Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Digital storytelling finds its place in the classroom

Banaszewski, Tom. "Digital storytelling finds its place in the classroom." MultiMedia Schools Jan/Feb 2002: 32.

Tom Banaszewski is a fourth and fifth grade teacher and multimedia author writing about his experience and offering insight into the process of a digital storytelling project, called the Place Project.
This article chronicles the journey he and his students made in the arduous process of telling stories about places that were meaningful to them. It took him 6 months to produce 30 stories using IMovie and parent volunteers to record student voiceovers, but it was a project that helped his students become motivated writers.
He outlines the process and offers tips on how to structure the project for other educators, as well as including reflections from students and his own as a teacher. He places emphasis on the storytelling process and describes this as the real engine for the project, where technology is the gas to get you to the final destination of a beautifully told story.

Reflection: It really assured me that digital storytelling is really teaching movie making, from writing to production to editing the final piece. The story of another educator and his trials and tribulations of dealing with 24 students,technology, and teaching writing, really made me pause and appreciate that it is not easy and a true challenge for anyone who enters it. I feel better knowing that someone out there is letting other educators know that managing a classroom full of students making movies is not an easy job! The Place project intrigues me with it's applicability to any classroom. It'd be a great project! This article also corroborates the evidence linking student motivation with writing to digital storytelling.


"Nothing is foolproof, but I have yet to find anything as motivating and influential on students' self-expression as helping them tell stories about an important place."

"The Place Project demonstrated how technology can be instrumental in the perennial student struggle to find voice, confidence, and structure in their writing."

"The teacher must surrender a great deal of control in embarking on digital storytelling with students."

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