Telling Stories in a New Way

Me and my Lazy Eyes

I took forever to post because I was under the impression that we had to make a video for this week. Math Night at our school is coming up and I am putting together a movie for that. I was thinking of using that but I was also wondering how to blur the students faces since I do not want to share them on the web. It was after I had a talk with Abby that I was able to breathe. She told me that we do not have to make a video for this week, rather that’s an option for the final project. That’s when I realized I had a bad case of Lazy Eyes in the jungle of words. She also told me how she posted about her students using Seesaw to tell their stories. Well, my students are using Seesaw only for retelling purposes. They cannot yet remember the stories they make up themselves. The following is an example of my student retelling ‘The Mixed-Up Chameleon’ while drawing what he perceives. (Note when he erases everything because the chameleon wanted to change back to it’s original form, not be mixed-up any more, catch flies and be happy.)



So yeppp back to the beginning …I’m still stuck thinking of what to post. AAAGGH!

So what is digital storytelling?

Digital stories revolve around a topic and have meanings just like age-old and regular stories. It is just a modern way of creating and sharing stories using digital media, music, images and words. As with any other form of storytelling, the most powerful element of the story is the storyteller. Yes, it certainly impacts a larger group as it has the ability to reach out to far-flung areas of the world through the power of the internet or more appropriately the social media.

So how does this new form of storytelling differ from forms in the past?

As I was reading different articles and watching videos on YouTube, I came across this one by Emily Bailin. She talks about giving students the opportunity to voice their stories in an engaging way by using photographs and  music.

And as I watched it, I was reminded of the video my son had made in Grade 9 for his English class.

Okay so I didn’t know back then that was digital storytelling, I was just proud of his creative work. But now I had the chance to go back and watch it again. It talks about his beliefs, values, knowledge and tradition.  In the video he expressed himself not only with his words but also through his selection of music, reflecting his individuality and thus “owning” this creation. The things that I did notice now (with my CoETaIL sense) was that I had difficulty reading the words as they faded in and out (CRAP) and secondly, the images used were not attributed. He has come a long way since then, but this got me thinking that we need to start teaching students in lower elementary about digital citizenship and copyrights.

Reading the article Becoming Screen Literate  has made me wonder, if we are people of the screen, then are Snapchat Stories and Instagram part of digital storytelling? And if so, then why don’t we use them for educational purposes more commonly? Why don’t we look for student interests and turn them around to benefit them academically? Wouldn’t that be real-life learning and impact their understanding and knowledge more than the traditional ways that are in being used in schools? Let’s get onto the bandwagon of this new form of storytelling different from the forms in the past and embrace 21st century learning ourselves before we go forth to teach our students.

What’s next for me?

With our Pre-K Spring Show coming up, I have so many ideas now going through my mind of creating a digital story to share with parents. I don’t know how it will turn out since it never comes out the way I visualize things in my mind. Okay, time to start freaking out…


Published by Rahila Mukaddam

A daughter, sister, wife, mom, teacher and a LEARNER!

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