Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Live and Interctive with Alan Levine

Zoe  (my tech ed teacher) was nice enough to get Alan Levine the "guru" or digitial storytelling talk to our class today about what he does.  The conept of storytelling is a cultural phenomenon that has been present for many generations.  Being able to create/tell stories with the tools and technology that the students are interested in, would be a great way for students to engage in the material.  To many times students are just copy the informatio to be learned at home while studying and regurgitated on a test just to be forgotten 10 minutes later.  Telling stories would give students a sense of ownership to the material and help them understand it.  I was trying to explain how ionic compounds dissolve it water and my students weren't getting the conept.  To explain it I told a story about Justin Bieber being in a mall.  He will be immediately surrounded by the opposite charge (female) and be pulled into the crowd so he i indistingisable. 

Alan gave us a good method of determining how to tell your story.  To make it easier ont he storyteller he suggested having the story laid out ahead of time so you have a basis before beginning to use a tool.  You can then pick a tool and make you digital story.  I am a big sotryteller and it would be interesting to try out some of the tools Alan talks about and make digital stories that can be shared with freinds and family worldwide.  It was great that Alan was able to learn how to use each of the tools and tell the story of Dominoe.  This gives me hope that I would be able to use the tools without a tremendous amount of difficulty being that I am not very techie. 

I think these tools would be very applicable in science classrooms.  In classrooms in general, digital sotrytelling, as Alan expressed, would be a great way for teachers to get to know their students.  I think it is extremely important for teachers to get to know their students, and teach to their interests.  Without knowing your students you can't differentiate your instruction and you are more than liekly to leave a few students behind.  All the scientific facts we know today were discovered by someone or a group of people and told to others using a story of some sort.  So why as sicence teachers are we just telling the facts and having our students "learn" it?  I think that storytelling would be a great way to teach scientfic concepts.  Have the students research a topic and have them teach the class using a story.  I was given an assignment in grade 12 science to research a chemist and write a paper about their contribution to science.  This would have been way more fun if I were able to tell a story from the persepctive of my scientist about how they contributed to science on a personal level.

Alan's presentation reall opened my eyes to the way we can use storytelling in our classrooms to help engage students.  Being able to tell these stories using the the digital media that students are so familiar with will help them engage in the material.  I know the things I remember best from my days as a student are the things I learned from my teachers stories.  Lets use technology to tlel these stories and get students engaged.  I am looking forward to investigating some of these tools.

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