Creating a digital story has reminded me about how to craft a written story, in that the story should have a central theme and move in an arc from beginning, middle, and end. In addition, the processes involved of brainstorming, writing the script, editing it down to fit within the allotted time, and then the rounds of editing to line up with voiceover and music was reminiscent of the process approach to writing we currently teach in our ESL program.
I’m currently in a position to “sell” new media tech to my department and am coming up against push back that social media and new media can’t be used for academic purposes. However, my experience in creating a digital story has definite parallels, and I hope to use my experience to make a case for using CALL in our program.
I think I’m a good story teller, and a good editor, so whittling the story down wasn’t difficult for me. However, the tediousness of aligning voiceovers with photos almost drove me crazy. I estimate I’d spent more than 10 hours creating a 3 minute digital story. With practice, and I aim to make another movie, I know this creation time will reduce; however the time it takes to create a digital story does make me hesitate using a digital story with my speaking and listening class, in that I consider myself a near digital native, but it still took me a long time to make the movie. Given our 15 week semesters, I feel that creating a digital story as well as covering content might be unachievable.
In terms of skills, apart from the obvious tech skills learned through this process, I’ve learned that content is truly media independent, and that making our instruction equally media independent is the challenge we face as educators. The same crafting and refining processes occur whether you’re writing on paper or telling an oral story through digital media.
What makes a good digital story?
– Story arc and common thread
– Takes advantages of medium
– Timing of elements: transitions, voice, audio, photos
– Knowledge of audience