Thursday, November 8, 2012

Digital storytelling by video

'Ask yourself a question and make yourself to be followed by a videocamera'.  This is what one of the participants did at the bookpresentation  'Omdat het Werkt! - 11 casestudies about learning with social media'.  This day, organised by the Losmakers on the 28th September 2012,  was aiming to exchange knowledge and experiences about successful application of social media in learning- and educational trajectories. This videoproduction was applied as an experiment to test the effects on the person who was followed and the responses it generated from the fellow participants at this seminar. It was an example of experimenting with 'Digital Storytelling'.

The videostory
The story of the video was focused at following one of the twenty-five participants during the workshops. Through a Linkedin group, that was started prior to the event, one enthousiastic participant was identified and selected.  The story board of the video was developed by the filmmaker and the participant with a key learning question as point of departure. Between the workshops during the breaks moments of filming were planned to ask reflective questions.  What insights did you gain? What new questions did arise? And as final question ; What are you going to do next monday?   See video:   'The new way of learning'  (in Dutch): 
The result
The process of videomaking stimulated the participant to work actively with the learning question. 'It stimulated me to stay close connected to the core part of the question,  expressing myself in short and powerful answers.  Through this approach I was stimulated to gain the maximum result out off the workshops!'    After the seminar the video was shared at the Linkedin group. A number of participants recognised a number of lessons, but also indicated they had gained new insights by watching the video.

Interactive video, digital story telling and participatory videomaking  enhance learning
This experiment was applied at a small scale basis. Two persons (the filmer and the participant) developed the story. However, with an active participation of a wider group of participants, the result could have been much bigger.  From research it has been demonstrated, that the application of interactive video in classroom situations enhances learning. However, if video is applied as a one-day information carrier it doesn't improve learning results. In 2005 Elsevier published an article, that interaction and active participation of the students is an essential prĂ©-condition for applying video as a successful tool for learning.  Read article >>> Instructional video in e-learning.

The phenomenon of 'Digital Story Telling' is gaining increasing popularity in primary- en secundary education in Great Brittain and the US. Young people in the classroom get opportunities to respond interactively at presentations, photos and videos and develop their own digital stories. Read article: Digital Storytelling A Powerful Technology Tool for the 21st Century Classroom.
Voice thread is a popular online tool that is applied in primary and secundary eduation where students respond interactively by text, audio- or video messages at a presentation or an exercise. This interactivity helps the students to process knowledge and to link it to concrete exercises.  These help the students to actively apply new information in another form.  This finally leads to better learning results.
Cartoons and drawings are another means to tell digital stories online. With Story bird and Glogster-    you can create your own cartoon characters to vizualize a story. An overview of online digital story telling tools can be found at >>>>> Sites for digital story telling.
Participatory videomaking (PV) engages people actively in telling their story. Research, developing the story (story boarding), the filming and editing are the phases of videomaking that appeal people's capacities on exchange, co-operation and communication. Practical experience has shown that PV fosters the contact of students, teachers and outsiders who are engaged in the story. So was I involved in a participatory videomaking workshop with youth, who made a film about eldery people in their village to ask them about their childhood experiences.  See >>> PV in Ulmu.

Ten ideas for applying video in training- or classroom environments
Dr. Alex Couros, expert in the area of educational videomaking,  shares at his site ten ideas about how you can engage students to tell their stories by video.  Read >>>>>> 10 ideas for classroom video projects.
 Four examples, which fascinated me the most and which are easily to be created:
1. A video interview by skype, where two people from  two different backgrounds meet each other by webcam. Through Tin - Tin you can obtain the software that enables the creation of a webcam interview.
2. A life story in one minute - Forrest Gump in One Minute
3. An audio story told by children  and filmed and executed by adults,  see Kid Snippets - Salesman
4. Social commentary and critique - children make a documentary about the quality and the meals in the schoolcantine.  See video from the  Neverseconds daily foodblog.

The most interesting part of these video's is the creativity, the diversity and the co-operation between the different groups and the discussions that are accelerated by these video's.  For me, video is a very powerful tool, that contributes to enhanced learning, interaction and understanding between people!

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