Kelsi's Insight on Education

Digital Storytelling

Posted on: August 8, 2010

When I first heard the term ‘Digital Storytelling’, I thought only of an elementary school classroom. Looking back now, I (ignorantly) associated ‘storytelling’ with a ‘story time’. Story time, when I was in Kindergarten, was when we welcomed a guest reader, (who usually dressed up in character) once a week,and listened to them read a story. Whoa, digital storytelling is nothing close to what I originally envisioned in my head! This past week, exploring the topic of digital storytelling has opened up many different ideas on ways I could incorporate this into the English classroom.

In an earlier post, I talked about meeting students half-way (with technology). Digital Storytelling is yet another way to meet students in the middle. It allows students to show their artistic and creative side, which in turn, enhances what they are learning about. Last year, my students completed a variety of writing assignments. Journal entries, five paragraph essays, personal narratives about philanthropy/helping others, Utopian society, etc. I am anxious to include a digital storytelling assignment in place of one of these traditional writing assignments.

As I am anxious about incorporating a digital storytelling assignment into my classroom, I am also thinking ahead to the assessment. Though I am a firm believer in hands-on projects working with technology and project-based learning, it is difficult for me to come up with a rubric for the evaluation of the projects. I find it hard to be vague enough to allow room for creativity, but concise and detailed enough that the objectives and state standards are met. When I was exploring more about digital storytelling, specifically in the English classroom, I came across a great website. This website has an extensive definition on what digital storytelling is and great examples, too. Along with the definition and examples, the website also has a tab titled, “Evaluate”. This tab gives great insight on ways to evaluate student’s digital storytelling projects. It links to a sample rubric, explains the benefit of Student/Peer Evaluation and gives information on creating your own rubric.  The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling.

The sample rubric linked on the website listed above is actually taken from another really cool resource. I am planning on using this website often and sharing with others, too. Rubistar. How do you plan on using digital storytelling in the classroom? What or who do you turn to, to create rubrics for these projects?


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