Monday, February 4, 2013
Week 4, Part 1: Digital Stories for teaching
After playing around with digital story websites and brainstorming ways that students could use these resources for various activities and projects, we were assigned, as teachers, to create a digital story that would help us present new information in the classroom. Because part of our current module in ENG 205 requires a presentation, and because (as I think I mentioned in an earlier post) I'm encouraging students to explore new topics and new ways of presenting information, I decided to model this in class. Everyone has used PowerPoint for presentations, but there are other (free) ways to present information. Last week I showed students how to use Prezi, and this week I'm going to demonstrate Storybird with a short story of my own. This story will serve not only as an example of how the website can be used, but also as a way to establish a context for presenting tips on using NAU's library website.
As ESL teachers, we know the importance of teaching language in context, and we often put a lot of thought into how we'll set that context in the classroom. This year I've been learning the importance of "setting the stage" in L1 writing classes as well. Students can see how the skills they're learning have been applied in real situations. And, hopefully, an authentic context will keep students engaged-- a story, for example, can bring a set of "how-to's" to life. The short story I created on Storybird models how my own curiosity led me to choose a topic, and it sets a context for exploring ideas through library searches.
You can find my digital story within the presentation I've posted to slideshare (another new--to me--resource).
My slideshare (see slide 4 of "Profiles and library research" for a link to the Storybird digital story)
To wrap this up, here's a list of my reasons for incorporating a digital story into this lesson:
* Set a context for the information I'm about to present
* Show students, through my story, that I practice what I teach: I explore what interests me through writing and research
* Provide an example of using new technology in a presentation
* Provide an example of sharing a personal story in a presentation