This was done with a TS lens and a “Hybrid” SLR and without any words tells the story very nicely. Digital storytelling isn’t about the tools that are used, it’s about how the new tools allow more people to tell more stories. Enjoy.
Posts tagged: Digital Storytelling
I spotted this on Gizmondo and was also blown away:
I can imagine how Photosketch might be the killer app for use in schools for digital storytelling. It takes the same idea as Scibblenaughts and uses it for image creation. The catch would be to make sure that the stock images used would be ones that are age appropriate. But I’m sure using the gravatar idea, they could build age filters in to make it more palatable for cautious school admins to allow access to.
I’m certainly going to follow this one.
If you’ve read this blog for long enough, you’ll know that my basic philosophy behind teaching is based around the idea that we all learn from telling stories. You’ll also know that one of the ways that I tell stories is through photographs. These stories, in the classroom are often referred to as “digital stories”, especially when they mix movies with stills. Regardless of the name given to these student or amateurly created artifacts, they are a form of personal journalism. So when I saw this TED Talk about photo journalism with a message about how we all have a story to tell, I had to post it:
But this was not the only photo related story for me today. MS released PhotoSynth – I love the way that they apologize to Mac users:
Unfortunately, we’re not cool enough to run on your OS yet. We really wish we had a version of Photosynth that worked cross platform, but for now it only runs on Windows.
Trust us, as soon as we have a Mac version ready, it will be up and available on our site.
This is a “way cool” tool that will certainly help many more people tell their stories. Going perhaps beyond the Ken Burns effect if one can use it properly as you will be able to pan not only across a photograph, but a location.
With any luck, I’ll be able to really take these ideas forward as I get more stories to tell over the next few years.
Wes has a post today that talks about storytelling and dual coding, this got me thinking about a meeting yesterday that I was in where part of the discussion was about vodcasts and what use they may be. I suggested that a vodcast that had the instructor “dancing around the room” was likely of little value as it would not add any value to the student, only time and space headaches for the support staff. I suggested that if they wanted to include video, it should be oriented in some manner to the audio – slide casts or recordings of the whiteboard – but warning that it was just as likely to be ignored as the audio is more than likely the most important part of the lecture for many students when they are reviewing.
Popping over to the wikipedia article myself, I found this as being potentially relevant to the discussion that I had:
Each channel also has limitations. For example, humans have difficulty simultaneously attending to multiple auditory or visual cues, depending on expertise with the task or prior knowledge with the subject area. For example, a television documentary that shows images of plant and animal life in a rain forest while also simultaneously providing narration that describes the animal life could potentially provide for improved learning using the dual-code theory because the visual and verbal information does not compete with each other.
This suggests that while some supporting visuals are certainly useful, while students are learning, it might be wise to provide review material in only one of the two pathways. When students gain the ability to handle more information on the topic, additional information can be brought in on other channels. So it seems to suggest to me, start with audio and have slides available, but if you want to vodcast, the visuals should support the audio and the visuals should also pay attention to the types of visual coding:
… mental images are analogue codes, while the verbal representation of words are symbolic codes. Analogue codes represent the physical stimuli we observe in our environment, such as trees and rivers. These codes are a form of knowledge representation that retains the main perceptual features of what is being observed. Symbolic codes, on the other hand, are a form of knowledge representation chosen to represent something arbitrarily, as opposed to perceptually.
All this is from the instructor side, but what about the storytelling tag? Well it seems to me, that the best way to see if students have “got it” is to have them put the story together and pay attention to the audio and the visuals to see if the entire package tells a consistent story.
If mLearning needs a gateway or “killer app” to get people in the west to appreciate it, we have to get beyond games and text correct? Well, leave it to Japan, where now entire stories are being created and delivered to cell phones. These stories are written for the form factor of the phone, using kanji, so the stories are told in a basic manner with short sentences. In a refreshing comment, Toru Ishikawa, a professor of Japanese literature at Tokyo’s Keio University notes
“The size of the screen also necessitates that [authors] use short, simple sentences with basic words. If that’s how you measure the quality of literature, then yes, the prevalence of writing like this will water down Japanese literature.
“But it could also encourage writers to be inventive with language in new ways. Language must always evolve.”
Maybe some English academics should be looking at things in a similar manner.
If ever there was someone who would appreciate the ability to remix and remaster their work, it would be George Lucas. Afterall, for better or for worse, he remixed the original trilogy to “what he wanted to do in the first place” (kudos on all the Huttese, but what’s with the Han/Greedo scene??). Fans have also been hard at work remixing clips and images together to create an extended universe for the story. Most, if not all of this has technically been illegal as there has never been any permission given to reuse the intellectual property. But now, LucasArts is going to release clips and allow fans to create their own “reasonable” mashups/remixes.
If Lucas is serious about what he said about a year ago about the movie industry moving more toward the indy producer (not Indy) via digital production, this is certainly a way to encourage that move.
EDIT – this follows along the lines of this post I found many moons ago.
This isn’t digital storytelling from the traditional (it’s more than a month old online so it’s ancient) definition, but it’s more aligned with interactive storytelling. Warren Spector, a great game designer has written an article in Escape about the new storytelling and how the new hardware might actually be a barrier and that to do these properly by looking at new ways about how to think about the story and the interaction – ala verb thinking from Chris Crawford’s Interactive Storytelling. It’s great to see that these classic designers are starting to think about the story (check out Storytron), even though their games have been classed as shooters for such a long time.
Over here in Science, people don’t get the digital storytelling idea as quickly when I talk about it at times, so I use the analogy of an ad. Something that with stills or video conveys a message in about 2-3 minutes. Ideally it would be some manner of personal or reflective message, but at the very least it should not be just a “look here”.
This morning, my cousin in England sent me this ad for a charity in India that I think really fits this “ad as story” idea, enjoy.
If you don’t know it yet, EDUCAUSE is a great resource, even if you are not in the US. I just noticed that they have a “7 things” on storytelling. Check it out.
If you are looking for a way to scrapbook/portfolio-ize materials into a hard copy rather than a digital version (there are times and places that might be preferable), take a look at this solution offered by Shutterfly.
The nice thing is that it works completely off of the web, so it’s platform independent (though I don’t know about Linux).