Digital storytelling is not History

After completing this course, I am incredibly excited to use some of the tools and skills that I have learned in my classroom. One of the biggest challenges I have with implementing a new online tool in my class is that I often don’t have a lot of extra time to teach the students how to use the tools. What I have learned from this digital storytelling class is that there are a variety of different apps and online resources that I can adapt into my classroom without having to take too much instructional time to teach students how to use them.

Each student in the Kodiak High School is provided with an iPad to use during the school year. With each of my students having access to this type of technology, I have a few fun ideas on how to incorporate digital storytelling into my classes.  We have quite a few kids that are coast guard, as well as local students. I enjoyed the use of maps at the beginning of the course. I think that a good way to use it in class would to use it as a way for students to tell us a little bit about themselves as well as form connections with each other. I would ask students to each pin on our classroom google maps a description and photo of a place they have traveled to or want to visit. See if students can make connections between the different locations. They would include a short description with a picture. We could also track our progress throughout U.S. History using GoogleMaps as a timeline. During each period, we would pin the essential topics we cover or information. Individual students or groups would be responsible for writing and adding pictures to the pins to give ownership to the entire class.

Another way I have been thinking about adopting digital storytelling would be having each student be assigned one the different historical person that we discuss each unit. They would tell a story about the person they are assigned and present it to the class. I’m thinking adobe spark and clips are going to be my go to video making resources I am going to suggest to students to use. I need to get comfortable using them on the iPad. Once I can do that I think it would be easy to do mini how-to lessons on how to use both clips and adobe spark without taking up to much instructional time.

To end each of our units in U.S. History each of my students complete an essay, project or presentation. I have wanted to compile their work in some way so that they would leave U.S. History with a physical representation of their learning. It is something that I have wanted to do, but have never had the opportunity or time to do in my classes. It seemed like a daunting task to organize, keep track of and not add unnecessary waste if students didn’t end up valuing their work.  A way to save paper and easily compile their work would be having students create a digital copy in the form of an eBook. My students would have a semester or year-long time period to create the project that would aim at creating a digital story of their U.S. History experience.

Each unit I would ask my students to use a different tool that they will upload to their eBook. I would grade them each unit as well as the entire book as a whole. I like the idea of using an eBook as it allows students to incorporate different types of media as well as quickly compiles their work for access now and in the future. I love that it provides for students to leave the class with a physical representation of their work for the semester or year. I want the students to have the opportunity to be creative as they create and produce their projects, but I also want to push them and myself to start using new digital tools in class.

Students would be given a prompt for their assignment and time in class to create their project during each unit. At the end of the unit students would receive a grade on the portion of the eBook that they were tasked to complete. At the end of the semester or year when the students finish the eBook, it would then receive a final grade. This assignment would allow my students to be digital storytellers for American History. Students could even be tasked to do free write mini stories reflecting the time period that we are studying. The possibilities are endless, and I am excited to see if I can get the details of the project figured out and a rough prototype so I can implement it next school year! Another way for me to incorporate digital storytelling I thought would be from students creating a story out of their current health issue. Each student would create a digital account informing on the current health issue that they research for that semester.

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