and teachers. Teachers can engage their students in interactive and multimedia stories as opposed to traditional books. Students are able to create a their own stories using many different tools that are available – such as the two I have listed, as well as various comic creators and photo editors. Students take a hands on, interactive role in their learning and in creating a digital story. They are learning how to not only write a story (which may not be a traditional narrative) but to use technology as well. And, the best part of stories is being able to share them with others, and with web-based digital story tools, they can easily be shared with classmates, family members and more.