Digital Storytelling During the Pandemic - Tips & Tools for Teachers

Digital Storytelling During the Pandemic - Tips & Tools for Teachers

Learn from what you watch

You probably would have either one or two movies on your list that you adore and could watch again and again. Think upon it, what makes them so effective? Is it the dialogue, the character development, the way shots are framed? Also, consider movies that you don’t like and why. Do the same with your learners work with them to dissect several well-known films; soon you’ll find yourselves with several categories that fall under the rubric of storytelling techniques and be amazed at how much you already know. 

Perceive technology as a storytelling tool, not as a teaching goal

It is obvious to have curious students who want to know about the newly introduced equipment, so when teaching about technology rather focusing wholly on the curriculum, teach in a friendly-way. Editing programs such as iMovie are intuitive and easy to learn. All you need is a good camera or phone and a computer and you're ready to go; your creative aspirations will drive your technology learning curve. Once you think of an element you want to include that seeks for more advanced software or gear, you'll be compelled to learn how to use it. 

Allow your students to take the lead

Children of present generation are more tech-savvy, they may learn faster than you do. Rather getting intimidated by them, use their aptitude to your advantage by letting them teach each other; you'll find that they show their strengths fairly quickly. You may also find that there are great writers, editors, camera operators, and technicians in your class and they can improve their weaker points while using their strengths to help peers and you as well.

Learn by trial and error

While learning new technology, there might come a moment where you may have trouble and wonder “why it isn’t working?” You may seek out multiple resources to get an answer as soon as possible. But, at every glitch you’ll be more technology savvy and soon get to the point where you can anticipate the kinds of problems students will have. That’s what trial and error method do, it helps you master, by learning from your mistakes.

Give your students freedom, but hold them accountable

Not every kid is used to the kind of freedom they require to do great creative work. Some will thrive in the set environment; while others will require close supervision to make sure they complete their projects.  

Ask them what they’re comfortable in; give them an opportunity to complete the project, in their own way. If in case, you have trouble in managing students, especially when teaching remotely, have your students pitch a one-paragraph description of their project and provide a production schedule; as a work contract.

Regard yourself as the executive producer

When practicing storytelling with your students, you’ve to call the shots. It’s you, who have to be the arbiter of good taste and the studio boss, decide whether an idea is production worthy. This leadership will help students perform better.

Celebrate your students' work

A small word of appreciation can be a great source of encouragement for students. So whether your students show completed projects with small mistakes or something much more professional than your expectation, celebrate their work and showcase it on your screen or praise their efforts. This will, of course encourage them, take their work serious for the next time and become a source of tremendous inspiration for their peers. 

What tools to use for Digital Storytelling?

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