Teaching and Learning

Digital Storytelling in the Classroom

When Gina invited me to create a video about my classes for BMCC Open Teaching Week, I immediately thought about digital storytelling. If I have five minutes to talk about one element of my teaching at BMCC, then digital storytelling works both in terms of format and as the subject matter.

I need to make it clear that I’m using the concept of digital storytelling quite liberally here. The University of Wollongong provides a comprehensive digital storytelling site for students that includes some really excellent examples of projects, and it would be great to have something like this at BMCC! They define a digital story as follows:

A digital story is a multimedia presentation combining a variety of digital elements within a narrative structure (a story). Media may include text, images, video, audio, social media elements (e.g. Tweets) and interactive elements (e.g. digital maps).

–University of Wollongong, Australia

This simple definition offers endless possibilities for how a digital story might be shaped for assignments.

As I mention in this video, I first encountered digital storytelling about fifteen years ago when I did a workshop with StoryCenter, one of the leading educators for digital storytelling. They have also done workshops here at BMCC and I know that other faculty at our college have either worked with them, or have found their own way to digital storytelling, so I welcome any suggestions for favorite free editing software in the comments.

On that note, a quick Google search will turn up lots of programs that students can access to make stories. Of course there are also paid editing programs like imovie and Windows Movie Maker (which students can access by logging into the BMCC computer labs remotely, if they don’t have these on their devices). One of my current favorite editing platforms is Canva. There is a free version for students and educators, and it offers an incredible wealth of editing software including videos. I’m increasingly incorporating it into my classes for various assignments.

In this video, I provide examples of how it’s been used in assignments. I’m sure all of this will continue to evolve with the advent of AI developments. My goal is ultimately for students to use first-person narrative to support research, and hopefully to create work that they can use for applications and other academic and professional endeavors beyond our classroom.

CETLS Spring Open House 2023

Uploaded by artistscholar on 2023-03-13.

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