Please Tell Me A Story!

One Tuesday night I had the privilege in hearing Alan Levine @cogdog talking to my Social Media class about Digital Storytelling.  His presentation was so engaging and after the class was over I couldn’t help but, reminisce to my favourite memories and stories…

Growing up telling stories was always a huge part of my family’s routines and traditions.  One of my parents would always read or tell me a bedtime story every night.  I always looked forward to this time! It was fun to use your imagine while meeting new characters and going on adventures in new places.

bedtime story

  Photo Credit: sean dreilinger via Compfight cc

Growing up we also had another very important tradition.  Damon and I both have discussed that when we have children one day of our own that we will continue to carry on this tradition with our family.  Everyday during supper time it was family time.  It was a time when the television was turned off (now cellphones are left in another room) and we as a family would tell each other about our day.  I enjoyed listening to what my brother and sister did at school and how their activities were going.  I loved hearing my parents stories about work!  My favourite stories were when my parents would tell us about when they were growing up.  It was interesting to know what school was like for them and learning about what they did when they were young.  I still remember my mom and dad telling me about buying a candy for only a penny! I only knew those candies as five cent candies.  As a young girl I was so shocked with how many things had changed since they were young.  Now in Canada they do not make pennies anymore! I am looking forward to one day when my own children are shocked when they learn about how many things has changed since I was a little girl.

supper time conversations

Photo Credit: OakleyOriginals via Compfight cc

My favourite family tradition growing up is going to the lake! (We still carry out this tradition every year!)  During the day we would have a blast boating, tubing, kneeing boarding, wakeboarding, and swimming at our beach in White Bear.  Our home away from home!!  After supper almost every night (as long as it wasn’t raining) we would go outside and have a campfire.  Again the evening was filled with reminiscing about family adventures and what we did when we were younger.  We also had fun telling our own make believe stories!  Yeah for campfire stories! It was even more fun when my extended family would come down to the lake.  When my one aunt is at the lake she would often led us into singing campfire songs! For example you could hear us jamming out to Row Row Row Your Boat often in a round.  Even this year one night we broke out singing many great songs around the fire.  So much fun and great family memories!

campfire

Photo Credit: Jim Larrison via Compfight cc

roasting marshmellows

   Photo Credit: WesTheYeTi via Compfight cc

What family traditions do you have?  Do you tell stories with your family? 

Now getting back to Alan’s presentation on Digital Storytelling.  His presentation pointed out the value in using storytelling in the classroom and how it could be done through using technology.  He did point out to our class that the story is more important than the tool.  That really stood out in my head!  Sometimes I worry more about if I am using the correct tool when I need to keep focusing on the story/lesson with my class.  Good storytellers hook their audience and engage them through their excitement.  I think that is one reason why I love hearing my family’s stories!  Educators can engage their students in the classroom through adding enthusiasm to their lessons, allowing their students to make connections to what they are learning about, and through storytelling.  When I was reading my fellow classmates blogs.  I really enjoyed reading Danielle’s (@deedegs) blog post “Don’t Like It? Flip It?”  I am very happy that my teachers had more enthusiasm than the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  This video proves the importance of engaging students!

I agree with my classmate Cortney (@cortney2894) that “Throughout history storytelling has been an important part of the human experience.”  Storytelling is a part of my everyday life.  My students and I tell stories in the classroom, my colleagues share stories in the staffroom, I can read stories online or in the newspaper, watch stories on the television, Damon and I talk about our work day, and I call or Facetime with my family to share what happened in our day.  In Cortney’s blog she also discussed reading her students blogs.  My students are beginning to share their learning with others through blogging, but I could relate to Cortney discussing that she has “enjoyed the engagement that my students and I have experienced in there narrations of their learning in their blogs.”  My students and I have had so much fun exploring our blog entries and reading other classroom blogs!  I am looking forward to seeing my students continued growth with blogging!

During the class I learned about some neat tools.  One tool was called PechaflickrIt allows people to have fun talking about a topic using images they have never seen before.  A few classmates tried it out this tool during our class and they did a fantastic job! I think it would make an awesome speaking activity in ELA.  Katia (@kbhildebrandt) shared with us some resources for Alan Levine’s session.  Wow! I was amazed by all the terrific resources.  There was so much to discover and learn about!  I am looking forward to exploring this resource more during the Christmas break when I have more time to try some of the tools that were showed in this resource.  In my classroom I have an iPad and I was curious about good apps that I could use in the classroom with my students.  Under a link called 50+ Web Ways to Tell a Story there were more excellent resources!   Under this link I found a resource created by Karen Bosch called Digital Storytelling with an iPad.  I encourage you to check it out! There are so many great suggestions of apps to try, description of the apps, and it even gives ideas and samples with links of what students have created using the aps.  I also encourage everyone to read and have a look at Raelynn’s (@raelynnsmith) blog post called “She was burning the midnight oil again when suddenly…”  The post is a creative story about her exploring digital storytelling and creating videos using digital media.  She did an excellent job and gave me motivation to try using one digital media tools in my summary of learning project. Thanks Raelynn!

I am looking forward to continuing my storytelling journey!

storytelling

Photo Credit: giulia.forsythe via Compfight cc

Have you used digital storytelling in your classroom? What tools have you used to help students tell their stories?  I really want to give my students to opportunity to tell a story using an app like Puppetpals, but I find it is hard giving everyone the opportunity when I only have one iPadHas anyone else experienced the same thing?  I would appreciate any advice and suggestions in what I could do!   I am looking forward to reading what you think a my post and if you have any ideas or suggestions for me. Thank you very much! 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. Pingback: I’m Digital Learning……and Now I Show It! | Justine Stephanson's Blog

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