Friday, March 25, 2011

Getting Kids to Tell Their Stories

Throughout the time I have been blogging on this site, I have shared a number of digital storytelling tools and examples of giving students a voice with various technology tools.  In the work I do with teachers, I am amazed that many teachers say "I never thought of that" when I suggest digitally recording their students. 

Yesterday, I did a presentation on digital storytelling for a 6th-8th grade ESL class. Several students recorded poems they wrote and the class got excited when I told them that they could use the free tool Vocaroo at home. The message is that these tools are not just for the classroom and students can use them in their personal lives.

Today, a teacher told me about a monologue her students were preparing for a project on the ancient Mayan civilization.  As is customary, the students were going to present their monologues in the classroom.  Another aha moment!  I explained Vocaroo to the class and one student who had completed her monologue volunteered to record her piece.  Now the class and teacher are planning to add a digital component to their existing monologue project. 

 I am always looking for examples and articles that support giving students a voice and recently, I read an excellent blog post that I want to share. Rob Bayuk, author of TechTec, posted this on Feb. 1, 2010.  It included a teacher's guide to digital storytelling by Microsoft and information about Windows Live Movie Maker and Photostory3, two free downloadable programs.  The blog also mentions an ISTE webinar on digital storytelling that took place in January and includes a link to the archive of the webinar, something you can watch at your leisure if you want to learn more about the power of engaging kids
by allowing them to tell their stories.  Mr. Bayuk presents a number of compelling reasons to become involved with digital storytelling.

I hope you check out the blog post and think about ways you can use some tool to support storytelling, in every way possible, within your curriculum and/or classroom.  Let's engage kids and get those stories told in as many ways as possible!

Your comments are always welcome.

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The contents of my blog do not represent the philosophy or opinion of any organization and are intended to assist teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms.

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