Resources and Reflections

Monday, April 14, 2008

DST: Perform your writing..but how?

"The ability to create content, distribute content, and create a competitive voice that can be heard is an essential 21st Century literacy that needs to be developed in students." A must read: http://strengthofweakties.org/ or the updated verison http://strengthofweakties.org/?p=280

But why not teach/infuse Social networks, blogs, forums and instant messaging environments?

Perform your writing!!

I will create a DST: Digital Story Telling unit. Read: http://newtools.pbwiki.com/dst2 and use Photostory 3.

http://edblasting.wikispaces.com/Digital+Story+Telling to view rough draft of developing the unit.

So I took on a DST unit hoping that this would be an end of year project that would invoke an intrinsic motivator when eveything else this time of year is a distraction. I mean I didn't assign a research paper on a historical person or event that meant nothing to a 21st century student. And the project was still difficult like any project can be. I wondered since this was a project about themselves how hard could it be.

Barriers to understaning; students had a hard time using images for a story with a theme, purpose and point of view - as opposed to a random collection of photos posted in a social network meant to trivialize or embellish their existance.

Students are neither computer savvy nor visually literate as we may think they are. I think they use technology like an adolescent would - to serve their social experience. Sooo... when it comes to visual literacy students are used to aggregating photos aimlessly and recklessly in a way that communicates random embellishments. it's eself-serving. Think about it, posting your images of yourself at a party is self-aggrandizing, egotistical ...and totally appropriate (as far as a developing mind is concerned) for an adolescent. But it shows little understanding of visual literacy principles.

Anyway, using their images to showcase a theme about themselves has been excruciatingly difficult...as abstract as some math concepts. Maybe ppt is to blame? I admit I have considered backing off and asking students to disregard all DST criteria. But we're not creating a scrapbook...or a social networking page.

After three weeks and mid-project conferences into the DST project I see glimpses of the project coming togehter - signs of students internalizing their story, emotion, mood, and metaphor appearing. I see less randomizing but see incomplete 'stories'. I am unsure how music, text, images, and narration will coalesce -but then again, I am unsure how even teach this in a short 5 week unit??????? We have viewed many DST samples and discussed them. I wonder how well a student can recognize theme and plot in a movie...or a book?


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