Tuesday, 15 July 2014

PD around Digital Story Telling and UDL

There's always lots going on, sometimes it's hard to remember to blog about it! For me in my work the focus has definitely shifted from being a 'trainer in things IT' to being a connector between school leaders' and teachers' existing knowledge and relevant information out there - not always easy for us as facilitators as there is an immense amount of knowledge out there for us to be aware of... With Teaching as Inquiry being such a powerful vehicle for all educators to progress their students' learning, and with teachers driving their own learning through TaI, there is less need for facilitators to 'know it all' (I do still get this occasionally, "but you must know, you are the e-learning person"...)

However, there is still a need to look at how to use tools. I have realised that if I truly want to apply UDL principles in my work (multiple means of representation, of action & expression and of engagement), I need to be more considerate of everyone's needs when I deliver workshops. Therefore I have gone back to creating some worksheets / tutorials on Google Docs that not only get shared but also easily can be printed out and sit beside the person using an app or a programme on a device. Here is a session I have run with schools around Digital Story Telling / Movie Making recently, and here you can find tutorials I have created to support this: Movie Making with iMovie iPad appMovie Making with WeVideo (online)Movie Making with WeVideo Android appMovie Making with Windows Movie Maker.

I think it is vital that we remember, writing is just one form of sharing a narrative. Digital Storytelling is in some sense not very different from the travelling story tellers we have had even back in the ice ages. Technology now lets us tell our stories and share them easily with anyone we choose to (much easier than travelling over land by foot :D). It also perfectly fits with all three principles of UDL!

What might this look like in the classroom?
Use digital story telling parallel to, as an alternative to or instead of writing. Students still need to plan / story board their story, ensure they are sharing the narrative. 
Ensure students understand the limitations and difficulties of turning their narrative into a movie (they might not have the tools / props on hand to create what words could describe).
Time management is an issue for many students; ensure you set a realistic timeframe, provide scaffolding where necessary; this might include you being actively involved in the creation of the story depending on age and ability of your students.
Most importantly: Take time for the finished stories to be shared - within your class, across the school and beyond.

How are you using Digital Storytelling in your work?

There have been some thoughts brewing in my head about UDL - being such a Golden Circle fan the order of the three principles (what, how and why of learning) doesn't sit well with me. Watch this space...

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