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Friday, 8 February 2013

Digital Storytelling - What Is It?

I thought I was on information over-load after the first three weeks of the etMOOC (Massive Open Online Course) I signed up for.  Last weekend, we were introduced to our new topic: Digital Storytelling.  I have been to workshops before on Digital Storytelling, actually even created some of my own "stories" using Movie Maker, so I thought this week would be easier.

I was wrong!

It was suggested that we start the week by considering the definition of Digital Storytelling as found in Wikipedia:  "Digital Storytelling" is a relatively new term which describes the new practice of ordinary people who use digital tools to tell their 'story'".  I soon realized that there are as many different definitions of Digital Storytelling out there as there are computers!  Everyone has a different idea of what Digital Storytelling is.

My children say I process slowly; actually, their term is "Mom's buffering".  Well, I have spent most of this week "buffering".  While I've been reading, viewing, and listening to all of my fellow etmoocers' different submissions, their "stories", I've been trying to decide what "story" means to me.  I believe the term "digital" is actually irrelevant - what interests me is what do we mean by the word story.

This buffering time made me realize that without consciously thinking about it, I had come to see the word "story" as being synonymous with the word "narrative".  I  no longer believe that to be true.  I believe now that a narrative is just one form of "story".  How narrow is our thinking so often in Education!  In our school board, we teach the children that there are six forms of writing:  Narrative, Persuasive, Report, Recount, Explanation, and Procedural.  Isn't that just so silly?  Why do we always try to pigeon-whole things in Education?  Isn't almost EVERY good piece of text persuasive?

And so what are my blog posts?  Are they recounts?  No - I don't think so.  Are they informational?  Certainly they contain bits of information, but they are definitely not reports or explanations.  I think of them as reflections.  What form of writing does THAT fit into?

And so I have discovered that I fell into the educational trap of thinking in black and white, thinking in the box, and was shocked to realize that at some point in my adult years, I had narrowly limited the story to a narrative!

STORY is so much more!  I have been trying all week to put into words what STORY is.  STORY is sharing your vision, your passion, your understanding, your wisdom, your pain, your joy, yourself.

One simple activity we were asked to do in the etmooc was to create a Six Word Story.  Here is one I created with the app Phoster.

I was also inspired by a video I saw in our Google+ Etmooc Community shared by +Alec Couros.  It was a video of a bicycle journey in Barcelona at the turn of the century.

 It made me think of some video footage that my husband took from a motorized rickshaw in Bangalore, India in 2010.  I spliced the footage together rather quickly and sloppily using Movie Maker and then uploaded it to Youtube - my first ever submission to Youtube - no applause necessary.

My husband named it "Chaotic Passage".  I think it makes an excellent metaphor for this Etmooc learning journey I have been on.  Learning is rarely smooth, there are twists and turns, obstacles and distractions along the way.  And if you're lucky, tu peux voir des vaches dans la rue!

1 comment:

  1. Linda, thanks for sharing your bufferings about digital storytelling. I like how you transitioned from digital storytelling to story. Your movie Chaotic Passage is great, it really conveys what traveling in a rickshaw in India is like (particulierement les vaches.) The only thing missing was the smells, the street smells of India and the gasoline smell of the rickshaw.


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