It is that time of year again! 8th grade students in my class create their own digital stories, implementing vocabulary and grammar studied throughout our school year together into one final project. The students are responsible to create their own stories in groups of three by writing, designing and finally narrating their stories entirely in Spanish. Their language abilities truly shine with the creation of these stories.
This year, students began their rough drafts by hand and have transfered their rough drafts onto the computer using Google Docs. In previous years, students had typed up their stories using Microsoft Word or Power Point. Change can be good. Today, most of my students had never experienced the power behind Google Docs and how all of their ideas can be simultaneously written in the same document. While the students were typing, I was able to go into the document and make some helpful remarks, questions or changes right as they were typing. Interestingly enough, Google Docs has also incorporated “voice comment” capabilities- so you can leave voice commentary or feedback for your students on the document that has been shared with you. After school, I proceeded to continue with editing and found that students were logged in from home, using the ‘chat” feature to ask me questions about their writing. We collaborated about Spanish narrative writing both in school and out of school, thanks to technology.
Over the next few days, students will be able to select an animation tool to use to design the stories. I will allow students the option to use programs available within our school, such as MS Power Point or Frames but want to expand the perimeters to include other programs they may already be familiar with. For example, one student today was discussing how to use Scratch with his group members (http://scratch.mit.edu/).
And finally, students get to record their own voices to enhance the audience’s experience with comprehending and enjoying their creative stories. I started this type of project in 2008 and being that this is the fifth year we have been making these stories, the excitement as their teacher continues. Each year the stories are unique and powerful. I look forward to seeing what the class of 2013 creates in just one short week!
I created the below websites for other teachers who are looking to use digital storytelling in their classrooms. There are MANY resources out there besides these!