Exploring Digital Storytelling
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Exploring Digital Storytelling1Have a go!Practical Exercise:
Split the group into pairs.Lay out the picture set on the tableAsk the group to choose a maximum of 4 pictures which they are then going to use to help tell a story of their own creation in less than a minute.
Aims:Invite the group to use their creativityEstablish that telling stories is something we all recogniseTelling stories is not easyVisual element is important to stories.Get the group involved and active right from the start.2AgendaThe power of StoriesDigital StorytellingBreakTools and TechniquesCapturing the processLunchPractical considerationsFinding MaterialsBreakAssessmentFinal Activity
3The Power of StoriesThis section looks at the properties of stories and the value they offer in complementing more traditional forms of communication in education (essays, dissertations, journal articles, presentations etc)4Where do you find stories?Ask: In everyday circumstances (for you), where do you come across stories?
Suggestions:PressTVFilmsBooksReading childrens bedtime storiesConversations
Perhaps:Research findingsAcademic journalsThese have elements of story to them but are largely about information, rather than narrative.
Main message: stories are ubiquitous, a form of imparting information we are all familiar with.
5StoriesStories are about how we experience things and not about how things actually are.
We remember stories with ease and struggle to make sense of abstractly presented facts and figuresDr Chris McKillop (2004)Chris McKillop is an academic from Robert Gordon University and has written a number of papers and conference presentations on storytelling and assessment.6StoriesNarrative (strong vs weak)MeaningSharedEmotional aspect
Stories generally have these elements:
Narrativehttp://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&defl=en&q=define:narrative&sa=X&ei=xRZHTJnLGJKI0wSn4NC5BA&ved=0CBgQkAEa message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of eventsStrong narrative - where the elements of a story are told in a clear linear format. You can identify structure such as beginning, middle, conclusion. Example Toy Story, Star Wars, Spartacus etcWeak narrative where the elements of the story are presented in a less coherent format. The reader/viewer has more responsibility for adding their own narrative structure to what they see/hear/read. Example: walking round an art gallery where the exhibits are on a particular theme.
MeaningSuccessful stories offer have a layer of meaning beyond the immediate narrative. This could be a moral, using a story as a form of analogy; basically pointing to a meta-narrative through the original story.
SharedStorytelling is a social activity. The point is not just to write the story but communicate it to others. As such, considerations of audience are important and will influence an authors choice of form (film, poem, short story, novel, spoken etc),language, metaphor or other media.
Emotional aspectNot always a comfortable issue in academic circles where objectivity and dispassionate debate are sometimes valued over more creative and emotive media. Eliciting emotions is an important part of storytelling and is crucial in making the message memorable. Getting it right requires a good understanding of language, representation and narrative. For digital storytelling, it also requires a level of media literacy.7Creating storiesTricks for creating narrative:
OpeningTriggerDevelopmentClimaxResolutionTricks for creating narratives
OK to use emotion, its how a viewer will engage more with your storyThink about the structure of your favourite movie. Tend to follow a pattern. (NOTE: This is for stories with a strong narrative, not all digital stories will adhere to this doing this to get the idea of having some sort of structure. Helps us be creative)
Stage 1: Opening- setting up the story. Usually, things are happening as normal
Stage 2: Trigger- something happens to throw the situation into turmoil, creating tension. Usually something from outside.
Stage 3: Development- This is an account of the struggle to come to terms with the new situation. There may be various stages to this, obstacles to overcome, discoveries to make etc.
Stage 4: Climax- The culmination of all the events. Usually a final hurdle, bigger than all the others. Usually includes an element of self-discovery or change.
Stage 5: Resolution- a new normal is established.
Activity 10 mins
Suggest the plots of some famous films:Star WarsTitanicToy StoryShrekSpartacusBen HurGone with the Wind
In pairs sketch out how these stories fit into the structure. Hint it helps to focus on at least one of the main characters to see it from their perspective.
Now create a story of a mundane task using this structureMaking a coffeeChairing a meetingBuying a sandwichClimbing the stairs
You have creative license feel free to fictionalise
In a nutshell, stories are at their most engaging when you have a simple structure. Think: Situation 1 (normal), Turmoil (making discoveries, overcoming challenges), Situation 2 (new normal). They can be very subtle. Similar to model of thesis-antithesis-synthesis.
For digital storytelling:Think about taking an emotional/affective slant on somethingFocus on an individual or personalitiesBe creative does it have to be true. Fine line between true and interpretation etc8Digital StorytellingWe will return to look at other issues of storytelling9Digital StorytellingAmalgamation of digital media to tell a story
Not actually about digital
Digital storytelling is the art and craft of exploring different media and software applications to communicate stories in new and powerful ways using digital mediaMcLellan, H (2006) Digital Storytelling in Higher Education, Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 19 (1) 65-79
Digital Storytelling is not new; it is simply an adaptation of the storytelling tradition that has existed for more than 6,000 years.Abrahamson, C.E. (1998) Storytelling as a pedagogical tool in higher education. Education, 118 (3), 440-51
The digital aspect is the least important part of the process. The emphasis on digital storytelling has to be on the story itself, rather than the technology.Gravestock P and Jenkins M (2009) Digital Storytelling and its Pedagogical Imapct, in Mayes, T et al. (ed.) Transforming Higher Education through Technology Enhanced Learning, York, HEA, 249-264
Story without digital works, but digital without story doesnt. Ohler (2008) Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: new media pathways to literacy, learning and creativity, Thousand Oaks, CA; Corwin Press10Uses for StorytellingEducationPublicity and MarketingPublic EngagementPersonal ReflectionRecreation11Teaching and LearningPedagogyEngagementInclusionPlanningCollaborationReflectionHow DS can impact on pedagogy
PedagogyHigher learning skills (think Blooms taxonomy, understanding and application etc)
Engagement If you take the argument from before about storytelling being a universally accessible form then using it as part of T & L is likely to be something that a large number of your students can engage with. Not being widespread practice means there is a novelty aspect, a chance for students to get involved in something new, sweetening the pill etc There are possibilities for using DS as a collaborative activity Younger students will have grown up in a web 2.0 world where they may me already fluent in the use of digital creative tools. DS allows them to make more use of that skill as part of their learning.
Inclusion DS emphasises skills other than writing and on alternative forms of expression. For those with writing difficulties (e.g. dyslexia) this may give them an opportunity to express their learning in a more appropriate way
PlanningThe finished article of DS is only part of the picture. A large amount of pre-production has to go into producing a piece of DS including: Research & reading Scripting Collecting media Storyboarding Rough cutsThe research/reading phase may not be too dissimilar for that of a more formal piece of writing like an essay. Students will still need to reference their work. They could also be required to make justifications for choice of media, style, what has been included/excluded from the finished product.As well see later, capturing this process can provide the teaching staff with material that is easier to assess than a short piece of video.It also turns the process into a cognitive/contructive exercise rather than an instinctive one.
CollaborationAs mentioned above, this could be a collaborative exercise, running along the same lines as projects you are currently doing. Students will still need to find strategies for working together, dividing roles, discussing issues, problem-solving etc.Using tools like wikis, discussion forums, Google Docs etc this can also be carried out by students studying via distance learning.
ReflectionEncourage students to reflect on the process and document how they went about performing the task, dealing with problems, justified the choices they made etc. This effectively creates a story of the story, a bit like a directors commentary on a DVD.This can be linked to PDP activities, ongoing blogging, eportfolio work.Again, this gives you something to assess beyond the media production.
12ExamplesLiterature StudiesScienceMedicineMathematicsHumanitiesReflective LearningResearch and Projects
How you might use Digital Storytelling in different subjects/situations?
Exercise in groups brainstorm ideas of how you might use digital storytelling in these areas