Kat’s Road Trip Reflection

One journey has ended and another begins.  As our “Digital Storytelling” road trip winds up this week, we student travelers will transition from knowledge acquirers to knowledge imparters.

What have I learned that I can pass along?

  1. Digital storytelling is a much bigger “thing” than I knew. There are photo stories, textual stories, video stories, and stories that are a combination of all of these; there are linear stories and nonlinear stories; there are interactive stories and static stories.
  2. There are many AWESOME tools out there to tell stories with.  What Web 2.0?  Some of these are Web 5.0!  I really enjoyed learning about Sway and Adobe Spark.  These were my favorite.
  3. Something I know about myself as a teacher is that I am not a very good listener.  I grew up in a household with teacher-parents.  My dad’s structured teacher-directed classroom had a big influence on me.  For the past couple of years I have been trying to learn to be a better listener/questioner.  Kendell is a good questioner; she asks the right questions and I am aware of training myself to do the same. (The funny thing is, I have never really liked answering those deep questions.  They make me uncomfortable and I have to work so hard to come up with the answers.  However, I know that after being asked those questions is when I have done the most learning.  It’s a skill, honestly.)
  4. Finally, I learned to let something sit for a minute.  I like to finish something and check off the box, but I learned that sometimes something needs to sit.  I need to resist the impulse to press send, but instead reread, question, rewrite, and repeat.  It was a growing experience for me, and I really like the end result.

How can I pass along what I have learned?

Now I know how to encourage my writing students to think outside of the box for delivering required content.  As a matter of fact, I did that today.  In my 10th-grade College Prep Composition class, we are reading Night and also writing personal narratives.  I was in the process of cutting them loose to work independently and suggesting they start their outlines when I thought of Evernote’s short story planning template.  So, I showed them the storyboard I made up for my foot selfie story.  Then, I showed them my foot selfie story.  Then, someone asked if they could use Spark…

Why Not?!

I just had to think it over for a minute.  “Okay, sure.  Absolutely.  Here’s how we’ll do it…”  Now there’s some personalized, adaptive, interactive, differentiated (insert jargon-y educationally hip word here) learning.  I can totally see offering different “paths to learning” by using some of the tools I learned with this course.  Honestly, I wish I could use social media – like Slack. That would be cool too.

I am pleased that I took this course and I think I knew I would enjoy it.  I really did put a lot of effort into the work I created and spent quite a few hours on those projects.  However, I love the end results and I get to keep them!  Not only to I get to keep my stories, but I get to keep the knowledge I gained through the opening of my mind to new possibilities in storytelling.

PS… Thanks for the opportunity to write something “low-key.”  It is fun to have permission to be informal.

One Comment

  1. Kendell Newman

    I love hearing about your responsive teaching — sounds like you’re building great energy around storytelling for your students! I also love hearing that you’re thinking more about listening, questioning, and revision — all important elements of storytelling!

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