Posted in Education Technology

Digital Storytelling Assignment Planning

I’m not currently teaching at the moment, but digital storytelling would be an excellent assignment for my writing students. Typically, they have 4 major writing compositions to complete for the course and the last one they have to present on. I’m pretty open on how they present final compositions whether they do shared readings, performances, or power point, but digital storytelling will be a more precise way they can express their ideas (and easier for me to set up a rubric to grade since they are completing the same type of assignment).

I teach adult students in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses in the advanced levels, before they enter degree-seeking programs. The purpose of the course is to build up the academic writing skills for English Language Learners before they take Composition 101 courses. The majority of the students are international, so with their writing there are diverse perspectives and ideas and I’m sure it will be a similar result in digital storytelling. To begin the project, the students would use their initial composition as their guide to build a storyboard and then choose which tools they would like to use to create their story. This assignment can push students to be more creative and expand their original ideas and not only provide a composition for their portfolio, but also a visual representation as well. Usually, my students are resourceful and technology friendly, but some sites I may suggest to get started include:

Xtranormal: create animated video clips

Animoto: video slideshow creator

Make Belief Comix comic creator

Bookr :create a book using creative commons pictures from Flickr

Visual.ly: create infographics

At this point, I’m considering using digital storytelling just for the final assignment, but should I use for more or at least give the option to?

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2 thoughts on “Digital Storytelling Assignment Planning

  1. I think that it would be a great alternative for our students to be able to use as a learning tool. I have found that students prefer to do alternative assignments or projects over paperwork any day. I also like the links you provided, especially the comic book one! My students will really enjoy these. They have also liked to make their own commercials and videos, mostly with the videos on their phones. I would like to hear how your students enjoy their project!

  2. Since pictures are really universal, meaning someone throwing a ball is very clear in a picture opposed to someone trying to speak it in a different language, so this seems to be a good fit with what you are doing. I think that you have good ideas and you should use smaller assignments with the technology before you give them a big one. Use to be we would, and I still do make them, draw cartoons but you have a great site with Make Belief Comix and others so stretch them a little. I like also that they can sort of figure the stuff out on their own making it an even better learning experience. That is one thing that I like about this course is that we are having to figure out the technology ourselves which gives us some experience. I will use your links in my class and you should put them on our Diigo page.

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