Importance of storykeeping and storytelling…

StoryTelling ARC PLAINThis is the third post in a series stemming from my participation in the Courageous Schools Conference on May 18, 2013 in NYC. The big ‘ahas’ that I took away from this conference included:

Throughout the day, during every session and speaker the ‘importance of storytelling’ kept coming up. Since the conference I’ve been reminded about this almost daily. Story-keeping is powerful. Students need to be the keepers and tellers of their own stories.  Teachers need to be story keepers and tellers of their stories as well, especially the ones about how they are being courageous and doing what is right amidst some very wrong deform.

What is Digital Storytelling?  I use to teach new teachers that digital storytelling was any story told using digital media.  This is not the case anymore. A digital story is more than just any story or retelling of events.  Bernajean Porter outlines that the essential parts of digital stories is living in the story and unfolding lessons learned. A true digital story comes from the author’s heart.  A good story should also change an author, as well as the reader/audience. I believe that is why storytelling came up throughout the day during the conference. We were focusing on Social Emotional Learning, engaging students in authentic experiences, and as teachers being courageous and not letting others derail the true meaning of learning through high stakes testing and accountability.

So, why digital storytelling? This is why I think it is important:

  • Storytelling is the backbone of cultures and our own histories. It is important because we can’t lose who we are and where we came from. That is why parents should be telling stories to their children, and children should be able to tell their own stories to others. (check out StoryCorps for examples of stories from people’s lives)
  • Storytelling catalogs historical events, told by the people who experienced them. They also include the emotions that real people felt and experienced during these events.  One of the workshops I attended during the Courageous Schools Conference was a panel discussion of ‘Stories of Educational Courage‘. During the session we heard stories from teachers who are making a difference. These stories need to be saved and shared to help others see that they too can make a difference!
  • Digital storytelling makes students’ stories come alive and allows them to share their stories with others. It gives them an authentic audience for their stories. Digital storytelling is a true form of technology integration because it starts with the story and the technology is used to enhance the message.

To learn more about digital storytelling check out SIGDS, an ISTE special interest group who has awesome webinars and resources on digital storytelling.

Wonder what app or software to use to tell your story?  Here are some ideas: iPad Storytelling Apps



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