The Big Picture of Digital Storytelling

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I’ve noticed a lot of connections between last week’s topic, blogging, and this week’s topic, digital storytelling. Both seem to champion the value in giving students (or just people in general) an outlet for their voice, but also a legitimate and relevant format to share their ideas in.

I’m not a 100% proponent of digitization; I believe that there some things that technology can do that older technologies can’t, but there are also some things that should be left as they are. With that said, blogging and digital storytelling offer students/people a public way to share their voice with the world and I think that is the most inspiring thing I’ve learned about both of these technologies. The power to publish is no longer held by an elite few. It is instead in the hands of the students and the people who have valuable things to say and share with the world. I think this democratization is present in social media as well. Social media is often seen as frivolous, and it can be, but it can also be a way for a person to find the things they like and create a space for just those things that may attract others with similar interests.

A bulletin board in a local coffee shop may do something similar, by giving people a place to advertise what they’re doing and attract other interested people, but at a much slower pace.

For example, after watching the ‘What is Digital Storytelling?’ this week, I watched Joe Lambert’s Putting Purpose to Pixels TED Talk. This led me over to Emily Bailin’s TED Talk, The Power of Digital Storytelling.

In the first few minutes of Emily’s talk, I had already learned so much about her and what she stands for and what she’s interested in. Enough to know that I want to learn more about her, share in her digital storytelling mission and be her friend if the opportunity presented itself.  She really demonstrates, first hand, the power of digital storytelling. And, as I mentioned above, some of that power is in the hands of the person telling the story, but some power is also given to the viewer/consumer, who has the power to learn about someone new and reach out to them via social media.

So, while blogging and digital storytelling are amazing tools to get students reflecting and creating, they need to know why those things are so valuable. They need to know that these types of assignments really are things that will changes their lives outside of the classroom if they choose to use them. I’m really reiterating what I wrote about last week, but for some reason my mind keeps getting stuck on the idea of students being given the wonderful opportunity to learn in different ways, like digital storytelling, but missing out on the power and meaning in it because no one thought to show them that bigger picture.

For my digital storytelling project, I am thinking of using the topic of creating art. I found these examples which gave me some great ideas.

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